I have always loved music that is structured, with performances that are tight. Dragonforce delivers that, and more. Their performance is jaw-droppingly, mind-numbingly fast. But it is not just the speed that is so impressive, there is melody and balance to the music, plus it just flows so well. They also give their songs time to grow and develop, with an average length in the area of 7 minutes. Solos are thrown out left and right, and they also seem to fit, all while the vocals come and soar over the virtuosos. Lyrically, they fall the way of epic battles and legendary journeys.
Inhuman Rampage is Dragonforce’s third and newest album, and possibly the best to date. This album is, as one would expect from this band, a very fast album as a whole. The recording starts strong and steadily breaks down until the last song is about half the speed as the first track.
Dragonforce, in case you don’t already know, is the leading force behind what is often referred to as extreme power metal. The main differences between your typical Helloween power metal and Dragonforce power metal are quite evident. Just about everything is much, much faster. Also, the guitars are usually on the extremes of distortion. They sound high pitched and high tempo. When they’re not heavily distorted (as evident at the beginning of “Through Fire and Flames”), which isn’t very often, they still tend to be fast and high pitched. Not too much variation.
The vocals are melodic, usually on the high pitch side. Think of Stratovarius, but with a more predictable melody. The vocals are in almost the exact same style in every song. The main difference is the chorus melody. On the upside, however, the vocals are very distinct from other bands and will get stuck in your head quite easily. Also, for the most part, bass is background noise. All you can hear is a low vibration that changes pitch every half note. The drums are just as fast as the guitar, and double bass drumming is quite common.
On the songwriting side of things, there is melody everywhere. If they had a melodic thought in their mind, they put it in a song. The structure usually seems to have a chorus that repeats 2-3 times and verses leading up to them. Before, in between, and after these parts the guitar keeps you company. After and before each vocal part, a repeating lick is usually played. In between that, guitar solos. Dragonforce songs are also long; the shortest song on the album is 5:19 long. This CD owns and deserves 9.5 out of 10.
01. Through the Fire and Flames
02. Revolution Deathsquad
03. Storming the Burning Fields
04. Operation Ground and Pound
05. Body Breakdown
06. Cry For Eternity
07. Flame of Youth
08. Trail of Broken Hearts
09. Lost Souls in Endless Time
Run Time: 56:08
Release Date: 2006