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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2008
Hmmm, technically this band are at the highest level BUT they still have some need for MAJOR improvement!
The opening track, Through The Fire & Flames, is clearly the best song on here - every track after this follows almost the same formula.
Yes, the lead guitar playing is amazing, there is more double bass drumming here than on most Black Metal albums, the vocals are reminiscent of Halford & Dickinson in their prime & even the keyboards are 100 MPH but after 4 or so tracks, my interest wanes - and its a shame because these lads are all really good pros!
Hopefully, the songwriting will improve, theres enough here to suggest its possible. Take Iron Maiden, now they would probably scratch their heads at some of the fretboard assault on this album BUT the odd, iffy album aside, Maiden have always known how to write an ALBUM.
Its true that the album does at times sound like a classic video game - albeit very well produced - its one of the clearest sounding releases ive heard. Just dont expect to hear much in the way of bass as the four strings are way down the pecking order here.
Through The Fire & Flames is a great song though! And its better than some of the junk that's out there now!
If you like Manowar, Iron Maiden or Judas Priest and you are BIG into guitar solo's then you'll probably like this. Its not as revolutionary as folks are saying - a band by the name of Leatherwolf were doing something very like this back in the late '80s.
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on 24 January 2006
As Dragonforce's debut album with Road Runner records, Inhuman Rampage had alot to prove. And it does, showing that Dragonforce are truly something special with this album in astonishing style.
The first song hits off with beautiful guitarwork into a speedy break. The song itself radiates energy and strength, which as power metal it does. Over the top solos, crazy retro sound effects, face paced drumming, this song has it all! The song also changes alot throughout, always a pleasant change, with powerful howling riffs and amazing breakdowns.
You'd think that was it? Oh hell no! This maintains for 8 powerful tracks. One of my personal favourites is "Operation Ground And Pound" Which begins with a very oriental sounding guitar, into a quick break into the usual fast paced guitar and druming, some really wild stuff here! The album in general has the whole hit hard and fast theme leaving you speechless. One exception to this is the final song on the album, "Trial Of Broken Hearts" which is very similar to something from an ending of a video game. The whole sense of triumph leaps through with this song, leaves you feeling good. An equally epic end to an epic album.
This album is a must for power metal fans, infact this is a must for metal fans in general. Cut short, think early Metallica on speed.
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on 24 August 2006
Having stumbled across Stratovarius a few weeks ago and enjoyed their work, I somehow found my way to Dragonforce on the Web and purchased "Sonic Firestorm" on spec. I have since acquired "Valley of the Damned" and now "Inhuman Rampage". Based on these three albums, I think I will stop there. Unless the lads decide to develop their sound and ideas, I doubt I will buy a fourth album.

Now, don't get me wrong. I agree with all the reviews that hail Dragonforce as high-calibre musicians, and I have enjoyed each album. They are rip-roaring OTT fun. These guys obviously enjoy themselves. However, despite claims to the contrary, I do find that if you listen to the albums over a period of a few days, they tend to merge into one very similar amalgam. Each is good in its own right, but aside from a few tweaks and experiments with sound and improved production, I don't think they have journeyed particularly far since 2003 (despite the mountains they have climbed, seas they have crossed and plains of the dead they have traversed!)

My favourite of the three albums is "Sonic Firestorm" - my first purchase - and I was (rightly or wrongly, according to your standpoint) disappointed that "Inhuman Rampage" has not really developed much further (although the production and sound balance has improved somewhat since the first album).

Read some of the other reviews for a more detailed evaluation of the technical merits, etc, of the musicians and comparisons with other similar groups (I do like the thought of Dragonforce as being 'Stratovarius on speed') and albums. But if you like cheesy sword and sorcery themes, soaring lyrics, great anthemic tunes and highly-accomplished guitar work set to a rhythm that should be made illegal to play while driving, this album will be a good buy. Better yet, buy "Sonic Firestorm".

So, although I was tempted to give "Inhuman Rampage" a rating of 3 based on hearing the previous two albums, I think it only fair to give 4 because it stands up well enough on its own.

