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DragonForce > Doomsday Party > Reviews
DragonForce - Doomsday Party

Cheesy Goodness - 95%

LtLemonade, February 28th, 2024

This song is very controversial. People called this song "The Worst Dragonforce Song Ever" which should be reserved for WAR! or maybe A Flame For Freedom. This song may or may not be the St Anger of Dragonforce. But honestly, it's really good.

For some people, this song confirmed their worst fears about Dragonforce being signed to Napalm Records, due to how overly cheesy it was, and I can see that. The music video has the band members parodying a bunch of different aspects of metal. Marc Hudson is dressed as a nu-metal singer with braided hair and a Nike jacket (although he's lacking a red hat or douche-y lyrics about his daddy issues). Herman Li is dressed like KISS or some other glam metal equivalent, with his face painted black and white. Gee Anzalone is dressed like a viking, and is even playing his drums with giant hammers at one point in the video, which was honestly pretty funny. Alicia Vigil is dressed in a jean jacket, and is supposed to be some sort of thrash metal. Sam Totman is dressed like an emo, with black hair, a Black Veil Brides shirt, and makeup. He honestly looks kinda hot, which is the only time I'll ever be able to say that about a 50 year old alcoholic with an Australian accent. He's even playing a Synyster Gates type guitar, and he shreds it really well. The video ends with a synchronized dance sequence, which probably elevated the fears of people. But the song is good nonetheless.

The song itself is catchy as hell, and I'm pretty sure Sam wrote this one. I was watching the music video for this song as Dragonforce premiered it on their YouTube channel, and before the song was even halfway over, I was singing "It's a Doomsday Party at the old town hall". The lyrics of the song are somewhat interesting, reminding me of people just having fun as the world comes crashing down. This may or may not be a metaphor for how the band is tired of pretending to be serious, and are just having fun. But as long as they're still making good songs, I'm ok with it. I don't think I'd want an entire album like this song, but thankfully the other songs from this album are a little more serious. A little cheese every so often isn't too bad, as long as you're not just being cheesy for the sake of being cheesy *cough cough Victorius*.

Many people have compared this song to bands like Beast In Black due to the cheesy 80's-ness of it, and the synths and drum sounds. In fact, this song actually led me to learn about Beast In Black, which I can now say is one of my favorite metal bands. They also compared it to Disco Metal by Nanowar Of Steel, and Pirate PARTY by Alestorm due to the fact that both of these guys are also signed with Napalm Records. This is the first song with Alicia Vigil on bass, and I can honestly say she sounds really good. Her bass playing is audible and mixes really well with the song. There's even a short piano sequence after the solos, which made me miss Vadim even more, and made me wish that Marc would actually bring Shaz D into the band, since he hit it out of the park on Starbound Stories.

This song may not be everyone's favorite, but I like it for what it is, and at the end of the day, it's catchy enough for the live shows. So it's a decent song.

Napalm Records Ruins Yet Another Great Band - 53%

Mr Matt, September 18th, 2023
Written based on this version: 2023, Digital, Napalm Records

I was delighted to see Hammerfall leave Napalm Records, but my joy was short-lived when I later saw that Dragonforce had signed onto it. For the sake of set-up and for those who may not know, Napalm Records is responsible for much of the bland/mediocre, overly goofy, borderline farce that passes for power metal today. They seem to think that power metal is just some dumb joke and all you need to make it is some juggling of cliches and your last DnD session and as a result, most of what they put out just isn't good, even if they're working with otherwise incredible bands. If all you know about the sub-genre comes from humorous "How to make power metal" videos (not that I'm against those, see my disclaimer later on), then I guess you would think that's all you need, and it would seem someone over at Napalm has done just that (either that or they found out it makes for a good money tree). If you think it's just a stupid thing, I can't stop you. But forgive me for caring about something I've been invested in my whole life and have dedicated countless, often painful hours to learn how to play. It takes more than cliches, memes, and ironic self-deprecating humor to make good music, let alone good metal music. Normally I would say, "Looking at you, Sabaton." but now, in light of this new single, I must say that also to my all-time favorite metal band: Dragonforce.

