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25 Reviews
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
An absolutely brilliant debut album. Great vocals and mind blowingly fast guitar and drum work combine to make an incredibly heavy yet still melodic album.
I do have a couple of complaints though, which is why I haven't given it 5 stars.
The first, Heart of the Dragon is soooooo incredibly cheesey.
Second of all, they need much more variety. It's a cliche...
Published on 19 Feb 2004 by P. Harris

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High Speed Sonic Assault
This is the first album release by the British Speed-Metal outfit and hints at better things to come but fails to impress in it's own right. Musical ability is staggering especially in the guitar and drumming departments but a lot of the music appears to be speed for speed's sake. Unusually for a metal band these guys actually write real choruses (as opposed to repeations...
Published on 10 Jan 2009 by Fergal Woods


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty Supersonic Cheese, 23 Aug 2006
By 
ESP (Dudley, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
On balance I think I pretty much agree with the various other reviews listed to-date. Yes, the lyrics are melodramatic Sword & Sorcery; and yes, the songs tend to sound similar in many ways (particularly if, as in the title song, the sound balance is poor and the singing seems to come from the bathroom). However, put this in your car CD-player and turn it up to a decent volume and your journey is that much more enjoyable. The musicianship is impressive, the vocals smooth and tuneful, and there are plenty of great melodies weaving through the frantic rhythms. How the guitarists keep up with the drummer I will never know! And that is really my only real 'criticism'. My own personal opinion is that Dragonforce do not need to play their music at such a break-neck pace; the musical calibre of the group is high enough that such speed is unnecessary. To paraphase the chocolate advert..."Take it easy boys, with Cadbury's Caramel". Oh, Dragonforce are a Speed Metal group, and it's supposed to be played that way? Duh! :o)

If you like your rock melodramtic, melodic, anthemic and over the top - buy this album. Better still, buy "Sonic Firestorm" too. I can't comment on "Inhuman Rampage" because it's still in the post. Great fun, even for a sedate Prog-lover :o)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential buy for all lovers of metal! I mean it!, 27 Jan 2003
By 
G. Miller (Faversham, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
Lets look at the facts :-
1 intro, 8 songs, 41 SOLOS!
The singer is called "ZP" !
One of the band has hair down to his knees!
Tons of double bass drumming!
Phew! this album is an amazing debut. It is well produced and played with heartfelt conviction. The songs are varied, but with a core of speedy guitars and pummelling drumwork. Lasting around 5.30 to 7 minutes each there is plenty to get your teeth into. Keyboards are sensibly used to add a glossy top coat to the crunch. The singer is mid-to-high pitched, but thankfully never strays into painful screeching, so the bats in your neighbourhood won't be disturbed! (although you neighbours will be!) Even the solitary ballad is pretty good - and it's not about someone's girlfriend leaving them (thank god). This album severely rains on Primal Fears parade! In fact, there doesn't seem to be any point taking it out of the CD player - everything else sounds a bit dull in comparison.
I sincerely believe that anyone who loves metal should by this album. The longer you delay, the sillier you will feel for waiting when you finally succumb to temptation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lightning ride through British power Metal., 24 April 2003
By 
"allikat256" (Trucking in England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Valley of the Damned (Audio CD)
From the first chord, to the last lingering echoes, this album is like a rollercoaster. The speed and dexterity of the Lead Guitarist, Herman 'Shred' Li, astounds. From the lyrical work in the ballad 'Starfire' is in complete contrast with the almost inhumanly fast riffs in much of the rest of the album.
British power metal at its' best. The lyrics are poetic in places, and sung with passion. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High Speed Sonic Assault, 10 Jan 2009
By 
Fergal Woods "Axe Victim" (Leitrim, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
This is the first album release by the British Speed-Metal outfit and hints at better things to come but fails to impress in it's own right. Musical ability is staggering especially in the guitar and drumming departments but a lot of the music appears to be speed for speed's sake. Unusually for a metal band these guys actually write real choruses (as opposed to repeations of catch phrases or song titles). This is one of their most attractive features.

I've also got the "Inhuman Rampage" and "Sonic Firestorm" cds and for purposes of comparison both albums are a big improvement on this one in a number of areas - namely better balanced production (both the sound of the vocalist, and his more immediate presence are noticeably better on these later offerings) and stronger choruses.

