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Dragonforce - Inhuman Rampage Review

by Mark Hensch

The year was 2003. It was a particularly biting winter, and all that year I spent a lot of time typing newspaper articles for my school's newspaper inside a computer lab, surfing soundclick.com for new bands to hear. The days kind of blended together in a haze, and one equally bland, monotonous day everything was jarred into focus by a band my friend told me to check out. They were a tiny power metal act from Great Britain, and upon hearing their thundering riffs and incredible speed, something about my perceptions of power metal were changed forever.

Dragonforce really are a band who alter perceptions. And this album, their latest full-length, is one of those albums I feel someday will be spoken of with a particularly strong sort of reverence. Why? At the end of the day, it is an Inhuman Rampage indeed; without any hesitation I can say this is some of the fastest metal I have heard in any genre, maybe even the absolute marker of human speed and technical ability. The multi-cultural outfit features members from all over the globe, has stormed Europe with insane album sales, and will soon conquer the USA with a slot on Ozzfest of all things. Labeling themselves "extreme power metal," this is the most utterly jaw-dropping shredding you're likely to hear in the near future.

Take opener "Through the Fire and the Flames" for example. Kicking off with a Spanish-sounding clean passage of frightening talent, what next drops is blistering riffing so violently fast it might peel paint. ZP Theart's vocals kick in with soaring grace, and before you know random keyboard flourishes crop their head creating what sounds like Iron Maiden brawling Children of Bodom in fast forward with Judas Priest watching intently. "Revolution Deathsquad" is a slicing knife of razor-sharp, brilliantly melodic speed power metal with an excellent prolonged bridge of guitar fireworks and freakish, space-y keyboard washes. A headbanging metal riff so solid it is deadweight plops down somewhere in there too, and this is one of the best song on this marvelous disc. A match lights and "Storming the Burning Fields" lets a few crazy notes waver before going blitzkrieg on your stunned senses with some surprisingly flashy hooks that pound like gale-force winds. "Operation Ground and Pound" lets the band stretch into a more relaxed, traditional symphonic intro. The leads here are haymakers indeed, and some of the fretwork is so melting you'd think that the guitars would eventually collapse into smoldering ashes. "Body Breakdown" has a weird industrial tinged introduction that soon cascades into warp-speed, blasting power metal. The glittering majesty of "Cry for Eternity" makes this one of the most epic, grandiose tracks on the entire disc....that slowly climaxing drum roll and keyboard hum exploding into vicious Maiden on crack shredding. "The Flame of Youth" gallops into melodic grandeur and technical prowess before blasting listeners with a barnstorming piece of purist heavy metal played faster than any other band previous. "Trail of Broken Hearts" is actually the only song on here that I have trouble truly enjoying, though it is by no means not that bad. The song is a moody, piano-drenched ballad with some restrained power metal behind it. It really shows off Theart's amazing voice, the man has some very powerful vocal chords. Maybe the slower nature of this song makes it a sore thumb on the album proper (which is full of incredibly speedy tracks), but the more times I spin this the more it grows on me...maybe someday I'll even love it like the majority of this CD's other songs.

Regardless, Dragonforce have really upped the ante of what it means to be fast, technical, and rocking heavy metal on Inhuman Rampage. I'd dare go so far as to call this one of the most utterly unhinged speed freaks I've ever heard committed to tape. These guys are destined for huge things, but only if you manage to catch a glimpse of them blazing by you in a fireball of unholy lightning. Highly, highly recommended.

Track Listing
1. Through the Fire and the Flames
2. Revolution Deathsquad
3. Storming the Burning Fields
4. Operation Ground and Pound
5. Body Breakdown
6. Cry for Eternity
7. The Flame of Youth
8. Trail of Broken Hearts

CD Info and Links

Dragonforce - Inhuman Rampage

Rating:10 (A Thrashpit first)

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The Pit Your turn to get in the pit with your thoughts about this review and CD

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What do you think ?:

Posted by stuart:
Aw, I don't know. I prefer the old speed-metal bands like Winger and Nelson.

Posted by Fiddz:
Screw Avenged Sevenfold you goof, but i think Dragonforce has been sped-up in the recording studio and on the video, i think they picked up the tempo.

Maybe if i saw them play that fast live i would REALLY like them

The vocalist sucks though

Posted by lordwhite:
baphomet i just wanted to say avenged sevenfold...... is a fag-band

Posted by Lord Baphomet:
its good, i think people get hung up on the shredding. Yes it is amazing, however i think it takes away at times. i dont know, by the end of the cd i feel burnt out. i like the avenged sevenfold cd better.

Posted by mop:

Posted by mushroom:
dragonforce are an amazing band that are incredable and all my friends think the same there my favourite band but if not for my friends i wouldnt hav nown about them

Posted by Mark:
Thanks for your support aG, you the man!

Posted by aG:
Mark, how can you give this CD a 10? I mean this one goes to 11, now doesn't it! Seriously, great write-up and kick ass job on this site. Loving the new Pit!


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