|Review: DragonForce - The Power Within|
|The Power Within|
Label: Electric Generation Recordings
Year released: 2012
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: July 6, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:The Power Within
Rated 3.64/5 (72.73%) (22 Votes)
YES! This is the Dragonforce album I've wanted to hear since Valley of the Damned. I have no problem in admitting that I like this band, and whilst their last few albums were very hit or miss (although Ultra Beatdown had some great moments) I still followed the band, and it finally paid off. ZP Theart leaving was the best decision for both parties. I'm not about to proclaim Marc Hudson as the best singer going, but he was the right choice for the band, and has an endearing quality which really helps on The Power Within.
On the subject of Marc I guess I'll get this part out of the way first then we concentrate on the music. I watched Marc's audition and it was impressive, although I will say I was expecting better from that audition. Whilst good and definitely a good fit for the band, I don't think his potential was fully realized here. I think Dragonforce really need to look at the way they write their vocal lines, as they're very similar sounding, and this kind of thing makes all the difference between a good band, and a great band.
As for the actual music, I'd have to say that this is probably the best I've heard from the band. Shorter songs, a cut back on the masturbation, and whilst there are a lot of similar vocal lines they actually manage to break it up and gain some slight new ground. At just over 45 minutes The Power Within blazes across the speakers, no room for ballads, just a whole load of fun. Tracks such as "Holding On" and "Give Me the Night" are immediate stop-off points for fans of the band's last few releases. However the tracks that really set this apart from the last few are the likes of "Seasons" which stands as the best track Dragonforce have written to date, reminding me of the very best the latest Enbound had to offer. They even manage to change the vocal melodies a bit, and it really fucking works; more of this next time, lads. "Cry Thunder" is another track that sets this apart, taking a more mid pace and boasting a sweet folk-like bounce; a surefire live favorite. Finally is "Last Man Stands" which whilst hardly breaking new ground has to be mentioned as an absolute highlight, mainly because it shows Dragonforce nailing a truly memorable guitar solo, which I feel is a rarity (post first chorus).
If you've never liked Dragonforce there's no way The Power Within will change your mind. However if you lost interest in the last few releases but enjoyed the band in the early days now is the time to give them another shot. Previously established Dragonforce fans might be inclined for a little cry over the fact that this isn't as long-winded, or that ZP Theart is gone, but it's their loss. This plays out more like an actual power metal album than Guitar Heroes greatest hits, and for that I commend Dragonforce. They've set a good foundation to build on and I hope to see more varied vocal lines next time around, and maybe some tracks like "Reason to Live" from the previous album.
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