Overall I would much prefer some variety i.e. flat-out all the time loses a lot of impact, guitar solos are so fast that they are blurred and verses are often just monotones leading up to the "Big Chorus"! The powerhouse drumming at breakneck tempos tends to drown out some of the music and vocals, and lyrics are laughable at times. "Bubble-gum Heavy Metal" keeps coming to mind but it's all good escapist fun. Not sure if it's the same category but Kamelot are infinitely more interesting than Dragonforce, and for melodic metal with dynamics Threshold are streets ahead of them also.The above mentioned "Inhuman Rampage" is the one to go for if you do want to sample rock played at the maximum speed and "Valley of the Damned" does not count as a compulsory purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary, 8 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
This band are amazing! The vocals are turely moving and ZP Theart suits the band amazingly. Herman Lee and Sam are jaw dropplingly brilliant guitar players, and thier solos are fantastic.
DragonForce are easily the best Uk powermetal band around at the moment. This is a must have CD, they are truely legendary!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Force To Be Reconed With, 27 Mar 2003
By 
Mr. A. Clement "alzmail" (Milton Keynes/UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Valley of the Damned (Audio CD)
I was pleasently surprised by this album,there are indeed quite a few power metal bands around at the moment but this band does indeed stand out from most.It is a tightly produced album and my only complaint is the solo's get a little lost in the mix.
But what we do have is 8outstanding songs,very energetic,well written and exceptionally well played.If i were to compare them with the current scene i would say they sounded like early Helloween,early Blind Guardian but with better production.More like the production of the latter Gamma Ray albums.
Valley of the damned is the first real song on the cd and it really sets the pace of the rollercoaster ride this provides.The guitar work on this cd is outstanding.Most of the songs are written by Sam Totman and he really has head screwed on,but i fear he may be obscured slightly by Herman Li's amazing solo's.They both have a really tight sound and the guitars solo's exchange with great fluidity and is a real joy to listen to.If you are a lover of guitar solo's and guitar harmonies then you will enjoy this thoroughly.
Black Fire is next up and the pace just keeps charging on and the early similarities i mentioned do stand out.Dragonforce certainly are a band to look out for,this is a brilliant debut album and leaves you hungry for more of the same.
With other tracks such as Black winter Nights and disciples of Babylon and the awesome Heart Of A Dragon we can forgive them for the dodgy ballad Starfire and i mean dodgy!!!
So definately an essential power metal to add to the collection and maybe give some of the older bands a good run for their money,i cant wait to see what there next album will hold for us.
Amazingly enough they are also a british band which is a rareity in power metal,but along with Conspiracy and Seraphidian they are one of the top british bands on the scene currently,what more can i say buy it and love it!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent, 17 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
Sit down headphones on lights off, and wind it up and just listen to that guitar and drum its mind blowing!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great album, 26 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
I have been listening to heavy rock for over 40 years, Dragonforce are there with the best of them Jim Geddes
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5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best speed metal album ever prodused, 3 Jun 2011
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
This album is fantastic nothing lest it down at all. Herman Li and Sam Totman have gone all out to produse this gem of an album from Invocation of Apocalyptic Evil's gripping introduction to the end of Heart of a Dragon there is much to keep you listning and not very much to get bored of. The singing is top class and this album probably has some of the best bass lines I have ever heard. A definate five stars for this amazing album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shock and Awe, 31 Dec 2009
By 
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
I cannot recommend this album highly enough if you are into your hard rock If you are concerned about what is fashionable, current and hip and 'whether my friends would like it', you should probably steer clear.

Dragonforce use a musical genre popular in the early eighties and contrary to many reviews; do build upon it - make it better! Add to that the total lack of inhibition in performing the often mocked Dungeons and Dragons/World of Warcraft song themes then just go OTT with the musical accompaniment. Although using the term OTT does imply an excess for excesses sake and that is certainly not the case. Many thrash bands (which Dragonforce are not) are guilty of just playing loud and fast - but poorly; Dragonforce are loud fast and accurate every note can be heard, if only my brain could keep up.

It is so easy to ridicule this sort of music; yet that is just a superficial observation. Take the time and you will enjoy.
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Valley Of The Damned
Valley Of The Damned by Dragonforce (Audio CD - 2010)
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