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Review: DragonForce - Ultra Beatdown
Ultra Beatdown

Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 77:11
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: September 4, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Ultra Beatdown

Rated 2.83/5 (56.59%) (41 Votes)

Home-grown talent comes in many shapes and sizes, and as the origins of London-based Speed Metallers DragonForce spread all over the globe, an international countenance would perhaps serve their cause more adequately, yet we have accepted them as our own and as album number four brings with it their most furious assault yet, global domination seems to be on the horizon. But Ultra Beatdown? Surely they could have come up with a better title than that.

Those fervently awaiting the follow up to the band's monstrously successful Inhuman Rampage won't be disappointed, as little (read: nothing) has really changed in the DragonForce camp, except maybe their tendency to embellish those wildly technical solos has widened in the extremis. Herman Li and chums once again churn out eight blasting manifestos of hyper-fast, incredibly-proficient, insanely-catchy Melodic Power Metal that belies their 'country' of origin, taking the best elements of Rhapsody, Iron Maiden, and Freedom Call, sticking them in a blender with a set of AOR choruses and a rush of double-kicks, and through that we have tracks like "Heroes of Our Time", "Heartbreak Armageddon" and "The Warrior Inside". Maybe not exactly the best elements, but elements nonetheless.

Despite the awfully urban title, Ultra Beatdown is probably their strongest record to date, sounding like a compilation of the best tracks from Valley of the Damned, Sonic Firestorm and the aforementioned Inhuman Rampage. The melodies are more memorable, and have a hard rock-edge to them, without reaching for the saccharine pomposity of old quite as often. But the progressive "Reasons to Live" is the only song where we find DragonForce being themselves, and moving away from the comedic novelty that has made them The Darkness of Power Metal in the first place. A worthy addition to their discography, but I'm still waiting for some real progression.

Other related information on the site
Review: Extreme Power Metal (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Inhuman Rampage (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Reaching into Infinity (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Sonic Firestorm (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Power Within (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Twilight Dementia (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Ultra Beatdown (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Valley of the Damned (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Valley of the Damned (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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