Six albums in and you should know by now whether or not you’re a fan of OTT power metal titans, DragonForce. Maximum Overload won’t do anything to change that simply because it is ten tracks (plus five bonus tracks) of DragonForce doing exactly what it is that they do best and that, my friends, is dramatic, over-the-top, technical power metal.
Opener “The Game” hurtles out of the starting gate and while it sure is one hell of a furious opener, these five minutes are also packed as full as they can be with DragonForce traits. From the blistering solos to the ferocious riffing to the operatic, soaring power metal vocals, “The Game” is DragonForce hammering out precisely what their fanbase demands from them.
On the other hand, as Maximum Overload progresses, you get the feeling that the band have reigned in a little the pompous, overblown nature of their sound and are now focusing more on the technical side of their sound. What this means is you get an album that, while still as big and massive-sounding as any of the DragonForce material that has preceeded it, seems more instant. Songs like “Defenders” and “No More” don’t waste time meandering to the good stuff, although that’s not to say the big sounding, almost pompous fluff isn’t there (“Symphony Of The Night” for example), it is, it’s just nicely balanced out with some real meaty power metal.
Of course the musicianship from Herman Li and his bandmates is as breathtaking as ever and, when coupled with a production that allows the various components of this massive sound room to show off, it results in an absolutely gargantuan-sounding power metal album that fans of the band will absolutely lap up but, unsurprisingly, probably won’t convert the haters.
01. The Game
02. Tomorrow’s Kings
03. No More
04. Three Hammers
05. Symphony of the Night
06. The Sun Is Dead
08. Extraction Zone
09. City of Gold
10. Ring of Fire
11. Power and Glory (Special Edition Bonus Track)
12. You’re Not Alone (Special Edition Bonus Track)
13. Chemical Interference (Special Edition Bonus Track)
14. Fight to be Free (Special Edition Bonus Track)
15. Galactic Astro (Special Edition Bonus Track)
Run Time: 70:55
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Check out the song “The Game” (feat. Matt Heafy of Trivium)