7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The best UK power metal album ever.,
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.