|Review: DragonForce - Sonic Firestorm|
Label: Noise Records
Year released: 2004
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: August 21, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Hell yeah. I was actually a big fan of Dragonforce's debut CD "Valley of the Damned". I know, I know. They're happy, they're poppy, they play too fast and blah blah blah. I love these guys. I will be the first to admit that their debut was far from perfect, but I still couldn't stop playing it for months. So I am pleased to see (or rather hear) that their follow-up is even better than their first.
If you don't know, Dragonforce play fast, catchy Power Metal with happy, singable melodies and insane lead breaks. And I mean insane. Every song here has at least 2 lead breaks, and they are each like 2 minutes long. These guys play so damned fast they can pinch a harmonic and then play three more notes before you actually hear it. (not really, but it sure sounds that way). Every song just careens along at Warp Factor 10. In other words, the band has not changed the formula that made them successful to begin with. If anything, "Sonic Firestorm" is even more over the top than "Valley."
But what I can't argue with, and what keeps me spinning this CD, is that these guys just write catchy fucking songs. Maybe not every riff is the most memorable riff ever, but as there are about 400 riffs per song that hardly matters. Yes, a lot of the songs sound alike, but even at their most faceless Dragonforce are compulsively listenable, and at their best – as on album opener "My Spirit Will Go On" or the awesome "Soldiers of the Wasteland" – they produce melodies and choruses that will never come out of your head.
So if you liked their first one, or you like their virtual clone band PowerQuest, or other speedy melodic metal like Sonata Arctica or Rhapsody – then this is the album for you. If you hated them before, then this album won't change your mind, and will probably make you loathe them anew. I happen to think Dragonforce are a lot of fucking fun, and unless you are driven to listen to dark and evil metal exclusively I think you will have a good time with this album. Dragonforce are not redefining any standards, but they sound like they're having a great time doing their stuff. A solid album from a solid band.
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