May 1t9h, 2017 (UK); earMUSIC
LP (60 min.)
Progressive Power Metal
This album is one of the most surprising records I’ve heard this year.
DragonForce aren’t exactly known for being a very innovative or experimental band. They are famous for their extremely high tempo and technically challenging guitar playing, but also criticized for playing “the same song over and over again”.
Until this year I had only heard a few songs by the band and although I found them very entertaining, they never really stood out from the rest of the Power Metal scene to be something I would come back to very often.
Generally, Power Metal is not exactly one of my favorite genres. Only a few bands manage to keep me interested over a longer period of time, one of them being one of my favorite bands of all time Theocracy. So, I didn’t expect to be blown away by the new DragonForce album.
But, man, this thing is crazy good. On the one hand, this album is classic DragonForce with crazily technical shredding and guitar harmonizing, excessive use of the whammy bar, simple song structures, cool breakdowns (“Judgement Day” – superb!), on point vocals and catchy melodies. But on the other hand “Reaching Into Infinity” has some really surprising progressive elements that are scattered throughout the album but really hit their peak in the 11 min centerpiece of the album – “The Edge of the World”. DragonForce completely step out of their comfort zone here. This song has a slower pacing than the typical DragonForce song and features elements of Progressive Metal and a completely surprising but perfectly fitting Death Metal (!) section with great guttural vocals by Marc Hudson. This song and especially the section described above completely blew me away at the first listen and still don’t cease to amaze me after multiple listens.
I really hope DragonForce keep moving further into the Progressive direction because I have the feeling that they are really good at it.
This album is a must both for fans of the band and for those who haven’t taken them seriously thus far. This album shows the actual range of their musical talent and sets the bar quite high for future records.
You can listen to this album on Spotify.