DragonForce
Extreme Power Metal


2.5
average

Review

by Poet USER (48 Reviews)
September 27th, 2019 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Plodding along one 80's influenced song at a time

Somehow it has been twenty years since Herman Li and Sam Totman formed the band that became Dragonforce. Mostly known for their 2006 breakthrough “Through the Fire and the Flames,” Dragonforce has had an interesting career that saw them find their niche of power metal (Valley of the Damned and Sonic Firestorm) turn into a Mach 5 power metal band (Inhumane Rampage and Ultra Beatdown), reinvigorate themselves with a new singer and returning to their roots of the first two albums, (The Power Within), and finally experimenting with thrash metal and writing nothing but mostly mid-tempo metal songs (Maximum Overload and Reaching Into Infinity). For a band that many metalheads complain about for having written the same song for their entire career, Dragonforce has become one of the more diverse power metal bands that emerged in the 2000s. How does their eighth album, appropriately named Extreme Power Metal, hold up to the rest of their discography?

Well looking at the amazing album art and diving into the first song “Highway to Oblivion,” we are sent back to the 1980s. Dragonforce’s sound has always incorporated the video game sounds of the 8 Bit era in their guitar work, and the mood of the music has always been happy and positive, but “Highway to Oblivion” cranks it up a few notches. It is a cheesier than normal pop metal sounding power metal song that sounds like 80% of the bands other songs. But….it is an infectious and catchy slab of power metal cheese.

Unfortunately this does not last the entire album or even until the next song. “Cosmic Power of the Infinite Shred Machine” is without a doubt the greatest power metal song title ever and I expected it to be utterly fantastic. Instead, it is a six and a half minute slogfest where interesting riffs occasionally appear. And therein lies the problem with Extreme Power Metal. Every song on the album has catchy riffs, good singing, average to really cool (looking at you “Razorblade Meltdown”) solos and a solid rhythm section, but most of the songs are plain boring. No greater offender is “The Last Dragonborn.” Dragonforce’s homage to Skyrim is disappointing because the guitars do absolutely nothing interesting but chug along for six minutes. It actually ruins the song because the interesting tidbits of keyboards alongside the best vocal performance of the album get drowned out in the process; the song would have worked much better as an acoustic piece. Furthermore, one of the most appealing songs on the album should not be the cover of “My Heart Will Go On,” regardless of how awesome it sounds as a power metal song.

Nevertheless there are other solid songs on the album, but they appear near the end of the album. “Strangers” is to this album what “Seasons” was to The Power Within. What does that exactly mean though? Much like “Seasons,” “Strangers” is Dragonforce going in a direction with a song that is vastly different than anything they released prior. If “Highway to Oblivion” was a glimpse of the 1980s theme that various aspects of the album represent, then “Strangers” dives unapologetically into it. The song should make a fantastic anthem as it combines the stadium rock sound of Van Halen and Journey alongside the early power metal aspects of Dio and Yngwie Malmsteen. A song I was not expecting at all became the best song on the album.

Extreme Power Metal sounds like every other album that the band has put out with Marc Hudson since he joined the band prior to The Power Within. Since that album though, each subsequent release becomes more boring and uneventful as the previous one. While songs such as “Highway to Oblivion,” “Strangers,” and “In a Skyforged Dream” are fine additions to Dragonforce’s catalogue, most of the other songs, plod along. The style of music Dragonforce plays should always be exciting and uplifting. This does not mean that they have to play fast all the time though. They released plenty of mid-tempo songs that worked, were actually good, and changed the pace of the album for the better. Overall Extreme Power Metal is one of the weakest Dragonforce albums. The band shows that they can still create good music, but for the next album they need to do more of it.



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user ratings (93)
3
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Poet
September 27th 2019


6098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Streaming on Spotify now.



Also, my first multi-review year in 7 years. Where has the time gone?

Emim
September 27th 2019


31581 Comments


Glad to see you still reviewing, man. Gotta say I'm pretty intrigued by the Celine cover.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2019


16148 Comments


Just added this to my library, hoping to not fear the worst.

SitarHero
September 27th 2019


13755 Comments


Excellent review. I'm hoping I'm not as disappointed as you are.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2019


16148 Comments


pos'd also.

Willie
Moderator
September 27th 2019


19034 Comments


The vocalist on this is total crap. I liked the Fire and the Flames dude. Although he’s terrible in Skid Row now, so...

Pikazilla
September 27th 2019


20557 Comments


The vocalist on this is total crap. I liked the Fire and the Flames dude.

Yeah, same.

PunchforPunch
September 27th 2019


7085 Comments


Wait what? he's in Skid Row? Is there a footage of him singing 'I Remember You' on youtube?

DoofDoof
September 27th 2019


10915 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Is this where I go to acquire a fresh 1 rating?

Pikazilla
September 27th 2019


20557 Comments


doof go easy on the cheese

your digestive system can only handle that much at once

DoofDoof
September 27th 2019


10915 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

near enough every album I've listened to today is cheese feast - Opeth, Sturgill Simpson, New Pornographers and yeah lets make it a classic four cheeses pikapizza by adding this one to the menu

Pikazilla
September 27th 2019


20557 Comments


pizzakilla combo

Toondude10
September 27th 2019


14758 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Ultra Beatdown is worse but yeah this isn't that good

DoofDoof
September 27th 2019


10915 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

"Lads, it's Dragonforce"

nightbringer
September 27th 2019


2401 Comments


It would take a lot to convince me that this is worth even giving a cursory listen to.

Poet
September 27th 2019


6098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Ultra Beatdown is worse but yeah this isn't that good"



For me Ultra Beatdown was at least a fun record. Some of the songs were not that good, but at least I could really enjoy a few of them.

SitarHero
September 27th 2019


13755 Comments


"It would take a lot to convince me that this is worth even giving a cursory listen to."

Solid comment. 3/10


nightbringer
September 27th 2019


2401 Comments


It's hard to be constructive all the time!

SitarHero
September 27th 2019


13755 Comments


Lol aight. Ima let it slide, this time. Cos it's Friday.

nightbringer
September 27th 2019


2401 Comments


Sweet merciful Friday.



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