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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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 19 Feb 2004
By 
P. Harris "lordharris" (Dunstable) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
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 but most of the songs really do sound the same. Fortunately, it is a damn good sound but nevertheless I would hope that on the next album they have a bit more variety.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...!, 28 Jan 2003
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
I'm left speechless.
Well, not quite. I've been listening to Heavy Metal since I was 4 years old, my sister gave me a Diamond Head LP and I started getting deeper and deeper into the hole. The first album I bought was a 7" 'Haunting The Chapel' by Slayer and since then I was converted. I am nearly 19 now, which means that I have been listening to Heavy Metal for nearly 15 years...
... And I have never heard anything like this, this album is beyond excellent. Think Helloween + Dream Theater x Yngwie Malmsteen - Hair Metal + About 10x Faster = Dragonforce. If this band keeps doing what they're doing, getting more airplay and getting more attention as a whole, they could be one of the greatest Heavy Metal bands of all time.
I first heard of them whilst I was searching through mp3.com for Blind Guardian songs, and it turns out that their song 'Valley Of The Damned' had been at the top of the Power Metal charts for just about a year. So, out of curiosity, I downloaded the song. I think the best thing about it was the fact that it was their demo, I wanted to hear a full-length album with better production... So here I am about one year later and it's finally here.
The guitars are diabolical in a good way, how they can play those harmonies are beyond me and I've been playing 5 hours everyday for the past 9 years. The drumming is amazing...That's all I can say really. The bass... In order to keep up with the rhythm and drumming, well, it has to be good. The vocals match perfectly. The lyrics are your typical Power Metal stuff (dragons, swords, battles etc) but that makes no difference to me because the album is purely and simply amazing.
Postive Things - Everything.
Negative Things - Nothing.
I know it's only January and the first month of the year, but I have already made this number 1 album of the year.
If you are any serious and decent Heavy Metal fan, you have got to get this!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mind-blowing album, 5 Nov 2004
By 
D. Pesani (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
This album is absolutely mind-blowing. It's the debut album from UK Power-Metal band Dragonforce. Combining face-melting solos from guitarist Herman 'The Shred' Lee, gut-busting drumming, it merges to form a mind-blowing finished product. It's the sort of music you can picture listening to in a huge fan-filled stadium, lights flashing and you standing there with your mouth open gawping in amazement.
I do have one complaint though, the lyrics to the songs are a little cheesy, but you can barely hear the vocals (which are great if you pay attention) through the awesome guitar-playing and double-bass pedal of the drums.
I suggest you buy this album now, put it in your car CD-player, drive up and down your street and blast it so the whole neighborhood can hear, then buy it for themselves!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Gods, 17 April 2006
By 
Daniel Holland "Absinthe Delusion" (Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
Dragonforce's first true album and their best to date, whilst their other two albums have been excellent, they lack the full on raw energy and passion of their debut. Coupling unmatched technical musicianship and a vocalist with a seemingly unending range, this band are not only original but unrivalled in their genre. Every second of this album is pure ecstasy to listen to, it is THE must own album.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best UK power metal album ever., 16 Sep 2003
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
The UK Power Metal scene has always been pretty poor when compared to mainland Europe, not only in quality, but also in quantity. Whilst DragonForce can only add one to the number of British bands playing this style of music, one listen to this, their first official release, will restore anyone's faith in the scene.
After a brief intro, the band plunges into the title track. Filled with catchy hooks, soaring vocals and superb drumming, this song will instantly become stuck in your head, only to leave when you listen to one of the other tracks. As soon as the song reaches the solos, your jaw will have hit the floor as you try to take in the sheer talent of guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman. This formula is used to great effect on the all the other songs on the album. On one occasion, in "Disciples of Babylon", they even manage to fit an experimental interlude into the middle of the song, before continuing with the, you guessed it, catchy chorus.
It seems compulsory within the genre to put a ballad on your album, and the majority of these are usually too embarassing to listen to (see "Mother Gaia" on Stratovarius's 'Infinity album' as an example). Fortunately, "Starfire" is one of the best songs on the album, and the best Power Metal ballad that this reviewer has ever heard. Opening with a gorgeous piano intro, it progresses into an insanely catchy chorus and a sublime acoustic guitar solo. An excellent vocal performance from ZP Theart rounds the whole thing off. A real "lighters in the air" moment. The only below–par moment is the closing track "Heart of a Dragon". Whilst certainly not a bad song, the excessive cheesiness is likely to put a few listeners off, but get past that (which Rhapsody fans will find especially easy) and you have another top quality track.
