In a world where speed metal, blazing fingers, and even faster picks, Dragonforce is near the top of the power metal pile. I was first introduced to this band by my son Corey. He also shares my taste for head-banging, smash-mouth, guitar oriented music. After listening to the first song I was impressed by the skillful, yet lightning fast, guitar playing. This extreme power metal band formed in 1999 hails from London, England. Dragonforce will draw on influences by all forms of metal, melodic metal, and speed metal, but also video games. Their lyrics are definitely influenced by the themes present in games such as Final Fantasy. To quote Herman Li (one of the lead guitarists) from Guitar World on a description of the band’s style: “Nintendo Metal, or Bon Jovi on speed”. I would have to agree. After hearing my first few songs from Dragonforce, my first thoughts were, “these guys have to be doing major finger callesthenics in order to maintain that speed live.” This is a definite deviation from my last review, but one I have enjoyed. Dragonforce gets my axe playing juices flowing much like the bands Dream Theater, and Symphony X do.
The latest album release from Dragonforce is called “Inhuman Rampage” It is their third album. It was released on January 9th, 2006, and their first with Road Runner Records. The album title alone depicts their musical style. The first track “Through the Fire and Flames” blazes into the auditory canal with inhuman thrash. This song is the most successful single by Dragonforce. It is also used as the unlockable final encore song in the popular video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Track two, “Revolution Deathsquad”, slows things down from 200mph to 100mph. This toned down pace (not really) allows you to enjoy a nice mixture of palm muted and loud crunching guitar rhythms, along with some keyboards, and video gaming sounds. The mid-point of the song sounds similar to older Metallica. The next song is called “Storming the Burning Fields”. It begins with the patented blazing solo guitar but later incorporates a well mixed combination of keyboards and rhythm guitars. The typical lyrics say: