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Dragonforce - Ultra Beatdown

Published August 21 2008

=Staff's pick

Heroes of Our Time
The Fire Still Burns
Reasons to Live
Heartbreak Armageddon
The Last Journey Home*
A Flame for Freedom
Inside the Winter Storm*
The Warrior Inside

Genre Power Metal
ZP Theart
Tracks 8
Herman Li
Runningtime 58 Min.
Sam Totman
Label Roadrunner Records
Frédéric Leclercq
Release 26 August 2008
Dave Mackintosh
Country England
Vadim Pruzhanov
Similar artists ---

What can I possibly say about this album by Dragonforce that haven't already been said in my earlier reviews of Sonic Firestorm (2004) and Inhuman Rampage (2006)? Not much at all since it, as expected, sounds exactly the same in terms of production, song structures, speed and crazy background sounds. It is huge and pure humour to hear Herman Li making a press statement for this album as follows: “We never want to repeat what’s done before. And that makes each record we do that little bit more difficult. On this one, we rejected so much because it was going over old ground. We’d heard it before. We’re not a band who get stuck with a formula and are just content to repeat the same thing over and over again.”. Hilarious, to say the least.

I am no enemy to sticking to a winning formula, quite the contrary. Most of my favourite bands are such as U.D.O, Motörhead, Running Wild and many more that are constantly mocked and laughed about for sounding "the same" again and again, year after year. The same goes for Dragonforce also, and I have given them higher points before, but I feel that they are going over the top on this one. It feels more than ever before that there is such an eagerness to jump between riffs, breaks and paces, it's almost schizophrenic and this album lacks real songs. Everything changes every five or ten seconds and they generally don't give it time to let the material grow to a normal song. Breaks, funny sounds, changes of pace follow each other too fast.

I still like this, as well as their style and sound in general, but their apperant talant and potential are drowning in this sonic mayhem. Standout song on this album is The Last Journey Home where they take the pace down and deliver a "normal" song, so to speak. A heavier and surprisingly close to midtempo song where they show that they can actually wrote those too. I vote for a couple more ones like that for the next album and there are plenty more points to be earned from me. As usual they would also benefit from shortening the songs with up to a couple of minutes each. I understand and respect their reason to keep them this long, since their focus is and always have been on the long guitar solos, and I am in fact a sucker for those, but nevertheless it grows tiresome at the end of the day.

Or may it be that my heart for this type of metal has started to beat a bit slower by time? Perhaps, I don't know yet, but if so, beware if you feel the same because you have absolutely - and I do mean absolutely - nothing new and interesting to find here, having the two previous albums in mind. An abundance of (supposedly) new guitar solos, yes, but you don't even really notice they are new anymore.

Do you love the Inhuman Rampage album but think the playing time on that one is too short, well, then it might be a good idea to pick this one up, however.

See also review of: Reaching Into Infinity , In The Line Of Fire…Larger Than Live , Maximum Overload , The Power Within , Inhuman Rampage , Sonic Firestorm , Valley Of The Damned , Valley Of The Damned demo








5,5 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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