“Sonic Firestorm” by Dragonforce

Artist: Dragonforce
Title: “Sonic Firestorm”
Label: Noise Records
Release Date: 5/11/2004
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 8/10

The band Dragonforce is a very interesting unit indeed. They not only combine the factors of being musically diverse along with a completely technical level of play; but they include a level of speed that at times will make you surely think that your CD is skipping instead of playing. I was literally blown away when I first heard “Sonic Firestorm” and as you listen yourself you will find that you are in the musical equivalent of a hurricane. Starting off with “My Spirit Will Go On”, you are quickly brought into the band’s world and what they opt to accomplish on a record. As I said there are blistering fast moments and there are bands that play for the sake of speed sake alone. Not so in the case of Dragonforce, for throughout each song the members never seem to lose pace with one another. The song maintains its structure and does not ever seem to fall apart where you could expect such action to be the case under these conditions. It was really something to close my eyes and envision this being done in a live sense. In most cases playing music fast simply for the sake of it will not impress me all that much so it was refreshing to see this level of speed being showcased on top of killer technical prowess. Chops would be an understatement for Dragonforce.

A lot of the album follows along the same course of speed as the first track, but that does not mean to be taken as the songs sound all alike. They just use the same formula on the entire CD. There is one track that effectively serves as the ballad of the disk and that is “Dawn Over A New World” . The tune is nicely done and being in the middle of the disk it allows you a breather before the ass-kicking again. Holding only 8 songs you might feel a bit cheated, however most of them are over 7 minutes in length with “Soldiers Of The Wasteland” running at just under 10. This track in particular even has a section with a very Iron Maiden feel to it. One can easily take Dragonforce as the Dream Theater of Progressive Power Metal; a title I am giving them since the music defies the normal genre classification for me at present. I also liked “Fury Of The Storm” and “Once In A Lifetime”. The band truly did not really remind me of anyone else so I cannot really draw comparisons to them. In one sense this is great as it stands as being a little more on the unique side.

The lineup consists of ZP Theart (Vocals), Herman ‘Shred’ Li & Sam Totman (Guitars), Adrian Lambert (Bass), Dave Macintosh (Drums) and Vadim Pruzhanov (Keyboards). It was impressive to also see a large lineup be able to pull all this together. Playing Metal at this rate is not so easily done in my opinion. Overall this was an enjoyable CD and I think fans of speedier power metal as well as creative use of lightning fast shredding will enjoy the work that these guys have delivered to us. Check it out, bands like this deserve more exposure.

Track Listing:
1. My Spirit Will Go On
2. Fury Of The Storm
3. Fields Of Despair
4. Dawn Over A New World
5. Above The Winter Moonlight
6. Soldiers Of The Wasteland
7. Prepare For War
8. Once In A Lifetime

Official Web site: www.dragonforce.com

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