I first heard Dragonforce on their last album "Inhuman Rampage" late one Saturday night when Headbanger's Ball played their new single "Between The Fire And The Flames". I was impressed. It was kinda like Dream Theater on speed. The song flew by a breakneck speed, the vocals clear and soaring, the guitars, keyboards and drums played at imhumanly fast tempos, and oh yes, there was plenty of amazingly fast shredding guitar solo's. So of course I bought the album. That's when the disappointment set in. After six tracks I couldn't take it anymore. It was all the same. It sounded like a swarm of angry bees had flown into a video game arcade. The talent was there but these guys had no sense of writing a catchy riff. One or two tracks like this would be ok, but the entire album? I love extreme metal, power metal, black metal, metal period. But this was on the verge of being ridiculous.
So, why do you ask would I think their latest album would be any different? I have no idea. Especially when it's entitled "Ultra Beatdown". Maybe I wanted to give these guys a second chance and see if they could slow down and give me something to bang my head to and not dislocate my neck from my shoulders. To my dismay it's exactly what I feared (it's probably even worse), with the exception of one (count that, one) slow ballad. I bet guitarist Herman Li and co-guitarist Sam Totman were having speed withdrawals just waiting to get done with this song. I know that this is their gimmick, and what their fans want to hear, but I just can't get into it. It's a shame really, because as far as I am concerned, it's great musical talent gone to waste.
- Craig Harvey