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Not great, not terrible - 80%

ijy10152, April 22nd, 2012

This album is Dragonforce's first with their new singer, Marc Hudson, and that shows through very clearly. But first let me say that while Dragonforce is not an amazing band, they're not bad either. They are a very technically-skilled band and are only too willing to show that off. I have always enjoyed the catchiness of their music and even though that element was less present in Inhuman Rampage, that album had a different element present which people fail to realize (it's still their worst album so far). It was incredibly epic and had some really, really good (skill-wise) playing on it. They went back to their better Sonic Firestorm days with Ultra Beatdown, slowing down a bit and really adding some melodic elements into their music and I really like that side of Dragonforce; the one that still shows off, but also shows restraint when necessary (unlike Inhuman Rampage).

This album is a slight step backwards, not towards Inhuman Rampage, but towards something different and completely new for Dragonforce. The songs aren't nearly as long which was actually a disappointment for me because I rather enjoyed their previous longer songs with amazing guitar solos. But I do think that this has shown a maturing in the band. While there are still some really cool solos, but they're not nearly as long, which was kind of Dragonforce's trademark. In some places this album has much of the "old Dragonforce" with songs like Give me the Dark, Heart of the Storm, and Die by the Sword. The new Dragonforce is more prevalent in Wings of Liberty, Cry Thunder, and Seasons and I really do like everything on this album, but the problem is that I don't really love any of it. You can tell that with the new singer Dragonforce wanted to do something different, but they also wanted to play it safe and not do anything out of the box. This album is very safe and very average. I do like Marc's voice, but I think they really could have done more with it. There really aren't very many of the high soaring vocals evident in previous Dragonforce works and a lot more just straight singing that make the vocals kind of boring. But the drums and bass really get an upgrade in the album with the drummer really getting to show off his true talent with a lot more complex and varied drum beats. The bass plays a much bigger part in this than in the last album and really more than ever before. I mean you can really hear it and tell it apart from the rest of the instruments.

All in all, this is a very solid effort with a chance for each instrument to shine. Personally, I thought the vocals didn't really make enough of an impact and there wasn't quite as much soloing as I was expecting from Dragonforce, but this is still very Dragonforce with some very noticeable changes. I hope that Marc really does more with his voice in their next album and that they include maybe another song or two going over 7 minutes. The highlights from this album are Give Me the Night, Cry Thunder, Seasons, and Last Man Standing.