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Dragonforce - 'The Power Within' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/eb/b3/5d/2443_DragonforceThePowerWithin_1341506955.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 05, 2012    
 
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Very impressive.

Their first all new studio album in more than three years (and their first without original vocalist ZP Theart); ‘The Power Within’ marks the much welcome return to action of the UK’s premier melodic power metal act ... I’m talking about DragonForce of course!

Thus far the only UK based band (I won’t go so far as to say ‘home-grown’ for the simple reason that the mix of personalities involved is truly international) to give the European dominated scene anything like a serious run for its money, the band (who as an aside were originally christened DragonHeart) was founded in London in the late 90’s. Nowadays only guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman remain from that time, but as the membership of the band gradually changed over the years they’ve slowly but surely morphed from also-rans into serious global contenders.

Debuting in 2003 with the striking melodic shred fest that was ‘Valley Of The Damned’, each new album has seen the band further hone their chops to a rapier like point, gradually enhancing in terms of both sound and sophistication, yet somehow still staying largely true to those speed infused roots. This new release is something of a baptism of fire for new vocalist Marc Hudson (nope, me neither!), although to his credit it’s one he handles with a great degree of aplomb ... the biggest compliment I can think to pay the guy is that he sounds like he’s been in the band for years, such is the enthusiasm and self confidence he quite clearly brings to the table.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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So, in their three years out of the studio (although not necessarily away from the limelight) have DragonForce mellowed at all? Don’t you believe it; that scything twin lead guitar attack spread over an underlying bedrock of turbulent rhythms is still de rigueur, but more and more other elements are creeping in to give the DragonForce sound depth and an ever more tangible dynamic (not to mention a heightened sense of melodrama). From the moment they kick in with ‘Holding On’ (don’t let that comparatively pedestrian intro lull you into a false sense of security!) to the moment the rousing ‘Last Man Stands’ reaches its tumultuous conclusion (we’ll gloss over the acoustic version of ‘Seasons’ tagged on at the end for the purposes of this particular analogy), DragonForce take you the listener on one of the most thrillingly dramatic rollercoaster rides you’ll experience this year!

Blessed with their biggest and brightest sound, most ambitious arrangements and strongest melodies yet, ‘The Power Within’ is a high grade album full of rabble rousing anthems like ‘Wings Of Liberty’, ‘Heart Of The Storm’ and ‘Fallen World’ ... an album that really does deserve to push them into the same league as bands like Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and HammerFall.

Part of me expected to be disappointed given their past over reliance on kerosene fuelled rifferama, but there’s light and shade a plenty here to break things up rather nicely ... very impressive!

Dave Cockett

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