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
According to Billboard.com, Slipknot’s “All Hope Is Gone” barely wins out over the Game’s “LAX” in the race for No. 1 on The Billboard 200 this week. The Roadrunner set moved 239,516 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, only 1,134 more than the rapper’s Geffen album at 238,382.
This marks the first No. 1 for the masked hard rockers, who scored a No. 2 with 2004’s “Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses” and a No. 3 with 2001’s “Iowa” (named for the group’s home state). The Game’s last two efforts, 2006’s “Doctor’s Advocate” and 2005’s “The Documentary,” both debuted at No. 1.
Kid Rock’s “Rock N Roll Jesus” (Atlantic) takes an 11% sales hit to 89,000, falling 2-3. After two weeks at No. 1, the Jonas’ Brothers’ Hollywood set “A Little Bit Longer” slides to No. 4 with 80,000 (-45%).
The “Mamma Mia!” soundtrack (Decca) slips 4-5 on an 11% decrease to 78,000. With only a 5% loss in sales, Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” (Cash Money/Universal) climbs a slot 7-6 with 54,000.
The multi-label compilation “Now That’s What I Call Country,” the latest version of the successful “Now” series, debuts at No. 7 with 50,000. Other spin-offs of the hits-based collections include Christmas tunes, Latin music, No. 1s, ’80s hits and classic rock. Of these offshoots, only the “Now No. 1s” set boasted a bigger opening week, when it started at No. 6 with 90,000.
Sugarland’s “Love on the Inside” (Mercury Nashville) holds tight at No. 8 for a second week with 47,000 (-17%). At No. 9 with 46,000, Solange, who also happens to be Beyonce’s younger sister, sets some personal bests with sophomore album “Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams.”
Her first album, 2003’s “Solo Star,” peaked in its debut week at No. 49 with 19,000. The new Music World/Geffen album is led by the single “I Decided,” which recently hit No. 1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. Capping off the top tier, Coldplay’s Capitol album “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends” rises 11-10 with 44,000 (-5%).
Luis Fonsi lands his best sales week ever as “Palabras Del Silencio” (Universal Latino) starts at No. 15 on The Billboard 200 with 30,000. That also gives him the highest charting album of his career, easily beating the No. 62 peak of 2005’s “Paso a Paso.” Additionally, this entry is the second biggest sales week of the year for a Latin act. Only Luis Miguel came in higher, when his “Complices” started with 32,000 in May.
British metal act Dragonforce, of “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” fame, also earns its best sales week ever as “Ultra Beatdown” (Roadrunner) charges in at No. 18 with 24,000. The use of the band’s song “Through the Fire and Flames” in the “Guitar” game helped the band move more than 312,000 units of its 2006 parent album “Inhuman Rampage.”
The reunited Verve debuts at No. 23 after selling 21,000 copies of its first album in 11 years, “Forth” (On Your Own/Megaforce). Other debuts this week include Alacranes Musical’s “Tu Inspiracion” (Fonovisa, No. 26, 20,000), Jimmy Wayne’s “Do You Believe Me” (Valory, No. 27, 20,000), the Lost Trailers’ “Holler Back” (BNA, No. 32, 13,000) and B.B. King’s “One Kind Favor” (Geffen, No. 37, 12,000).
At 7.15 million units, sales this week are up 2.3% from last week’s sum but down 6.5% from the same week last year.