I cannot emphasise how good this band actually are. The fact that this is their debut release and five of the songs are just re–recordings of ones featured on their demo just goes to show at what a high standard their songwriting and musicianship is. It is impossible to choose a standout track because every song is of the highest standard and completely memorable. DragonForce have created a masterpiece fit to go head to head with even the best of their European counterparts.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Speed! Power! Melody! Dragons!, 9 Mar 2003
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
This album is fantastic! If you are into Power Metal, you MUST own this CD!
The guitar work is great, with catchy, technical and melodic solos which take up more than a minute in each song. Their long instrumental interludes break them apart from the usual power metal bands. There is also plenty of guitar harmony throughout the album.
The drumming is powerful, very fast, and extremely tight! The keyboards really richen the experience. Their vocalist has excellent range and hits every note on the spot.
My only complaint would be that in some songs, the vocals should have been louder in the mix.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valley Of The Damned, 11 Feb 2003
By 
Deniz Omer (Nicosia, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
This debut album is certainly something to be exited about. It is hard to classify it as an specific type of metal. It contains elements from the melodic, speed and power metal genres. All 8 songs are beautifully structured. The solos are simply amazing and the double-bass kicks ass! The slow grand-piano parts that crop up at times is really nice. This album is definately worth your money! This is the best album in my metal collection of over 100 cds and I have 2 in case something happens to one :P
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says Power metal is dead in the UK?, 17 Feb 2004
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
Power metal may not be the most popular genre in the UK but with bands like Power Quest and Dragonforce coming through it's only a matter of time before that changes.
Dragonforce have created a masterpiece of technical speedy power metal and every metal lover should own this. It's full of memorable songs, catchy choruses, awesome riffs, pounding drums and of course the all important guitar solos. ZP compliments the music with his incredible voice. As has been said in a previous review, this guy hits every note. I would place this at the more extreme end of the power metal scale. Going back to the guitar solos, Herman Li and Sam Totman are simply awesome and you just have to hear it to believe it. The keyboards feature prominently in places adding a touch of atmosphere but if there was one slight let down it's that the mixing levels aren't always perfect. Obviously it's not enough to detract from what is easily one of the best releases of 2003.
My standout tracks are opener Valley of the Damned, Black Winter Night, Evening Star and the ballad Starfire.
Dragonforce are truly one of the most talented bands around and having seen them live (and met them afterwards) I can say that they are a great honest bunch of guys who love their fans and deserve every success. I really can't reccomend this enough. You just have to check it out.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good., 26 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
How would I describe Dragonforce? Well, take the lyrical depth and singing of Iron Maiden...speed it up (a lot)...and throw it on top of some nice classic Sepultura and you're just about there. Dragonforce are a fantastically unique band with a nice variation to their powerful sound.
Up until today I had never heard of them, but I was shopping and the CD was playing in the store. Asked what band it was an immediatey bought this album and it's excellent. While not normally a fan of power metal I enjoyed this because it seems to fuse a lot of ideas together and comes up with a truly fantastic sound. One minute I can sit and enjoy the melody of the song and the next I was headbanging away.
Dragonforce is the type of band you should listen to while climbing a mountain or building a pyramid. It's fast, loud and almost feel-good in a way. The lyrics (unlike say, Sepultura) don't bring out aggression but instead a desire to keep going and inspire. While not a flawless album I still have to give it 5 stars. It's a diamond in the granite of underrated bands. Buy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best power metal bands of the new century so far., 3 Feb 2003
This review is from: Valley Of The Damned (Audio CD)
To tell the truth I didn't know nothing about this band until recently. As I was shifting through all the metal and rock records being produced at the moment I was struck with this title. After listening to a few tracks ("Valley of the Damned" was just one of the tracks) I instantly recognised that there was something different about this band. Their combination of fast and furious power chords with lyrics with a difference set them apart from the rest of bands in this genre at present.
Though saying this the fact that most of their songs are very similar and there is little variation among them is a bit of a downer. But, if you like the idea of fast British rock music then this is definitely for you.
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