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 DragonForce – Ultra Beatdown

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Starom
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PostSubject: DragonForce – Ultra Beatdown   Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:19 pm

Well, there’s one thing that you can never fault with DragonForce – they are one of the, if not the most, reliably consistent bands around today. You pick any of their songs and you instantly know that it’s DragonForce. Whether it’s the soaring vocals of ZP Theart, the intense drumming of Dave Mackintosh or, of course, the ridiculously complex guitar work of Herman Li and Sam Totman, they just produce an incredible, power metal sound that is parallel to none.

And this album, too, is not one to let you down. The opening track, “Heroes of Our Time” delivers in all areas, the predictably upbeat lyrics; bouncing, happy melodies and, of course, the flawless, intricate and lengthy guitar solo, which lasts for a full one minute and thirty seconds. The song ends on a twinkling high, and as a result, the more dramatic, vocal based into to The Fire Still Burns appears all the more dramatic. The song itself is very much reminiscent of Through the Fire and the Flames, only with a more gentle middle section.

The album progresses in its usual, DragonForce way, literally bursting at the seems with melody, demented solos and cheesy, yet inspiring lyrics. The fourth track, Heartbreak Armageddon, is particularly impressive, largely due to its unusual acoustic section, towards the latter third of the track. The Last Journey Home introduces trumpets to help build up a particularly epic song, despite it being considerably slower than the previous four tracks.

Let’s face it – you can’t have a DragonForce album without the mandatory ballad and the sixth track, entitled “A Flame For Freedom”. Despite being the shortest track on the standard edition of the album, it still lasts for an impressive 5:20. The gentle chord based ending really allows the song to end on an almost triumphant high, despite being relatively gentle throughout. The remaining two tracks bring back the usual DragonForce finesse and the final track, The Warrior Inside, provides a surprise only in it’s unusual intro. The solo, in order to leave the album finishing as brilliantly as it starts, is particularly long and intricate, immediately bringing a warm smile to one’s face.

Without a doubt, this is DragonForce. Without a doubt, this is a fantastic album. Album of the year? Perhaps not. But one of the one’s most worth the money? Definitely!

8/10
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