Next review: » Dragonforce - Ultra Beatdown
Released: 2010, Roadrunner
The mighty Dragonforce have finally released a well-timed live platter. Thankfully they didn’t call this Double Live album, ‘Live In The UK’ or something equally boring! OK, so most Live albums aren’t that big a deal but I have a real personal connection to this release. Dragonforce has easily stood as one of my favorite bands of the past decade. I gave SONIC FIRESTORM a perfect 5/5 on this site back in 2004. This album means something to me because I had the good fortune of seeing the band twice on the Ultra Beatdown World Tour, once in 2008 and once in 2009. It was the first (and second) time I had the pleasure of seeing them and they were as entertaining as hell. This 13 track, hour-and-a-half double disc set is the representation of that tour, with various songs taken from the UK portion of the tour. The songs blend together seamlessly so it does sound like one concert. I would have liked to see which song was from which show, it kinda gives the fans that little extra thrill to be able to say, “I was at that show and I’m on the record!”
TWILIGHT DEMENTIA is really well put together. The big, fold-out booklet comes with over 30 photos, massive lists of gear, and an entire list of tour dates…all 226 of them! They hit about 34 countries in about a year and a half. The booklet also has a five-panel fold out picture taken with a wide-angle lens of one of the concerts…it’s pretty cool, it gives you the immense scope of some of the shows. Some interesting trivia is also included in the liner notes about how many drumsticks were used, how much beer was drunk etc. Iron Maiden pioneered the ‘tour list’ with LIVE AFTER DEATH and I enjoy when other bands do it as well. Only 902 pizzas? No wonder the band is so skinny! Mind you after seeing a couple of the guys in action at the bar before the show, I’m sure all of their livers are glad the tour is over.
Again, these types of fun facts give you the sheer scale of such a massive tour. Many bands go on the road hit North America and Europe and call it the ‘World Tour’. Dragonforce hit North America, South America, covered Europe extensively, went all over Asia and even visited Australia. Not bad!
The sound is very good. Everything is clear and loud. I would have liked the crowd a little louder or father up in the mix, but that’s just me. There is plenty of stage banter but I must admit ZP’s habit of constantly calling everyone in the crowd ‘Motherfuckers’ in almost every song wears a little thin. Oh well, that’s rock ‘n’ roll for ya! His voice is a bit more low and raw than on the studio albums (where he probably has a dozen chances to hit some of those ultra-high notes) but he can still do a remarkable job. Check out the scream at the opening of ‘Fury Of The Storm’!
Can the band reproduce the sterling studio albums in the concert hall? Of course not. I don’t think they even try. There is so much production going in the studio albums that to try to match it live would be counter-productive. Consequently TWILIGHT DEMENTIA has a much more live and raw feel. Sure there are wave upon wave upon wave of blistering guitars and keyboards but it is not as sonically sanitized for your protection. It really demonstrates how strong the songs are as they hold up live very well. The band really are very talented and do play at full-speed the entire time. They must have enormous stamina as well because almost all of the songs are about 8 minutes long. That’s a long time to shred!
TWILIGHT DEMENTIA also serves as a final chapter, the end of an era. Vocalist Theart has since departed and this Double Live nicely encapsulates the first four virtually flawless, ground-breaking albums. I’m glad the band and the label put some extra effort into the album. I’m probably rating a simple live album too high, but as I stated earlier, Dragonforce are one of my favorite bands in the past 10 years and TWILIGHT DEMENTIA really captured the energy and speed-metal intensity of the Ultra Beatdown World Tour.
1. Heroes Of Our Time
2. Operation Ground And Pound
3. Reasons To Live
4. Fury of the Storm
5. Fields of Despair
7. Soldiers of the Wasteland
1. My Spirit Will Go On
2. Where Dragons Rule
3. The Last Journey Home
4. Valley of the Damned
5. Strike of the Ninja
6. Through The Fire And Flames
Frédéric LeClercq - Bass
Vadim Pruzhanov - Keyboards
Dave Mackintosh - Drums
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