DragonForce - Maximum Overload listening session
Written by Tobbe, April 2014
April 8th, Stockholm, Sweden.
n this rainy and
chilly Tuesday evening in the capital of Sweden, media representatives
from magazines in Sweden and mainland Europe were invited to the first
official listening session of DragonForce's coming effort Maximum Overload,
which releases August 15th. I entered the control room as second in line
and set direction for the sofas in the back, which actually means no longer
than about 10 ft from the speakers. In total we were a group of 11 members
on location, waiting for a first look of the band's new creation, which
marks this outfit's first ever with an outside producer.
he band's French
bassplayer Frédéric LeClercq and Swedish producer Jens Bogren
were present in Studio 2, as Jens called it. The album was actually recorded
at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro and in Varberg, Sweden, but
he told us that he will use this place more frequent in the future, much
due to its location pretty close to Stockholm's inner city, meaning it
will make it easier to travel there, I assume. Also present was DragonForce's
long-time manager, Steve McTaggart, who entered the room occasionally
and told us some stories about how he never was allowed to enter the studios
during recordings, etc.
e were told that
the recording sessions had its unruly moments with mainly Fred and Jens
on one side and the guitarists Sam Totman and Herman Li on the other.
Fred told us that he was more involved in this album and wrote more songs,
both in terms of music and lyrics, and that he played a fair share of
the guitars as well. DragonForce has worked with this effort for over
a year and Fred was a little nervous to what the reactions would be like
during this first listening session for people outside their inner circle.
- Jens Bogren in front of the small group invited
o what about the
actual album? I was thinking of doing a track-by-track list, but 1: Is
there actually someone who gives a damn about those lists? And 2: Does
anyone remember anything that they've read about each song?
ens said that the
album was probably finished and to listen to the entire album just once
is something special, specifically when considering that there was a 5-10
minute break between each and every song, where Fred and Jens took the
time to answer a few questions and also to tell us details about the upcoming
follows the path they've walk on earlier, but there are in fact certain
differences as well. The riffs seems heavier on many occasions and the
band has also weaved in some elements of thrash to back up the fast, intense
and powerful music. The vocalist, Marc Hudson, seem to have been given
enough time to complete the band and I believe that Bogren made him push
his voice harder than before and I also think his performance is slightly
better than on his latest and first appearance with the band, The Power
songs feature guest
vocals of Trivium's Matt Heafy, who was sent the lyrics and later used
his voice to record all the lyrics given, in different vocal ranges and
to suit different types of metal, meaning that the band had a varied selection
to pick from. Fred told us that much of Heafy's hard work eventually ended
up on the record, but to be honest, I didn't take much notice of this
guest performance during the session, as I had other, more important,
things to focus on.
- Jens Bogren and Fred LeClercq having fun at
an improvised photo shoot -
he record shows
signs of a new force, yet it's traditional with many guitar harmonies
and solos that are reminiscent to earlier days and it's still catchy on
mainly full throttle. The overall arrangements are more direct and also
seemed a little more rough and alive, even if computerized sections are
still present to a small extent.
here is only one
song that I specifically want to mention; The Sun Is Dead, written by
Fred himself. It contains heavy riffs to back up the initial harmony and
later it turns out to a rather progressive explosion and it's in fact
a somewhat epic track that a few people compared to Dream Theater's Images
And Words. Fred was truly very satisfied and I figure also relieved by
the great response that this track received from all people in the room.
the session, Jens came up with a brilliant idea that we could also get
a first glimpse and listen to 4 bonus tracks as well. He was eager to
play these tracks, but time ran out and a spontaneous photo shoot in the
recording room took place instead. Fred eventually placed himself in front
of the screen and made us listen to his solo in The Sun Is Dead and according
to himself, it's the greatest moment on the entire album.
ersonally, it will
be interesting to see what my future opinion of this release will turn
out like, when I've been able to give it more spins. Right now I believe
that it will be something that I will enjoy, although the first feeling
of 2-3 tracks gave my thoughts of two ugly words in music; bonus tracks
- Fred LeClercq forces his guests to listen to
his fade out guitar solo
in The Sun Is Dead one more time -
Symphony Of The Night
The Sun Is Dead
City Of Gold
Ring Of Fire (Johnny Cash cover)
(Songtitles due to change. Might be slightly incorrect.)
Playing time: 48:35 minutes.
Marc Hudson - vocals
Sam Totman - guitars
Herman Li - guitars
Frédéric Leclercq - bass and guitars
Dave Mackintosh - drums
Vadim Pruzhanov - keyboards
Produced and mixed by Jens Bogren.
Mastering engineer: Tony Lindgren.
See also: review
of the album (updated August 20, 2014)
Tobbe - April 2014