September 27, 2019 DragonForce – Extreme Power Metal (Album Review)
When a band has a particular skill set that places them ahead of the pack, matched with a distinct sound all their own, that band has few hard-earned kinks in their armor. A great example of this caliber of an act is England’s Power Metal champions DragonForce who are back with their new studio album Extreme Power Metal. Released on Friday, September 27th via Metal Blade Records, it is far from an exaggeration to say their eighth overall LP certainly lives up to its explosive title and then some.
First off, as alluded to, it is next to impossible to mistake the DragonForce sound for any others on the scene. That said, DragonForce’s biggest challenge has always been translating their creativity into far from basic song structures. Not to worry, because after a few listens to Extreme Power Metal fans will immediately appreciate the extra attention to detail that does in fact hold this album special from the rest. Bold statements? Read on to find out why.
Beginning the ten song exploration, “Highway To Oblivion” launches as a race to the finish line and back to the start line in the blink of an eye, and all while somehow lasting six and a half minutes. Following the insanity of the the open cut, “Cosmic Power Of The Infinite Shred Machine” comes in as another speedy ballad of dragon tales with Marc Hudson showing off exactly what he is capable of with his vocal range. Then creeping in with a serene Asian chime feel, “The Last Dragonborn” charms the beast quite effectively in its anthemic format in spite of being one of the less speed-driven tunes among the masses.
This is all before the out of the box, heavier sounding “Heart Demolition,” which is something that will win some hearts with its glorious beats and sensitive subject matter. Moving forward, the band takes on a completely different lyrical style with “Troopers Of The Stars,” a track full of wacky, fun-filled guitar riffs that leaves no stone unturned.
The key here is interest and keeping it consistent with such technicality being showcased. Successfully, in this facet, even the weirdest tune on the album, “Strangers,” one which has very much an ’80s Rock video game feel, is far from boring with its ever-changing sounds. This is while “In A Skyforged Dream” surges through a vibrant existence before the slower paced second battle anthem “Remembrance Day.” Lastly, as a final story, which is very typically the way DragonForce ends their live shows, “My Heart Will Go On” is the happy reassurance that follows each battle won.
Many would argue an album should stick to around ten songs, specifically when it is full of fast-paced tunes such as this. This point raised, Extreme Power Metal is perfect in length for that reason; plus there are so many complexities put into each composition that concentrating on each individual structure seems to be the way to go. For these reasons and more, Cryptic Rock gives Extreme Power Metal 4.5 out of 5 stars.