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Sonic Firestorm
July 2004
Released: 2004, Noise
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: JP

I had just bought the first DF disc early this year and was blown away. Of course I was delighted to pick up CD #2 by these self-styled Extreme power-metallions. Extreme is right…extreme speed that is! Speed metal is a term that a few of the older readers will recall but DF seem bent on single-handedly re-inventing the sub-genre. Along with Lost Horizon the two bands have re-injected the (some would claim) stagnant power metal genre. I personally don’t think the genre is stagnant at all but I do recognize that Dragonforce are instantly catapulted to near the top of the heap.

This multi-national, multi-faceted, six-piece shred at every turn and yet never loose their sense of song or melody. Every song is loaded with hooks, catchy riffs, amazing, flowing choruses and did I mention speed?

The songs tend towards a slightly progressive structure and flow mixed with the aforementioned speed and very sing-songy choruses. In fact six of the eight tunes on the disc clock in at over six minutes. The lyrics are not really fantasy or Sci-Fi fare but tens to be more lucid, and metaphorical speaking of destiny, dreams, victory and in a sense have a Manowar vibe…fighting for honour and glory and so on, but without the constant ‘metalisms’ of the Kings of Metal.

The band have a sense of fun as evidence by the decent photos, in this nice package loaded with credits, lyrics and so forth. The production is high and thin which to me adds to the overwhelmingly good sense of urgency and drama. Singer ZP sings his heart out and the lyrical melodies at times remind me of, dare I think it Thin Lizzy? Listen to the chorus of ‘Soldiers of the Wasteland’ and tell me if there is not a tiny hint of Celtic lilt to the vocal phrasing. Awesome stuff. Herman Li of course has four or five solos per song as does his lesser recognized, but equally adept counter-part Sam Totman. I like the occasional acoustic piano flourishes as well. Musically staggering…extreme indeed!

Sitting comfortably as one of Noise Records marquee acts, (as the label has recently and thankfully re-entered the North America market) Dragonforce do have the ability to convince the jaded and trend-driven US metal market that there is more to metal than the countless Pantera left-overs and lame metalcore acts. If you are not really convinced about PM and have trouble deciding about the wide selection of great bands these days, I heartily recommend launching your power metal career with either Dragonforce disc and of course for fans, this is an essential purchase.
Track Listing

1. My Spirit Will Go On
2. Fury Of The Storm
3. Fields of Despair
4. Dawn Over A New World
5. Above The Winter Moonlight
6. Soldiers Of The Wasteland
7. Prepare For War
Once In A Lifetime


ZP Theart-Vocals
Hermann Li-guitar
Sam Totman-guitar
Adrian Lambert-bass
Vadim Pruzhanov-keys
Dave Macintosh-drums



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