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on 16 May 2018
One of my favourite DF albums, along with Sonic Firestorm and Inhuman Rampage. If you like hundred miles an hour drumming you will love this, though how the drummer plays so fast beats me. The guitars and vocals are also top notch, in fact you cannot go far wrong with any DF album. Highly recommended.
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on 10 January 2009
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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on 23 August 2006
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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on 18 September 2016
Many thanks
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on 6 August 2015
great cd
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on 17 February 2013
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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on 22 March 2015
Good album, back before DF got a bit silly.
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on 9 February 2016
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on 26 December 2012
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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on 23 September 2015
With the obvious talent and potential to become one of the greatest power metal bands of all time, the thing that makes DragonForce stand out the most is also the thing that annoys me about them. They’re too fast.

‘Valley of the Damned’ has a very promising start, with the title track producing some very nice riffs, accompanied by some incredibly catchy vocals, however, this is as good as it gets, as halfway through the song the band, in particular, guitarists Sam Totman and Herman Li, decide to disregard any logical tune and just shred away. It quickly becomes apparent that this is the formula for all of their songs.

With bands such as Dream Theater and Symphony X being top influences of mine, it’s clear that shredding isn’t a problem for me. What bothers me when DragonForce start wailing away, is that it’s so fast and flashy that there is no distinguishable melody. Every solo, and I mean EVERY solo, sounds exactly the same, and by that I mean a flurry of notes where the main focus is flashy acrobatics over actual substance. As a result, it's hard to really care once they get started.

It’s a shame, because this band has a lot of potential, and in the very few cases when they do slow down their music is awesome. Songs like ‘Valley of the Damned’ and ‘Disciples of Babylon’ have some really kickass moments and memoable vocal melodies, but then descend into the standard DragonForce routine of ruining a perfectly good song with stupidly fast solos that lack any sense of musicality.

As a fan of shred guitar playing, it saddens me to say this, but in the case with this band, ‘speed kills’.
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