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Dragonforce – Inhuman Rampage

Label: Roadrunner
Format: CD
Released: 2006
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Ok am I missing something, what is all the hubub about? Stratovarius, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, and Angra should have received this type of attention ten years ago. I must say though it is good to see the genre finally getting some recognition but the previously mentioned bands deserved it.


Going from literally an unknown in 2003 in the States, Dragonforce in 06 are everywhere and once they landed its been sold out headlining shows, opening Ozzfest mainstage, shirts in Hot Topic, full page adds in magazines, and on the new release board in Target. Until now a Power Metal band could barely book tour dates in America and these guys have exploded in a matter of months.

I remember reviewing Drangonforce’s debut "Valley of the Damned" and thinking it was nothing special, just a supped up hyper Helloween meets Stratovarius and those bands invented this sound. “Sonic Firestrom” was more of the same. This third release "Inhuman Rampage" does not change my opinion of them regardless of their hype or label push.

Musically they are skilled and live (I saw them at the New England festival where you would think Maiden was on stage) can play as fast and are as technically precise so I will give em that. Problem is that every song is very fast and has the same delivery. If there was ever a band to give Power Metal the stigma of being repetitive because of arrangements and speed its these guys.

When they include breaks (‘Storming the Burning Fields’ or ‘Operation Ground and Pound’ for example) within a song is to their benefit because at the rate of speed they play it becomes redundant quick. The playing ability is high octane with a multitude of guitar leads and roadrunner like speed dueling keyboards. With more breaks, drum beat and riff changes Dragonforce could have some real memorable songs because the speed is fine in smaller doses.

I think their strongest moment is for the ballad ‘Trail of Broken Hearts’ because it is not lightning fast and singer ZP gets to show what a fantastic voice he has. Regardless of the current bevy of attention, Dragonforce have painted themselves in a corner coining the term "extreme Power Metal". So where do they go from here?

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