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Dragonforce is one of the most criticized names in the whole metal, probably because of their fame achieving by Guitar Hero means or because of a few awful live presentations they did on 2006-2007. Now, 'Sonic Firestorm' was before both of this events, and it was also the beginning of what they would call "extreme power metal", mainly because of the arrival of their (back in the day) new drummer, Dave Mackintosh. Dragonforce changed their style and the whole style of a genre into a new deal with this album, 'Sonic Firestorm'.
The album's main focus is on speed. Guitar riffs are extremelly fast, with a known formula of "power chord, root-riff, power chord" that works perfectly for them in all cases throughout the album. Mostly, in Dragonforce the bass cannot be heard, or at least in their third releae, 'Inhuman Rampage'. This is not the same case. Adrian Lambert does an excellent job backing up, standing out preciselly and accuratelly everywhere. Vadim Pruzhanov also does an amazing job in here. 'Valley of the Damned' lacked one thing, and that is the exact reason for it not to be as good as 'Sonic Firestorm'. That "thing" is keyboard solos. This album has keyboard solos in almost every song, and not whimpy keyboard solos, but really amazing stuff. "Soldiers of the Wasteland" has maybe the best solos I've ever heard by Dragonforce, considering the impressive solos they do, this tells a lot. Well, "Soldiers of the Wasteland" is not considered their best song because it just is, right? Drumming is what makes this album a new Dragonforce. Dave Mackintosh arrives the band and imposes a new sound, giving the "extreme" to the "power metal". Fast double-bass drumming, blastbeats and quick rhythms are the base of this.
I consider this to be the best of all Dragonforce albums because it has the most original sound, mixing the melodies amazing melodies from 'Valley of the Damned' with the extreme speed of the back then unreleased 'Inhuman Rampage', ZP's still then young vocals singing possibly the only Dragonforce lyrics that make sense, and of course, Li and Totman shredding the guitars up until your ears bleed.
If you seek the origin of the sound Dragonforce has eventually accomplished with senseful lyrics, amazing solos, exteme speed and nice sounding, this is specially for you. I believe that if you are a Dragonforce hater and you listen to this, you will stop hating them, this is just way to amazing to possibly hate the band.
Highlights: "My Spirit Will Go On", "Fury of the Storm", "Fields of Despair", "Once in a Lifetime", "Soldiers of The Wasteland", "Above the Winter Moonlight".