DragonForce - The Power Within review
|Album:||The Power Within|
|Release date:||April 2012|
01. Holding On
02. Fallen World
03. Cry Thunder
04. Give Me The Night
05. Wings Of Liberty
07. Heart Of The Storm
08. Die By The Sword
09. Last Man Stands
10. Seasons [acoustic version]
11. Cry Thunder [Live rehearsal] [digital edition bonus]
12. Heart Of The Storm [alternative chorus version] [digital edition bonus]
13. Avant La Tempête [digital edition bonus]
DragonForce are one of those bands who everyone seems to know about, yet next to no one admits to like. I'll admit, before The Power Within was released, I was in this group: Inhuman Rampage bored me to death and I didn't want to touch anything else they'd released because I'd heard that there wasn't a lot of variety in them. As such, I was prepared to dismiss this album, which wasn't helped by "Fallen World" sounding so much like a typical DragonForce song that I barely noticed the new singer. And then "Cry Thunder" was released...well, that changed everything, as I genuinely loved that song and made me eager to get it. Now I have this album, I have to say that I'm very glad that I got it, as it's very good: in fact, I would be prepared to argue that it is one of the best power metal releases for 2012.
First of all, I have to start by mentioning the new singer, Marc Hudson, since he's the guy most people are wondering about. I'll admit, when I heard DragonForce had a new lead singer, I was expecting a ZP Theart clone, but I was genuinely impressed by him: he gives DragonForce a slightly more metal edge due to his deeper voice and use of falsetto screams a la US power metal, but doesn't sacrifice their power metal sound enough to lose European power metal fans. Whether he'll be able to pull off ZP Theart's songs is the only question I have, but I doubt that DragonForce would have chosen him if he couldn't. The rest of the band do their usual thing, so don't expect too many surprises here.
The music sounds like typical DragonForce at times, but they've genuinely tried to write music that sounds different from their usual stuff and, on quite a few instances, it works beautifully: "Cry Thunder", for example, sounds more like a pirate themed song reminiscent of Alestorm (although the lyrics are typical DragonForce), while "Seasons" sounds different enough from typical DragonForce that you'd be forgiven for thinking another band had written it, due to the serious subject matter. My personal favourite song from the album, "Last Man Stands", is also a serious song (the second verse mentions "nations fearful of global decay" and "fight[ing] for the future of our generation"), but it has enough fantasy elements to it that you could potentially apply the message of the song to other things. There are a few songs where it doesn't work as well as the others, but they are still good enough for this to not be a serious problem.
There's also some good news for people who hated DragonForce for their habit of never writing songs shorter than five minutes: only one song is noticeably more than five minutes, which really helps to improve the songs, as they now don't sound like they've been stretched to breaking point (not to mention you can actually appreciate the solos because they don't get long enough for you to need a coffee while waiting for them to finish).
Don't be deceived by the crappy album cover, this is an incredibly solid album that anyone who is a fan of power metal should check out.
|Ah Dragonforce, the band that gets pulverized with so much flak you'd think they're modern day Metallica... Or Anal Cunt during any period of recording. Dragonforce were actually the first band I listened to on my own initiative, and because of that, I've always had a soft spot for them, but suffice it to say, I'm well aware that most metalheads you'll ask don't like them. Will this album change their minds? Maybe. It's refreshing, but still definitely Dragonforce.
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