DRAGONFORCE — Sonic Firestorm

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DRAGONFORCE - Sonic Firestorm cover
3.46 | 25 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2004

Filed under Power Metal


1. My Spirit Will Go On (7:54)
2. Fury Of The Storm (6:46)
3. Fields Of Despair (5:25)
4. Dawn Over A New World (5:13)
5. Above The Winter Moonlight (7:31)
6. Soldiers Of The Wasteland (9:45)
7. Prepare For War (6:15)
8. Once In A Lifetime (8:06)
9. Cry Of The Brave (5:46)

Total Time: 62:41


- ZP Theart / vocals
- Herman Li / guitars
- Sam Totman / guitars
- Vadim Pruzhanov / keyboards
- Dave Mackintosh / drums
- Adrian Lambert / bass

About this release

Release date: April 19, 2004
Label: Noise Records

Thanks to progshine, diamondblack for the updates


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"Ready your breakfast and eat hearty... For tonight, we dine in hell!"

Mmm...cheesy goodness. DragonForce are those guys that made that super hard song on Guitar Hero, right? 'Through The Smoke and Flames'? Jokes aside this was one of the first "real" metal bands I encountered at a young age. The technical prowess and pure speed of it was very attractive; it wasn't exactly something I listened to on a regular basis. But as I grew older I listened to more and more of the same genre, and discovered new music. Did I ever forget about Sonic Firestorm? Of course not!

This album is a pristine example of all the good parts of 00's power metal. The rocking symphony of pounding drums, shredding guitar, and the godly voice of ZP Theart. Combine that with lyrical imagery of fantasy, of sprawling hills of green, chivalrous knights, fantastical beasts of mythos, all forming into one powerful attack on the senses. Many of the songs have a long run time as well, leading for long and intricate epics. Some of the more atmospheric songs (Soldiers of the Wasteland) appeal to me more with that comfortable arena-metal sound.

This would go on to inspire an even larger audience for the band, as well as more rising potential on later albums. Quintessential for the power-metal everyman or even a hardened veteran. Godspeed, you fiery gods!
With a pretty decent debut, the band really let themselves go on their 2nd album, showing off their complete skills and ability to compose some of modern power metals most classic anthems.

This album holds a lot of nostalgic ground with me, which may be one of the reasons I hold this album so close to my heart. But even with multiple listens over the past 10 years, this album still doesn't weaken in any way. With Power Metal, I do have a love hate relationships with certain bands, and at times Dragonforce fail to interest me. But in their earlier career, lets not forget that these guys where pretty unique. But with time their sound got a bit repetitive and some copy cat bands trying to attempt Dragonforce's success.

The production value when compared to the album that would follow (“Inhuman Rampage”) I actually prefer in comparison. The sound is moulded perfectly together, with the guitars on this album actually sounding like guitars, rather than sounding like Pac Man on steroids. The vocals are well mixed at times, but they can be rather low in the mix. Musically the band had adopted a more progressive style than heard on their debut “Valley Of The Damned,” with certain moments being rather experimental for a power metal band.

The album opener “My Spirit Will Go On” is the first track I ever heard from the band. I remember getting this song on a CD that came free with “Total Guitar” (a magazine for guitar players that sucks now because they seem to focus a bit too much on certain people, I'm guessing some back door payments have been made). I remember being blown away by the bands ability to play incredibly complex music yet have a large focus on composition. Opening the song with one of the heaviest riffs in the bands career, the song explodes into a frenzy of power metal glory. Lyrically this may be one of the bands strongest tracks, with some good lyrical moments throughout.

My favorite track on the album and probably my favorite track on the album has to be “Fury Of The Storm.” With one of the bands fastest and most aggressive riffs, the song is only made better by a soaring and anthemic chorus.

The album's ballad “Dawn Of A New World” is probably one of the bands best ballads to date. With a lot of interesting twists and turns throughout, the band show off some good composition skills in this track.

Another one of my personal favorites is the track “Across The Winter Moonlight.” Mixing ballad moments with a power/progressive metal, the song really is epic with probably ZP Theart's best vocals to date. Some brilliant instrumental sections in this song too.

The album's longest track and then band's longest composition to date “Soldiers Of The Wasteland.” Full of interesting instrumental twists and turns the songs biggest attraction is the epic chorus which includes some pretty cool multi layered vocals.

The album closer “Once In A Lifetime” is a brilliant ending to the album. An epic and anthemic song, the chorus is soaring with catchiness and just makes you want to grab a sword and repeatingly shove it up and down in the air.

In conclusion, this is an underlooked power metal classic. Yes the band have become more of a joke over the past few years and they didn't exactly take themselves too seriously on this album, but this album is definitely the bands greatest work to date. I really can't see them doing any better than this album, but time could suprise you.


Genres: Power Metal, Speed Metal, Progressive Metal, Fist, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock

Country of origin: England (with members coming from South Africa, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Ukraine)

Year of release: 2004
Dragonforce is the perfect band for the 00 generation, the generation that already born with computers and cell phones.

Why I say that? Simple! Sonic Firestorm and all their discography, is like a computer joke, a Ctrl+C Ctrl+V in every well known song by every well known power metal band from the 90's, but of course, with a little 'speed' up, cause you know, it's like a picture nowadays, withouth Photoshop it's not a real picture. Way more cool if it's really fast.

It's funny how in the end of the day, great 70's musicians like Ritchie Blackmore turn out to be the 80's Yngwie Malmsteens and they became Stratovarius and Gamma Rays in the 90's and were followed by Dragonforce in 00's.

It would be really funny if it wouldn't really tragic.

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