Dragonforce – Ultra Beatdown (2008)
Much like many of you, my first exposure to Dragonforce was through the Playstation 2 version of Guitar Hero, and their song “Through The Fire And Flames“. (I gave up trying to play that song in the game a long time ago.)
I recently met the band at the Mayhem festival in Indianapolis and decided to give their new disc, Ultra Beatdown a try.
If you haven’t ever heard Dragonforce before, the one thing you have to understand is just how fast these guys play. I am not sure if Speed Metal would be the appropriate title for these guys, but name a band, any band, and I doubt they play as fast as Dragonforce.
There are only 8 songs on Ultra Beatdown, but each song averages over 7 minutes in length.
After spinning Ultra Beatdown a couple of times, I felt like I was listening to a heavy metal, science fiction movie soundtrack. The music is pretty amazing stuff, but the writing is definitely suspect. I don’t know if it has anything to do with overall rhythm of each song, but it is hard for me to develop a passion for this music. ZP Theart has a very good melodic voice, but his vocals are robbed by the insane pace of the music.
There are moments where Dragonforce slows it down, and shows moments of brilliance. There just aren’t enough of those moments to keep me very interested.
Dragonforce fans will probably eat this stuff up, but I found Ultra Beatdown lacking. I hear a lot of flash in their playing, but I don’t hear enough substance to back it up. There is no doubt that these guys are extremely talented, but they need to slow the pace of their music below light speed if they want some career longevity in Dragonforce.
Check out Dragonforce on myspace at this link.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Heroes of Our Time
2. The Fire Still Burns
3. Reasons to Live
4. Heartbreak Armageddon
5. The Last Journey Home
6. A Flame For Freedom
7. Inside The Winter Storm
8. The Warrior Inside
ZP Theart – Lead vocals
Herman Li – Lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Sam Totman – Lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Vadim Pruzhanov – Keyboards, backing vocals
Dave Mackintosh – Drums, percussion, backing vocals
Frédéric Leclercq – Bass guitar, backing vocals