on 23 July 2007
This album is the best example of DragonForce's bombastic sound. With superb, soaring vocals from ZP Theart, and the trademark twin guitar sound of shredmasters supreme Herman Li and Sam Totman, along with the debut of ex-Bal Sagoth drummer, Dave McKintosh, who's contribution ensures that each song is thunderous, a 'Sonic Firestorm.'
However, the good things about this album eclipse the bad; the guitarwork is extraordinary; many an extraordinarily fast solo graces this album, along with genius twin guitar melodies. Vocals are amazing, and keyboardist Vadim also makes an illustrious debut with many skillfull neo-classical solos. The drumming mostly consists of the blastbeats normally confined to the Extreme Metal genre, however here they add a speed and energy that was previously missing.
One issue that has been encountered on the first few listens of the album is that the songs seem to merge all into one, however, after many listens each song discovers and individual identity. Some might find the excess of cheese to be distasteful, however those who are used to the Power Metal genre will see this as a advantage. For a band who hav a reputation for being trivial in there impressions, the album is amazingly good.
Some consider the lyrics to be cliched and cheesy, however I have come to appreciate them, talking of matters of fantasy.
1) My Spirit Will Go On - A storming opener, with an acoustic opening merging into a speedy melody. The chorus is catchy and addictive, two words which shall be used frequently throughtout this review. The solo section features what i believe to be Sam Totmans best solo on the whole album, with also a great performance from Herman.
10 out of 10
2) Fury of the Storm - With an intricate opening twin guitar melody, melding into a fast start. The song does what the title says, essentially pervading the spirit of a Storm. ZP performance is less good then the track before. The solo section is probaly one of the most complicated on the whole album, with solos weaving in and out of each other with ease.
9.5 out of 10
3)Fields of Despair - One of the more mediocore tracks on the album, infused with melody and emotional weight. Great chorus, and ZP performs very well. However,not the best track on the album
7.75 out of 10
4) Dawn of a New World - Not the best DragonForce ballad, which is the closing song to the new album, Trail of Broken Hearts. I think it strange to have a ballad so early in the album, however it is enjoyable and strikes a chord, with addictive vocal melodies. The solos are awesome and shows that Herman and Sam are adept at melodic stuff as well as shred.
8.25 out of 10
5) Above the Winter Moonlight - In my opinion, one of the most underated songs on the album, an epic. Opens with a keyboard intro, blossoming atmospherically until settling into the usual thunderous guitars. Its ridiculouslly upbeat, with an addictive chorus and verse. The solo section starts off normally, then breaks down (not as in one of those pathetic 'breakdown' things you get in that banal american genre 'hardcore') into a slower section, with a few beautfiul solos.
9.5 out of 10
6) Soldiers of the Wasteland - The greatest song on the album, a 9 minute epic. Some would consider it cheesy, but those True at Heart and of Metal will love it. Too long to bother summarising, however suffice to say with many different sections.
10 out of 10
7) Prepare for War - One of the less good songs on the album, though it has some very good guitar work on it, with the uniting shout of "Prepare for War!" its most notable feature.
7.75 out of 10
8) Once in a Lifetime - An ideal album closer, epic, positive and upbeat, summing up DragonForce's unique sound in one song. All the trademarks are there; thundering drums and shredding guitars along with high melodic vocals. However, part of the solo section reminds me of anothe DF solo, but despite this a great song.
9 out of 10