DragonForce: Maximum Overload Nov 12, 2014 23:50:07 GMT
Post by Admin on Nov 12, 2014 23:50:07 GMT
There’s a moment in the video for “Through the Fire and Flames”, the 2006 Guitar Hero-fueled hit from English power metal group DragonForce, that broadcasts loud and clear what this band will never be. As guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman trade laser-perfect guitar solos, complete with a pop-up window that gives us close-ups of their acrobatic fretwork, Totman uses his downtime to methodically chug a beer.
It’s an attempt to ground the band in the same punk-influenced, lunchpail ethos as its heroes in Iron Maiden. But it only belies the clinical nature of DragonForce’s approach. This group doesn’t perform. It executes. It makes metal songs that sound like metal objects. If Totman actually did have a few pints before ripping that solo, any trace of human error most definitely saw the cutting room floor.
Yet in a way, you can’t help but root for these guys. While its sixth album, Maximum Overload, makes good on its title—stuffing 10 tracks with as many flawlessly played, Maiden-meets-Mario Kart guitar showcases as they’ll hold—it also contains a shimmer of that Steve Harris magic, where the preposterous becomes the triumphant, and you’re reminded that melodrama is an art form. “Three Hammers” is the band at its best, with vocalist Marc Hudson (his second album after taking over for original singer ZP Theart) lustily belting out a tale of three “guardians of light” who lead a kingdom against something evil so things can get back to normal and “the dragons will rise once again”. The music is appropriately over the top, with a solemn, finger-picked intro and plenty of choral synth patches. Storytelling problems like whether or not protagonists are actually the villains—what kingdom would want the dragons back?—just make the listening experience that much more fun.
"We called it 'Maximum Overload' because it kind of describes the music and what's going on there," Marc told Rock Made Of Metal. "There's so much technical guitar playing and technical stuff thrown in there, vocals and everything, so we just thought 'maximum overload' kind of encompassed the whole thing of how ballistic we were getting on the album." He continued: "It's a really diverse album. There's lots of new influences in there. We've got a producer, Jens Bogren, who's been helping us with it, so he's brought some extra stuff to the table and Fred's [bassist Frédéric Leclercq] been doing some more songwriting. It seems to be getting very well received, so we're very happy."
"Maximum Overload" was released on standard CD, standard digital version, special edition CD with five bonus tracks and a bonus DVD, special edition digital version (same bonus material as special edition CD), and vinyl. The effort features a couple of surprises, notably a guest appearance on some of the songs from TRIVIUM's Matt Heafy.