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Dragonforce: Maximum Overload
Dragonforce Maximum Overload CD Album Review

Dragonforce: Maximum Overload

Epic Power/Speed Metal
4.5/5.0

Basically, for Dragonforce the album title tells the tale, what lies within. So here's Maximum Overload, their sixth album of epic power metal. Call it what you will, pompous power metal, more bombastic and glorious speed metal hyperbole, but they're back. Buckle up dudes. It's going to be an intense fast ride.

Dragonforce Maximum Overload Photo

Dragonforce: maximum metalish.

The acceleration begins at the start with The Game, Tomorrow's Kings, and No More being power metal versions of a Japanese bullet train. Crazy fret flippery from guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman abound, soaring to dizzying heights of tempo and register, and allowing a lead guitar junkie to get a fine chubby. But those guitars are ubiquitous, as usual, across this album, as is the speed.

But not always so or, at least, not all the time in every song. Without boring you with details of every song (and there's a lot of them, 15 if you get the CD with the five bonus tracks) so as to give you a spoiler alert, consideration should be given to those songs that aren't F-16 flying at warp speed. Early, Three Hammers backs off on the speed at the start only to rev up midpoint. It's not the best example, but an example of where it starts. Better is Symphony of the Night with it's more typical power metal, glorious in it's groove, melody, harmony, and mixing of tempos, without negating those screaming solos or prominent moments of speed. Likewise is the bonus track You're Not Alone, where Dragonforce goes into anthem mode and the vocal arrangement soars as much as the guitars, wrapping it all in a moderate pace. Others, like Defenders and Extraction Zone has the small slower breakdowns within, perhaps to give you a breather. Although the first break in the latter song has some squeaky notes from either the guitar or Vadim Pruzhanov's keytar, not sure.

Fundamentally, every song goes ape shit crazy in a marathon of speed and heavy metal intensity (or insanity). I've always wondered how the lead vocalist can keep up. Some slight weirdness ensues with Dragonforce's cove of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, only because I still haven't wrapped my head around a Cash song done in a power metal. It certainly sounds like the classic song, just really freakin' fast. If he were alive, I think the Man in Black would just give the boys that wry little smile of his, along with a brief chuckle. Hey, it's all good. Maximum Overload is everything a heavy, power, and speed metal wonk could want, and there's a lot of it. It's just Dragonforce being Dragonforce, and you gotta love that. Easily recommended.


DragonForce - The Game (Official Video. Feat. Matt Heafy of Trivium)





CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

In Short

Maximum Overload is everything a heavy, power, and speed metal wonk could want, and there's a lot of it. It's just Dragonforce being Dragonforce, and you gotta love that. Easily recommended.

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