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Posted on August 21, 2008

In this weeks issue of KERRANG! Magazine, there is a spiffing KKKK review of the new DRAGONFORCE album ULTRA BEATDOWN (in stores AUGUST 25th)! Check it out below! Seems there folks over there are diggin’ it just as much as us here at the ole RR HQ!!

Brit-Based Guitar Heroes Bring Back The Pomp.

Ludicrously Bombastic, camper than a row of tents and massively entertaining, there’s a case for claiming that Dragonforce are the metal equivalent of The Darkness. Both bands braces ridicule, stuck to their guns and ultimately triumphed, despite playing music that was initially about as fashionable as a ginger merkin. The difference being that Dragonforce didn’t nose-dive abominably after a single album in a powdery blue of cocaine and monstrous egotism. Instead they’ve steadily grown over the course of almost a decade, relying on commitment, constant touring and of course, the finger-mangling inclusion of Though The Fire And Flames on Guitar Hero III. Wii warriors and Xbox axemen will be pleased to note that similarly frantic Ultra Beatdown opener Heroes Of Our Time will also be available for the new game via download and it promises to cause just as many sinew strains as its predecessor.
Guitarist Herman Li might claim that this new album contains a more measured and varied feel to it but the overwhelming impression is still one of utterly orgiastic excess. Which is, of course, exactly what you want from a Dragonforce album. Yes, there are slightly more restrained moments – the big, overwrought balladry of A Flame For Freedom, the comparatively reigned in dynamism of The Last Journey Home – but even here we’re stretching the definitions of ‘restrained’ and ‘reigned in’. Hyper-speed solos are still spunked out at every conceivable opportunity and most of these epic, multi-faceted compositions weigh in at six or seven minutes apiece. Add swirling keys, and huge harmonised vocal hooks that sound like a cross between Queen, and Latvian entry into the Eurovision Song Contest and an amalgam of every American AOR band to have squeezed into a pair of satin strides in the late ’70s and early ’80s and you have an album that redefines grandiose.
It’s true that the exact same description could have been applied to their last album and that Dragonforce are now playing to a formula of their own devising. There is, though, still plenty to be done within the details f that formula and Dragonforce are continuing to thinker and improve. If you didn’t like them before there’ll be nothing here to change your mind but for fans of the more histrionic side of music, it doesn’t get much more spectacular than this.

Pick up your copy of Ultra Beatdown online HERE

On a final note, if you (like us in the RR office) were wondering what the bejeezus a ‘merkin’ is, then wonder no more.


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