Dragonforce – Extreme Power Metal (Metal Blade)Wednesday, 25th September 2019
While Dragonforce might still be known to many for ‘that one song,’ they’ve nonetheless maintained a pretty consistently strong track record, particularly after Marc Hudson jumped aboard. With Extreme Power Metal being a bit of a statement as the band’s eighth album (and the most accurate depiction of them over the years), it’s clear that the band is having an excellent time. And so will anyone who gives it a listen.
Dragonforce have really managed to nestle into their over-the-top antics and sense of fun with Extreme Power Metal, and it is infectious. The tracklisting, start to finish, is probably the best that the band has come up with to date, and while it’s nothing they haven’t done before, it’s utterly fun and entertaining. There’s not a track to be had where you won’t be tempted to sing-a-long with the glowing and epic choruses, or grin as the band does as they do with hyperspeed soloing and blazing melodies. It’s all done up to eleven compared to normal, and their ‘retro-feel’ that accompanies it (more than the usual that is), gives it an even more playful tone. The retro vibes really sync up well with what the band is striving to do. The triumphant tones of “In a Skyforged Dream” have that bouncy, video game-y feel they’ve built themselves up on, but some tracks like “Highway to Oblivion” and “Heart Demolition” push that ‘80s-esque cheesiness and fun with their tone before the guitars accelerate and erupt off. The last track, a cover of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” begins in 8-bit tones before hopping off into breakneck speed in Dragonforce style. It couldn’t be a better fit to be honest, and closes the album perfectly.
Extreme Power Metal is without a doubt the strongest collection of Dragonforce material so far. It ratchets everything up a notch, from the soaring vocal choruses to the thrilling high-speed riffage and over-the-top solos, while injecting even more fun into the mix. An absolute win if you’ve enjoyed the band in the past.