Title: “Ultra Beatdown” (Special Edition)
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 8/26/2008
Genre: Power Metal/Melodic Metal
When Dragonforce released their new CD “Ultra Beatdown”, they celebrated the event by releasing two different versions of it on the same day. Ok, so this is not entirely correct, but they did release a standard edition with eight songs and also a Special Edition version that featured nicer packaging, two additional songs and a bonus DVD with a couple of features. Given that we already reviewed the standard edition when we had snared a copy, we chose to re-visit that commentary below to refresh your memory and then analyze in a little more detail the differences that can be found on the special edition version which we now finally own a copy of. Here goes nothing….
“The guys in Dragonforce are back to do their super sonic Speed Metal thing and deliver unto the masses a righteous thrashing with their latest album “Ultra Beatdown”. It marks the bands fourth release and second for the Roadrunner Records label and finds the guys continuing along the process of delivering highly charged Metal that is driven by blistering guitar work and drumming. When I first heard the band with “Sonic Firestorm” I didn’t know what hit me because it moved like a freight train on greased tracks and just ran over the listener and left them dazed at just how fast the band moved on recording. It surely wasn’t a fluke as this continued on to their Roadrunner Records debut “Inhuman Rampage” and now onto “Ultra Beatdown” as well. The conventional Metal listener might dismiss them by saying that it must all be the same in sound and it’s interesting to see just how the fans split themselves off into sides that are either with them or against them with every breath. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground and while there are those who find the band the next best thing since sliced bread there are others who will rally their hatred in the street about them. I fall to the positive side when it comes to the group and find them quite entertaining and very lively – it’s actually safe to say that we can almost hear the fun that they have at this in the albums opener “Heroes Of Our Time”. When the album begins you see that the band has not slowed to a comfort zone or are resting on their laurels after finding so much success from Guitar Hero III but instead are back to the business of smiting the listener with speed and technical displays of guitar wizardry. This comes care of the twin lead guitar slingers of Sam Totman and Herman Li and no matter how hard I try I still cannot determine who the faster or better guitar player between them is. I would ask one of them if the chance arose but I fear the answer would be “I’m faster and better” from each of them. As we get to the second track of “The Fire Still Burns” we realize that while there is a similarity in the drive and tempo of the tune that the band has upgraded their abilities in terms of how technical they are.
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