Dragonforce – Reaching into Infinity (Metal Blade)Monday, 15th May 2017
There are some that like to take digs at Dragonforce, probably because they had broken into the mainstream attention with “Through the Fire and Flames,” but the simple fact is that they’ve soldiered on ever since that point – not content to simply refresh the formula. Particularly since 2012’s The Power Within, Dragonforce have been hungry, wanting to up the ante with each successive release.
That being said, Dragonforce have such an instantly identifiable sound that you’ll be hard-pressed not to know it as Dragonforce within the first few seconds. But the band uses that to their advantage, especially if you are expecting 11 variations on their patented full-speed ahead with drums a-blasting formula that got them ‘famous’ to begin with. Sure, a number of songs simply reek of ‘Dragonforce’ but it doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. Guitar maestros Herman Li and Sam Totman continue to fire off some stirring melodies at velocities that most bands don’t want to touch. “Judgement Day” and “Midnight Madness” are some of the strongest in that regard, possibly some of the best the band has penned. A few curveballs are tossed the listener’s way though, which work quite well. “The Edge of the World” is an epic, slow burning track that crafts some crisp melodies that build upto near-death metal bludgeoning, with vocalist Marc Hudson even providing some harsh shouts to accompany it. “War!” is a decidedly frantic and brutal assault that veers towards some thrash/punk tones while still employing Dragonforce styled guitar theatrics. Seek out the special edition and you’ll be treated to an absolutely frenetic version of Death’s “Evil Dead” that’s been successfully given the Dragonforce treatment.
Reaching into Infinity will satisfy the Dragonforce die-hards, but the unexpected turns into the more brutal and visceral may even attract some more extreme fans along the way. Come for the energetic and fun fist-raising anthems, but stay for the toe-dipping into even more relentless carnage that still manages to stays grounded in what Dragonforce does best.