on January 31, 2005
On my first listen of the track "My Spirit Will Go On", I could not believe what I was hearing. The drummer sounds like he's on speed, the singer hits all the high notes, and the guitars...well lets just say they are nothing short of phenomenal. Herman Li and Sam Totman are the axe-wielding duo who tear up this album with their twin-blast tapping (Fury of the Storm) and hyper-shred harmonizing (pretty much every track). You can tell the band is full of energy and loves what they are doing. I suggest you have a free, open mind when listening to this album, and just have fun. Here's a rundown of the individual tracks:
1. My Spirit Will Go On- This is one of the classics on the album, and I think one of Dragonforce's most well known song (if they have one). The intro starts off clean and then in come the keyboards and the thundering double-bass. There's a nice little guitar harmony and ZP comes in singing the first verse. I cant say much for the lyrics, but I don't take them seriously. The solo in this song is jaw-dropping. There's tapping, sweeping, ultra-fast harmonizing and everything in between. Oh yea, Herman loves to use his whammy pedal too. If you are a fan of shred, you will enjoy this solo. Overall great song and album-starter, 9/10.
2. Fury of the Storm- Starts off with another great harmony, then a blast beat by the drums behind it. This song has a more "dark" sound to it, but the chorus is pure power metal glory. The solo is great, and has an amazing "twin blast" tapping section where Herman and Sam harmonize. Fun song, and great solo 9/10
3. Fields of Despair- This might be my favorite off of the album. The mood is more "gloomy" I guess, but I love the vocals on this song. Solo is nothing short of amazing, and I give this song 10/10.
4. Dawn Over a New World- This is a slower song on the CD, and probably my least favorite. Not a bad tune, but it gets boring. You wont find any crazy leads here (but the "slower" solo is full of technique), just a lot of piano/keyboards and vocals. 5/10
5. Above the Winter Moonlight- This song is pretty happy feeling. It's fast like most of their songs, but it has more major chords it seems. The bridge is cool with a bass line and keyboards, and it leads into a pretty heavy guitar riff which doesnt seem to fit much into the mood of the song. The solo is pretty catchy, and I cant really say anything bad about it. I just don't like this song as much as the others, 7/10
6. Soldiers of the Wasteland- Another moody song on this album, Soldiers of the Wasteland is powerful and moving, all at 215bpm. I like the vocals on this track, and you can sing along to them. The bridge has a strange "galloping" feel to it, but it fits the song great. The harmonies are very melodic, and the solo is outstanding with some blast beats thrown in and a nice keyboard solo (which I think there should be more of). One of my favorites on the album, I give it 10/10.
7. Prepare for War- This track to me is like a filler. There's not much to it, besides the obvious speed and technicality. The chorus is pretty cool, and I like the bridge, but I dont really get anything out of the song. 6/10
8. Once in a Lifetime- Another happy song here, but it's fun. There are cool harmonies, and some catchy lyrics. Keyboards are more present in this song. I wouldn't go so far to call it a filler track, but its not one of my favorites. 7/10
9. Cry of the Brave (Bonus Track)- Now I decided to add this track in the review as well since I have the bonus version, and more people would read my review in this version. So...this song is great. I wish they would have put it on the regular version in place of Dawn Over a New World or Prepare for War. It is just very good. I suggest you find this track somewhere online and give it a listen. 9/10
That concludes my review. I hope I have given you more insight into the album if you were interested in buying it (which I hope you do). Dragonforce is a great talent that shouldn't be taken too seriously. It is fun music and probably not something you're used to hearing unless you listen to power metal, but even then, these guys are something different. Of course, if you enjoy this album, pick up their debut, Valley of the Damned, which is also great.