Oh, a message for some of you out there: It ain't serious - turn it up, relax, smile and have fun!
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on 3 February 2006
I have to be honest, I had never heard of Dragonforce until last monday evening. Then I heard Through The Fire And The Flames played on Zane Low's show on Radio 1. I was in the car and this incredible noise, the like of which I had not heard since my metal heydays in the 1980s, came at me like a fist. Straight home to order the album from Amazon, and it hasn't left my CD player (and Ipod) since. All I can say is - FANTASTIC!
It brought back memories of Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Tony Macalpine, Vinnie Moore, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, mixed with fantastic melodic rock. Shred meets Melody. I can't get enough of this stuff and I've already ordered the previous two albums.
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on 11 January 2006
Well. This album. The best one to date from Dragonforce.
Valley of the damned..that was excelent, Sonic Firestorm was amazing, but this one Inhuman Rampage is just insane, thats all i can say. I bought it the day it came out and havent stopped listening to it, the twin guitars in this album from "Sam Totman" and "Herman Li" are just amazing..with twin blasts in nearly every song, and the so called "Super Bridge" in Body Breakdown, all i can say for that is i totally agree excelent keyboards from "Vadim Pruzhanov", twin guitar riffs form "Sam and Herman" and the super bass riffs from Ex-member Adrian Lambert. All this together makes you head explode, and last but not least, above all this put the extreme vocals of "ZP Theart". With all that together you ahve what makes dragonforce.. Dragonforce. So go out and buy this album NOW!! if you havent already you will not regret it!.
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on 31 January 2006
Man these dudes are on fire! I saw the video for Through The Fire and Flames on TV and almost couldn't believe what I saw. I'm so flabbergasted that I can't say much more, except go buy this album, it kicks ass!
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on 8 February 2006
I first heard Dragonforce about a year and a half back and the first track I heard was from their first album "Valley of the Damned". I have to say, regretably, I wasnt too sure at first but after a couple more listens to the album, they grew on me. So I decided to buy the album. Next was Sonic Firestorm. The only words that came out from my mouth when I heard this album was....OMG!! They Rock!!. Then at the release of this new album I was straight down the shops puchasing my copy and my god...they fail to disappoint, packed with fantastic guitar solos and fast adrenaline pumping beats, this is by no doubt their best album yet and I recommend it to all. I have to say aswel, the best thing about this band is that they are exactly the same live as they are on CD and I urge anyone to go and see them the next time they come to the UK.
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on 2 April 2006
Ignore all this "ooh, it's cliched, it's too serious, it's not as good as xxxx album" nonsense. I'd not heard anything from Dragonforce before, so i take this CD on it's own merits and, to be honest, it's incredible.
Think mid-late 80's. Think early Helloween (when they were good) with Yngwie Malmsteem playing both guitars, some kind of manic robot on drums and a bloke with a dodgy grasp of the English language writing lyrics & doing vocals. Grunge spoilt our fun but bands like the resurgent Maiden & Dragonforce are making the world a better place again.
To be honest, in this day & age it's a recipe for disaster. But this is truly awesome. Forget the cliches, forget nu-metal, emo and god knows whatever fad has come & gone over recent years, this is classic power/speed metal.
The virtuosity of all the musicians on this album cannot be overstated. The twin lead guitars are stunning (major league shredding), the rhythm section is like a runaway train (the drummer makes Animal from the Muppets sound like a muppet from Coldplay). The guitars shred like you've not heard for years, there's a shredding bass solo and even a shredding keyboard solo, if such a thing exists.
It's hard to pick highlights because every track is quite magnificent. And also these are real songs, 7-8 minutes long. The guitar solos are sensational.
Personal faves are "Through The Fire And Flames", "Storming The Burning Fields", Operation Ground And Pound", "Cry For Eternity", "Flame Of Youth" and "Trail Of Broken Hearts".
I'll admit that the track titles and the lyrics are dodgy, but somehow they're right for the music and, after the first listen, you really don't care.
It's 100 miles an hour throughout but is finished by a ballad (even that has got shredding) which allows you to regain control of your senses after the sonic battering you've just received.
I think I've made my point. If you love classic power/speed metal and are sick of the whining new kids on the block, you will love this with a vengeance.
JUST BUY IT!!!!! Guaranteed to be your favourite album of the year.
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VINE VOICEon 20 September 2010
After the public success of embarrassing yet catchy The Darkness it may be said that certain sections of the world were more receptive to melodic metal bands with an 80s edge and plenty of guitars. As much as I hate to compare these 2 bands maybe the success of The Darkness helped with the success of Inhuman Rampage. Dragonforce had been round for a few years in various guises, known in metal circles for their lightening fast playing, silly lyrics, and tongue-in-cheek humour. It wasn't until Through The Fire And Flames though that they got universal notice- the mix of power, guitars, and melodies finding thousands of new fans who like the lighter side of metal and appearing on Guitar Hero etc. This is their biggest and best album, ambitious, over the top, and filled with extreme shredding. None of their albums vary too much, but this is probably the best place to start.

`Through The Fire And Flames' opens the album in storming fashion; it is their biggest song, a wonderful escapade through ridiculously fast guitars, silly lyrics about macho war, blistering blast beats, and brilliantly catchy choruses. It opens with chaotic chords and atmospheric keyboards before the finger burning guitars come in. Theart's vocals come in sounding like a hundred metal singers before, but with a more commercial, almost pop tone. There is nothing pop however about the guitars, the song lengths, and the overall feeling of the songs- this is metal all the way, unforgiving, over the top, brilliant. The solos here, and indeed on most songs go for what seems like an age and end up being longer in themselves than most pop songs are. Li and Totman are majestic here, rocketing up and down the fret board like demented twins with 30 fingers each leaving generations of guitar huggers spellbound. While it may not be heavy enough for sections of the metal community, this more than satisfies the power metal and more open-minded sections of the family.

