1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dragonfource IV - Same Dragonfourmula,
This review is from: Ultra Beatdown [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
I seem to be the lone dissenting voice among the reviews to-date. Why? Sound and production quality apart, I feel that if I put the four Dragonforce albums on shuffle, I would be hard-pressed to say which tracks come from which album.
As a stand alone album, Ultra Beatdown contains rollicking tracks filled with breakneck guitars, drums and scintillating keyboards over which ZP Theart delivers lead vocals that deliver that rock edge without ever being overly raucous. Like the music, the lyrics tend to be OTT, but each track contains energy and a catchy tune or melody that is hard to resist.
I have the three previous Dragonforce albums and am listening to this one on loan from a friend. As much as I have enjoyed the earlier offerings, I'm afraid that, as I hinted when reviewing Inhuman Rampage, I am unlikely to bother with the latest CD unless I find it at a bargain price some time.
As you will see from the other reviews, this album is everything an enthusiastic Dragonforce fan will expect and love, yet to my ears there is no real advancement or evolution: it lacks that drive to move forward and push the boundaries of what these talented musicians are capable. Perhaps the adage: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is being applied. Fair enough, I suppose.
It's another Dragonforce album that is fun, fast and furious but for me it fails to move the band along. If it were the first Dragonforce album I had come across I would buy it, but with three very similar albums already in my collection I see no reason to bother. Arguably I am being harsh (and I can see the `was this helpful' votes plummeting as I type) but I have to give the album only 3 stars on this count, even though if it were the first Dragonforce album I had encountered I would most likely give it a 4+. Maybe with a few more listenings I will relent; it's not as if it is a poor album, after all.
If you've enjoyed the previous three Dragonforce albums and the formula works for you, I recommend Ultra Beatdown without hesitation. If you have yet to buy a Dragonforce CD and enjoy great riffs, energetic musicianship and a marginally sub-light tempo, this is as good a place to start as any.
Is it worth the extra £1 for the version with DVD and extra tracks? I would say yes. The two bonus tracks are decent and don't jar against the rest of the content. The DVD adds interest, even if you only view it once.