Having released one of their most successful albums and in my opinion their masterpiece, the band had received some minor success in the UK metal scene. So, they decided to put their minds together and craft a pop metal album none of which has never been seen before.
Now this is the period in then bands career where they really saw who and what they where. They are fun. These guys aren't supposed to be taken seriously. In fact, most power metal bands shouldn't be taken seriously. Now, Dragonforce don't have the poetry of Sonata Arctica or the prop budget of Hammerfall, but they do have a sense of humour. Multi cultural and based in the UK, the band are like an EU version of the village people, except not gay and faster than the speed of light.
Musically the band have taken a spin from the well crafted power metal and added some newer influences. Faster and probably more melodic than the previous album, this album was pretty much gonna be a commercial success before its inception. The only criticism I have with the band is that I think the guitar sounds on this album have too much effects on them. Now and then, wah and whammy pedals do overly distort Herman and Sam's tones, which is a shame, cause some of the guitar work is bloody brilliant. Also, the video game effects can grow tiresome at times.
Lyrically most of these songs are all the same. I know I can be quite critical of bands with bad lyrics (take Bullet For My Valentine for instance), but with Dragonforce I take with a pinch of salt. This album (along with “The Power Within”) is probably the worst lyrical period for the band. A lot of the phrases and metal genercisms are stupid, but unlike Bullet For My Valentine for instance the band do have brilliant melodies to suit the poor lyrical choices.
The opening track and lead single “Through The Fire & Flames” is pretty much the song which broke the camels back for these guys. Now, “Sonic Firestorm” did see the band rise into popularity, but because of this song (with a lot of help from the Guitar Hero video games), the band seemed to take off over night. Now I have to admit, this is probably the one of the bands most catchiest songs and it does have some pretty kick ass moments, but by far is it their best song. I admit, it's definitely up there, but it doesn't compare to a lot of the tunes heard on the album previous. I do sing along everytime I hear it though.
“Revolution Deathsquad” is probably one of my personal favorites. One of the heaviest songs on the album, the track really hits a climax with the incredibly anthemic chorus, and showing off some pretty brilliant vocals from ZP. The black metally sounding vocals are also an added flavour too.
The album's second single “Operation Ground & Pound” is probably the most anthemic song on the album. With a catchy chorus and one of the bands best instrumental sections in my opinion, the band really shine on this track and show that they are not just a one hit wonder. The music video for this song is also very enjoyable too, with some funny comical moments throughout.
One of the album's most interesting tracks has to be “Body Breakdown.” Composed by keyboardist Vadim, the song has a slightly different instrumental path with a lot more focus on keyboards. Vadim always seems to take a backseat in the band, and it's great to see a composition of his show off his very creative and unique style of key work.
The album's longest track “Cry For Eternity” is a rather interesting track. With an interesting breakdown instrumental section in the middle, showing off some pretty impressive slap bass playing and clean guitar solos, the song is backed by a pretty anthemic chorus to boot.
The album's final track “Trail Of Broken Hearts” is a cheesy power ballad. Now, this is pure cheese, but it is a pretty nice song with some nice melodies throughout and a brilliant vocal performance from ZP. Great ending to the album too.
In conclusion, this album isn't the bands best, but it is a brilliant follow up to what I believe to be their masterpiece. The band have shown that their sound doesn't really change too much on this release, but I have to admit, there is a good few tunes on this album. If you want a fun power metal album with some catchy as hell songs, look no further, because this album would be perfect for you.
Genres: Power Metal, Speed Metal, Battle Metal, Progressive Metal, Fist, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Pop Rock
Country of origin: England (with members coming from South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Ukraine)
Year of release: 2006