on 16 July 2008
To be brutally honest, no-one really expected much of a departure from Inhuman Rampage, which is good... because they're not "really" getting one. Ultra Beatdown clings heavily to the tried and tested formula that brought DragonForce their popularity in the first place. Thank heavens.
To the untrained ear, choosing whether to pick up Ultra Beatdown or Inhuman Rampage makes little if any difference. Though similar as it is, any long-term fan of the band will still be able to tell the albums apart. Not all of Herman and Sam's fantastical guitar effects are recycled (though beware, some are) and ZP shows off new vocal skills on many of the albums tracks. Songs such as 'Heroes Of Our Time' inject new verse/chorus layouts into the mix and 'Heartbreak Armageddon' features an insane keyboard solo that (for once) isn't being totally overpowered by Sam and Herman's wizardry.
'The Last Journey Home' is probably the one track that sets this album apart from the others. It starts off sounding like a new 'Trail Of Broken Hearts' then totally messes with your mind, turning into what can only be described as a bizarre space-age romp through time and the friction of reality. I realize that as a review, the previous paragraph is far too vague to be of any real help, but this song needs to be heard to be believed.
Conclusion: DragonForce sound exactly as they should. Ear-piercing wails, earth-shattering drums and mind-blowing four-minute-plus solos. We wouldn't want them any other way. I don't believe that being similar to past efforts should be a reason to lower the score, if the last album was amazing and this is more of the same, it deserves just as much praise. 5 stars.
on 23 August 2008
Ultra Beatdown is an excellent album. It continues the successful style that Dragonforce is known for and makes it even better. Everything a Dragonforce fan could want is right here as usual, from ZP's unique vocals, Herman and Sam's insane guitar solos, Vadim's fast keyboard routines, Dave's ultra beatdown drumming (Sorry I couldn't resist) and Frederic's amazing bass rhythms.
And thats not all, the special edition here has 2 extra songs. A brand new song (Scars of Yesterday) and a song from Dragonforce's side project Shadow Warriors (Strike of The Ninja).
I can't give this album enough credit, its simply incredible. Dragonforce have made a success from their fast style and it continues in this album and puts even more emphasis on the style they play.
I seriously recommend this album for anyone, old fans and new fans alike. Plus its safe for kids, no swearing in this album.
on 6 September 2008
As always, the epic Dragonforce haven't disappointed us with their new album `Ultra Beatdown.' The harmonies throughout the album scream pure chaotic metal. Although it's exactly what you'd expect from the riffing metallers themselves, they still put the Power into Power Metal.
Each solo still has the ability to make your head explode which as we all know is an instant plus! Although there's the distinctive sound of Dragonforce they've still managed to reach new dimensions with this album.
If you're a Dragonforce fan, this album is a must-have and for the people who have never heard of Dragonforce before, what rock have you been living under!?
on 27 October 2008
Well, there's one thing that you can never fault with DragonForce - they are one of the, if not the most, reliably consistent bands around today. You pick any of their songs and you instantly know that it's DragonForce. Whether it's the soaring vocals of ZP Theart, the intense drumming of Dave Mackintosh or, of course, the ridiculously complex guitar work of Herman Li and Sam Totman, they just produce an incredible, power metal sound that is parallel to none.
And this album, too, is not one to let you down. The opening track, "Heroes of Our Time" delivers in all areas, the predictably upbeat lyrics; bouncing, happy melodies and, of course, the flawless, intricate and lengthy guitar solo, which lasts for a full one minute and thirty seconds. The song ends on a twinkling high, and as a result, the more dramatic, vocal based into to The Fire Still Burns appears all the better. The song itself is very much reminiscent of Through the Fire and the Flames, only with a more gentle middle section.
The album progresses in its usual, DragonForce way, literally bursting at the seems with melody, demented solos and cheesy, yet inspirational lyrics. The fourth track, Heartbreak Armageddon, is particularly impressive, largely due to its unusual acoustic section, towards the latter third of the track. The Last Journey Home introduces trumpets to help build up a particularly epic song, despite it being considerably slower than the previous four tracks.
Let's face it - you can't have a DragonForce album without the mandatory ballad and the sixth track, entitled "A Flame For Freedom", gives the listener just that. Despite being the shortest track on the standard edition of the album, it still lasts for an impressive 5:20. The gentle chord based ending really allows the song to end on an almost triumphant high, despite being relatively gentle throughout. The remaining two tracks bring back the usual DragonForce finesse and the final track, The Warrior Inside, provides a surprise only in it's unusual intro. The solo, in order to leave the album finishing as brilliantly as it starts, is particularly long and intricate, immediately bringing a warm smile to one's face.
