REVIEW: DRAGONFORCE – “Extreme Power Metal”
There is really just one band in my experience that is the epitome of sheer epic-ness and that is of course Dragonforce. Over the years, Dragonforce gets better and more epic with every album. Is it just me or are they the standard for being epic? Well at least, their newest album ‘Extreme Power Metal’ is a compelling argument for why they are as epic as one can ever hope to be.
‘Extreme Power Metal’ by Dragonforce is absolutely mind-blowing. It is beyond me that a band always seems to get stronger with every new record and for beginners, ‘Extreme Power Metal’ is their best album so far. So let us dive right into this epic and grand shred festival.
Opening right up with “Highway to Oblivion”, the album is off to a very typical Dragonforce start- vast soundscapes and video game-like synth sounds before the song powers itself into strong driving passages. The album is off to one helluva start! “Cosmic Power of the Infinite Shred Machine” is where the maniac epic-ness of this album really starts showing up. This song suddenly lifts the album to a higher pedestal than the opening track. New levels of insanity courtesy our lord and savior the “Cosmic Power of the Infinite Shred Machine”- you’re probably in denial if you say this song isn’t worship-worthy. Expansive sections and rich passages with intricate melodies tied down with lovely and strong vibes, this is really the band doing what they do best! Get ready for a few windmills and back breaking headbanging with this one.
The band continues their glorious storytelling session with “The Last Dragonborn”. The chorus sections are beautiful on this one. This steady song paces the album comfortably and its probably a much-needed rest. But oh well, there no resting here! The pace is fire once again with “Heart Demolition”, “Troopers of the Stars” and “Razorblade Meltdown”. The use of soft and mellow sections contrast really well with hard hitting sections almost as though the mellow sections cradles and leads on the more intense parts. Quality songwriting courtesy Drangonforce. Of course, I cannot leave out “Troopers of the Stars” as one of the epic moments from the album with its incredible bass into which opens up the song to many glorious segments.
The video game like classic Dragonforce work on the lead guitars and synths sound amazing on “Razorblade Meltdown”. “Strangers” is another break from the album madness of sorts, in a good way of course. This song is evocative of some 80’s rock with its lead work and arrangements. This is almost like a hint of nostalgia with a very modern and fast twist. “In a Skyforged Dream” picks up the maddening pace of the album once more. The super fast and detailed drum work shine beautifully on this song locked in with rest of the band. The instrumentation are lush by themselves but leave so much space for the eloquent singing to make it’s strong and might mark with the music. “Remembrance Day” opens up with a very heartfelt and heart heavy feeling starting up with bagpipes before rest of the band makes its way with this groovy and heavy track. The song’s passages beautifully leads up to rich chorus sections. Tears for sure!
The album closes with a crazy surprise- a cover of the ever so famous “My Heart Will Go On”, originally sung by Celine Dion and now interpreted and covered for your pleasure by the mad lads of Dragonforce. This is one of the best cover songs to grace our existence hands down! There is literally no reason why you wouldn’t sing along to this epic cover, I mean, this rendition compels you to sing along with all your spirit! And this is not a run of the mill metal cover of a great song. By the sound of it, the band has taken note of musical possibilities for this cover within the realms of their signature sounds. The attention to composition and arrangement for this cover is stellar!
‘Extreme Power Metal’ by Dragonforce hands down slays! The band’s newest sonic treat and offering to our longing ears is rewarding, exciting, wholesome, massive and epic! ‘Extreme Power Metal’ is inspiring to say the very least. The band has once again outdone themselves and there is no expectation no high for these mad lads! The mix and production of the album sound huge, delightful, clean and very modern.
Given the thousands of notes the band shreds, to make an album sound this clean is incredible! Marc Hudson’s singing gives chills! Herman Li and Sam Totman on the guitars stay close to the band’s signature sounds and push the idea of what’s humanly possible once more. Frederic Leclercq on bass and Gee Anzalone on drums together lay down an insanely strong rhythm section for the band and usher in a massive thundering sound for the album. The album also features Coen Janssen of Epica on the keyboard, who really understood the band’s musical endeavor and really pushed the ante for this album. Top notch work by Dragonforce once again and this is an album to be remembered and cherished for years!