I'm sure you can see where I'm going here. And so, before I go on, allow me to give a massive disclaimer: I am not against humor in metal music. I think it's good to lighten the mood, especially on-stage, and to not take yourself too seriously. There's plenty of good jokes to be made and I would be a liar if I said I don't enjoy them. Problems arise in my eyes, however, when the jokes are at the forefront and when elements of metal music are sacrificed to make way for pop-music influences in order to appeal to 'the masses'. They're far from the only or worst offender but it's still sad, nonetheless.

The fact is that "Doomsday Party" is not the Dragonforce we all know. No, it's not because it's a slower song compared to what they're mostly known for. It's just the next generic power metal song made with the Napalm Records formula: dumbed down, clad in annoying and overwhelming 80's synth riffs and endless triplets in order to appeal to casual listeners and non-metal fans. For any non-musicians that may be reading this, it's that rhythm that goes, "dun-dugga-dun-dugga-dun-", etc. (sorry Samus, I know it's called a herta but everyone still calls and knows them 'triplets'). Make no mistake, this was a song Dragonforce was pressured by Napalm to make, and I mostly blame the label. I have a hard time believing Dragonforce would make a song like "Doomsday Party" on their own accord. It comes off as very disingenuous. This, along with the latest releases from the likes of Sabaton, Beast In Black, Nightwish, Brothers of Metal, Gloryhammer, and Powerwolf is less heavy metal with pop influences (which can be done right, I would argue) and more of pop music with distorted guitars. (I know not all of those bands are signed to Napalm, but they're doing the same thing.) It's clearly a profit-over-art approach and people can notice that, especially here in heavy metal where one of the biggest selling points has always been that we always strive to stay 'true' and a step-up from whatever else is out there.

This same thing happened with Hammerfall, another one of my favorite power metal bands, who I mentioned at the beginning, while they were signed to Napalm. The title track of their latest album, "Hammer of Dawn", a song Napalm pressured them to do no doubt, is put to the same formula, dumbed down, made up of mostly triplets (hertas) featuring the most mindless jumbling of Hammerfall jargon which had to have come from AI. Except in this case, I suspect Hammerfall was having no more of it because the rest of the album is actually really good and a great contrast compared to the title track and they left Napalm Records and re-signed with their long-time label, Nuclear Blast, earlier this year. (Not that they're angels but they are a step up from Napalm.) Let us hope Dragonforce will have the same sense.

For all my criticisms of Dragonforce's new release, I really don't like being critical. I don't want them to make bad music and I certainly don't want them to be disliked. They've expressed in a comment section on their new single (paraphrasing) that they could never win, that if they release a song similar to what they've always done they'll get, "It just sounds the same" and if they do something different they'll get, "How dare they do something different!" I'm sure that's always frustrating, but I would point out that those who say everything sounds the same are those who don't listen to Dragonforce, but instead heard them once and decided it wasn't their cup of tea, whereas people who do like it, such as myself, will see all their songs as distinct. Some have said for a long time that all AC/DC songs sound the same, but in the minds of those who do like them they know the distinctions. Those who don't like seeing the direction Dragonforce is going, however, ARE those who listen to Dragonforce and the fact is the opinion(s) of the fans matter because they write the band's paycheck. I don't listen to metal to laugh or to shock all my non-metalhead friends, I listen to it to... well... listen. It's not so much about whether you're funny or serious, but whether you have passion. And as much as it pains me to say, I do not feel the passion in "Doomsday Party" as I have felt in their previous works. I personally hope that the rest of the album isn't like this, like "Hammer of Dawn".

Overall, if metal is not what you listen to most of the time, then you'll probably like this. However, if metal is your thing, especially if you have strong preferences for the likes of Helloween, Twilightning, early Dark Moor, Gamma Ray, Rhapsody, etc., then you will probably not like it very much and be very sad.