Without a doubt, this is DragonForce. Without a doubt, this is a fantastic album. Album of the year? Perhaps not. But one of the CD's most worth the money? Definitely!
on 22 November 2009
Upon listening to this CD for the first time, my initial impression was not all good. I felt the intro's and endings were a bit bizarre, as if some errors of judgement had been made while putting the tracks together. However, I have had similar experiences before with albums which I soon came to enjoy. So I listened to Ultra Beatdown again the next day and, sure enough, it grew on me. Like certain foods and drinks, this CD may be "an acquired taste" for some, as it was for me!
Now, Ultra Beatdown has become my favourite Dragonforce CD - although they are all awesome! Dragonforce are some of the most highly skilled musicians in their genre - and indeed in any genre! Another great thing about them is that they don't take themselves too seriously; they obviously love what they do, and that comes across clearly without any pretensions. They have been compared to Helloween and I think that's a fair comparison - their music is epic! Their songs have so much going on that it's impossible to get bored of them! I have listened to at least one Dragonforce CD in full, most days, for the last 2 or 3 years! That may sound a bit fanatical but I simply view it as the greatest compliment anyone can give to a band.
So, if you are a metal fan and have enjoyed Dragonforce's previous music, buy this CD; if it doesn't strike a chord with you first time round, listen to it again and very soon you will love it!
on 8 March 2009
When I first listened to this album, I thought it was very good. The cheese factor has been lessened slightly (just slightly), but all the best things about Dragonforce are still there: they can uplift you, make you smile, and most importantly, make you headbang and play the air guitar over riffs and solos that you wouldn't have a chance in hell of playing in real life.
As an album it represents a step forward for the band, musically speaking. The songs are more complex, in terms of song structure, tempo changes etc., which is quite refreshing. After repeated hearings a few songs in particular stand out as exceptional. The opening track is absolutely awesome, The Fire Still Burns is a classic anthemic Dragonforce track, and A Flame For Freedom is a fantastic one as well. Basically, if it's a Dragonforce song with something involving fire in the title, it's probably going to be good...
The bonus tracks are a nice little added extra, with Strike of the Ninja being less technically flashy than the DF norm, but still a great and catchy metal song in its own right. As for Scars of Yesterday, I love it. The intro reminded me strongly of Nobuo Uematsu's band The Black Mages. You can really see the influence they draw from video game music here
In conclusion, fudging awesome album, in my opinion their best yet. Go get it.
on 5 September 2008
In my personal opinion it's better than the previous album and the bonus tracks dont let down the album.
some of the long ongoing riffs by herman melt your mind and will leave you knowing you've got a good buy.
A track you have to listen to is call "reasons to live" starts really heavy and such a well put together track.
If you would like a taster of the album go on youtube or what ever and check the song "heroes of our time".
on 11 June 2009
No one thought Dragonforce could top Inhuman Rampage (although when I spoke to the band they said that they thought Sonic Firestorm was better). However here they have created a sonic assault on the senses, a completely unexpected monster of an album. They havent slowed down one bit, but what they have done is instead of playing one song at the same spead, ala inuuman rampage, they combine lots of changes of tempo to great effect. Their solos are glorious and indulgent, you often wonder what the lyrics are there for and you find yourself wrapped up in herman and sam's muscicianship to the point or eargasm. They truly manage to get some amazing sounds out of their instruments. This pckage is much better than the standard cd becuase you get the 2 bonus tracks (the dvd is poor). scars of yesterday is one of the best songs dragonforce have done, period, you need to own it.
Overall they have evoled amazingly well from inhuman rampage to this, their whole sound is new and exciting whilst still being distinctly theirs. You can put any dragonforce record on and within 5 seconds you will know who it is. That is talent.
on 28 September 2008
This album sees the guys continuing to do what they do best - make power laden records with guitars played at break neck speeds. The songs are rousing and show power metal at it's most brutal. My favourite songs are Heroes of our Time and Heartbreak Armageddon - both dancefloor fillers and I just know they're gonna be killer live! Miss this album at your own peril.
on 3 November 2012
Ultrabeat down is ok but for me the guitar tricks and magic special effects start to get a bit old by album number four and the band seems a bit tired. the playing is still fantastically over the top and everything but the whole thing just seems a bit predictable and samey by this point, the addition of a new bassist doeesn't really change things at all. the vocalist left after the live album that came after this and that tells me he felt the same. the band needed to have stopped relying on special tricks to sell records. Luckily they did with the new album and much more concerted effort with a new vocalist. so good I got it one both vinyl and Cd.
the vocals as wel have started to get a bit predictable. Basically this album is just a rehash of the last four down to absolutely everything. which is a shame it is ok if you have not heard the other albums I guess
but really the magic and stupidity felt better done on the other albums