Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Dragonforce: Inhuman Rampage

No one can accuse Dragonforce guitarist Herman Li of humbleness. When asked to comment on the British power-metal band's third album, Inhuman Rampage, for promo materials, he responded and I quote " We have come up with the ultimate formula that has never been done before. I have never heard an album sounding like Inhuman Rampage." He later predicted that Dragonforce's debut U.S. performance at New York's legendary CBGB's in November "will one day be part of the many historic rock shows which have happened during the venue's lifetime."

Alrighty, then.

Dragonforce is one of the better power-metal bands in the universe today, no question. But it doesn't quite deserve the metal-gods status that Li thinks it does. At least, not yet. Nevertheless, Inhuman Rampage sends the loud-and-clear message that one of the world's fastest-playing bands has no intentions of slowing down. Rather than break new musical ground, as Li implies, Dragonforce offers only slight variations on the self-described "extreme power metal" sound of its first two albums, 2003's Valley of the Damned and 2004's Sonic Firestorm. Like its immediate predecessor, this exhausting album features eight songs all longer than five minutes each. Lean, muscular, oddly catchy and alternately thrashy and progressive, Inhuman Rampage combines the best elements of Rhapsody, Stratovarius and Edguy but none of those bands are likely to offer a song this year as impossibly speedy as "Storming the Burning Fields." That said, the middle section of that song breaks down to introduce fancy new keyboard-like guitar sounds and highlight the musicians' vocal flexibility. Even the album's sole ballad, the piano-based six-minute closer "Trail of Broken Hearts," has three guitar solos. South African-born vocalist ZP Theart is a jewel, never abusing his range or trying to sound like something he's not. In fact, count him in with Timo Kotipelto and Tobias Sammet as one of the scene's best singers.

Even though some of Inhuman Rampage is just more of the same from this band that still has chops to spare violent fantasy lyrics and all it's a refreshing listen if only to hear the hunger. Dragonforce clearly wants to be one of the biggest metal bands in the world. If it takes the finer, more experimental moments on Inhuman Rampage and adds a few new dimensions (more-diverse tempos, for example), album number four could crush the rest of its competition.

Track Listing:
1) Through Fire and Flames
2) Revolution Deathsquad
3) Storming the Burning Fields
4) Operation Ground and Pound
5) Body Breakdown
6) Cry For Eternity
7) The Flame of Youth
8) Trail of Broken Hearts

Added: July 18th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Dragonforce Web Site
Hits: 6070
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Dragonforce: Inhuman Rampage
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-07-18 18:50:10
My Score:

I'll admit, I haven't been the biggest fan of the power metal genre over the last few years. With so many bands out there playing the same sort of melodies at the same speeds, there have been very few who are doing anything unique or at least exciting. However, one group is starting to really turn heads (mine included) and that is Dragonforce. Over the course of three albums, Dragonforce are laying claim to being the fastest and most technically adept players around. Well, who is going to argue with them when they release something as amazing as Inhuman Rampage, a blistering power metal assault that is leagues ahead of what Stratovarius, Edguy, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, and the rest are doing. What's really shocking (besides the incredible guitar & keyboard battles) is that all this speed of light extreme power metal now has found a home on Roadrunner Records. That's right, the label that also made stars of Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, and numerous other metalcore and death metal bands, now adds Dragonforce to their roster (along with Opeth, two major surprise signings for the label). With Dragonforce's hungry, "take over the world" attitude and Roadrunner's push, there's no reason to believe that this band can't make some serious waves. Actually, the waves were already in motion, let's see what happens now.

With a multitude of blistering guitar solos (some of the most technical stuff you will hear out of metal these days) and keyboard solos, rampaging rhythms, and the soaring vocals of ZP Theart, Dragonforce have all the tools to become the number one power metal band on the planet. Sure, the formula hasn't changed much, and it's not like they are reinventing the wheel, but damn these young studs can play, and there's catchy melodies aplenty along with some real heavy moments. It's proggy, it's metallic, and it's fast as hell. Check it out and see what everyone is talking about.

Dragonforce: Inhuman Rampage
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-06-27 08:02:44
My Score:

"Faster than a speeding bullet" seems to no longer solely define pop culture's "Man Of Steel"; as now it stands incredibly true of the UK's Sonic Power Metal sensations DRAGONFORCE! You really cannot explain the band all that easily, while the music holds its core origin in Melodic Power Metal, they mix elements of Thrash much like Annihilator did in their early years. The end result is very simply a brand of Metal that requires you wear a seatbelt as you listen. Normally with fast paced Metal you owe it all to consistent rhythm runs on the guitar while the drummer does blast beats of quick syncopations that are similar. With Dragonforce, the shredding is the combined might of Herman Li and Sam Totman who don't just play quick rhythms but instead choose to push the limits of science with their leads during the solo breaks and across the length of the bands songs. Underneath their riveting riffs is the drumming of Dave Mackintosh, a quality player thundering along with some great double bass on practically every song. Playing this band too loud in your stereo might cause heart palpitations based on Dave's playing level. Fred Leclercq on keyboards adds an interesting high tech video game/progressive feel to the band. They are clearly musicians who enjoy not only pushing the envelope on what they can do and how fast, but to have fun as they do. As you listen to the album there is a good chance that you will feel that this approach as well.

Of course a band like this needs a singer who can not only keep up with everyone but also command the charge into Metal glory. Dragonforce has such a presence in lead singer ZP Theart, whose melodic and powerful range suit this band to perfection; when you hear him sing there are moments you feel he is constantly pushing himself to the limit to be as fast as his band mates. He has a high vocal range and the other members of the group provide some great backups making the overall sound of the band a lot fuller than you would normally expect from a Power Metal band of this type. Highlights on the recording for me were "Through The Fire And Flames", "Operation Ground And Pound", and "Revolution Deathsquad". Personally I felt those numbers sending me for the oxygen tanks after they completed. Be aware that Dragonforce songs tend to run over 6.5 minutes in most cases so its quite an assault on you in terms of sonic quality. The group does choose to close the record with a slower number, "Trail Of Broken Hearts", and it's a fitting closer after such a great album. This third release comes to us care of Roadrunner Records where I am sure they will find a great amount of exposure and fan appreciation. There is a video for "Through The Fire And Flames" included as well making this a little more worthwhile to pick up. So, on your mark, get set and go racing into Metal history with Dragonforce. It's surely a ride you will not soon forget.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by