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Really good, but.... - 80%

ijy10152, April 28th, 2012

This album is my favorite Dragonforce album. A lot of people hate the whole "really long songs, speed of light guitar work" thing, but personally I just think it's what they do. They have established their style and like them or not have definitely made a huge impact on the metal community. Dragonforce's plan is not to make you take them seriously, but to really enjoy their music and it's clear that they really enjoy it too, they just have so much fun with it and the energy is infectious. The style on this is basically streamlined from their first album and a little darker, while Valley of the Damned is all about glory and victory and dragons this one deals with the darker side of battle, the blood, death and destruction and the long marches home, but it also deals with hope.

The best songs on this album are My Spirit Will Go On, Fury of the Storm, Soldiers of the Wasteland and Above the Winter Moonlight. My Spirit will go on is especially loved by fans and is a live favorite, it's a fairly straightforward metal song with a really catchy chorus and some progressive elements thrown in towards the middle. The vocals on this album aside from the guitars (of course) are really the star of this album and this song especially. They kind of bridge the under produced sound of the first album and the overly layered and electronically filtered sound of the third album creating a really awesome sound and showing what a great vocalist ZP really is. Personally I rank him up there with Kotipelto and Kursch as one of the best metal singers of all time. I've heard people say they don't like his voice, but I really don't get why, he has an amazing voice, he can really nail those high notes and sings down low just as well and every note is crystal clear making for some really good vocal material. Fury of the Storm is another live favorite with another really good chorus and some crazy guitar playing that really shines in this song. Soldiers of the Wasteland is Dragonforce's first epic and first song to go over 7 minutes almost reaching the 10 minute mark. This song has everything an epic requires, sweeping vocals epic lyrics and some really good soloing, plus a slower section in the middle that really builds making the ending that much more exciting and again the epic vocals just make it so much more grand and awesome. Above the Winter Moonlight has my favorite chorus from this album and it really is awesome. The progressive part in the middle is also really good slowing things down a bit and building into a great ending, In fact this song could almost be mistaken for an epic as well. Now I do love every song on here, but it definitely has a bit of sameness throughout the whole thing. While most of the songs are unique, Fields of Despair and Prepare for war sound very similar and a lot of the guitar solos throughout sound kind of similar. Also as far as ballads go, Dawn over a New World is epic just as a power metal ballad should be, but it's just not that great, Starfire is much better.

All in all this is a very solid album and definitely the most solid album Dragonforce has released so far as well as the most catchy (that is until The Power Within).