`Revolution Deathsquad' continues the break-neck vision with riffs too fast to hear, power chords in halves, and vocals spitting out lyrics to defy pronunciation. The main thing to note is the melody, surpassing the likes of The Darkness and having more akin to Helloween, Blind Guardian, but without the epic, orchestral feel. The music here aims straight for the emotional core, seeking to raise a response for the metal clubbers and romantics. Another collection of guitar and keyboard solos here drop the jaw and fill guitar players with envy. Like most of their songs this flies through various stages without becoming prog-like, and everything connects expertly- even though the solos and wildly chaotic they do not outstay their welcome or sound out of place.

`Storming The Burning Fields' once again opens at the speed of light with an attack of guitars before Theart's dramatic vocals kick in. This fits with the rest of the album with a series of memorable melodies and ferocious solos.

`Operation Ground And Pound' has an extended introduction of light guitars before the main song takes off at typically ridiculous speed. This is my favourite song here as there is a strong quartet of vocal melodies spread over verse, bridge, and chorus. Again the chorus is an uplifting, fist-pumping, headbanger in the spirit of classic 80s metal, but overall the song has a greater edge to it and not the same sense of cheese. Throw in the obligatory solos between each part as well as some twists, effects, and vocal growls and we have another power metal classic for the new millennium.

`Body Breakdown' opens as the title suggests with a quick breakdown, drums booming before the guitars once again accelerate. The verses here are accompanied solely by frantic drumming and effects giving an interesting twist, while the chorus is another anthemic chant of brotherhood on the battlefield. There is a patriotism here for an unmentioned country or land, the classic (cheesy metal) vision of men at war against attacking enemy forces and certain death. While Dragonforce do not name drop here from Tolkein, Homer, Virgil, or any of the other usual suspects it is basically the same message and can be taken for an war- mythological, biblical, or modern day. There is a wild keyboard solo in the middle alongside some great bass playing to show that it isn't all guitars. Then there are some more guitars.

`Cry For Eternity' opens with intent, sounding like it is going to be an epic. Indeed it is the longest song here (though only 2 songs are under 6.30) with a long series of introduction. By this stage in the album non-metal fans may be getting tired of it all and even for metallers it has become samey in parts. The key is that the melodies are still strong but for later albums a greater variety in sound, them, lyrics, and construction will be needed. This, and largely most of their albums are not really albums to listen to from start to finish but ones to dip into for 1 or 2 songs at random- all are strong, the main variance on this song is the addition of some trance beats and sounds.

`The Flame Of Youth' continues the epic feel of proceedings with a frenetic song about that other metal staple- the flame of youth. It is a dedication to fans, to the young, and again to those young soldiers and warriors who are sent out to die, together, for a cause few of them will understand. More great melodies, more great guitar.

`Trail Of Broken Hearts' closes the album in ultra cheesy style- the best part is that the band know they are being cheesy giving humour to the lyrics, the introduction, and the overall lighters in the sky feel of it all. If you can make it through the first 30 or 40 seconds safely it becomes a decent song with good melodies and unforgivable lyrics. I'm not sure if it is a fitting close to the album, being the only slow paced song here- maybe it would have been better placed in the middle. I think it fools the listener into believing there was more variance in previous songs and encourages them to listen through again. War, love, brotherhood, solidarity are all covered again and it all works well- you just have to realize that it is all very tongue in cheek.

This remains the band's most successful album, probably their best, although there isn't much to pick between them. Certainly this has more obvious singles and some of their best music writing. Power metal fans will know what to expect although I'm sure a few newcomers will have their eyebrows raised by the speed of it all, while non fans or more softcore drifters drawn to it are sure to find something to enjoy. There is something here for most music fans and even the most stern critic should find something rewarding. Yes it is silly but there is also talent- I feel they just need to expand their horizons a bit to take their output to the next level.
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on 11 January 2006
After the amazing Valley of the Damned and follow up Sonic Firestorm I was a little worried if the Dragonforce guys could repeat or even top there last efforts.....but fear not the guys have perfected the brand of metal that they call Extreme Power Metal!!! Inhuman Rampage kicks you in the throat from the get go with the awesome Through the Fire and Flames (possibly the 1st single) and doesn't relent until the very last song with a great ballad to finish off the album. This album is possibly the fastest I've heard from the guys and definately has some of the most intense guitar work from guitarist's Herman Li and Sam Totman. On Sonic Firestorm it was noticeable that Vadim (keyboards) was definately becoming more involved in both the writing and the sound of the music, this is even more so on the new album with Vadim having writing credits on 3 of the 8 tracks (4 if you include the great bonus track on the Japanese release). Not to be left out, drummer Dave Mackintosh keeps up the relentless pace admirably and vocalist ZP Theart puts in possibly his best vocal performance to date. Overall this will easily be the best album of the year!! My highlights of the album would be the songs Through the Fire.., Revolution Deathsquad, Storming the Burning Fields and Body Breakdown. If you're a fan of fast, explosive and melodic metal this is a definate must have.
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