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This is cool - 80%

Noktorn, September 2nd, 2008

There's very little music that I seriously can't handle to listen to for a long time. I can't listen to harsh noise for more than, say, 45 minutes at a time; my ears just can't handle the abuse for that long. One of the other things I can't listen to for a long time is Dragonforce. Listening to 'Inhuman Rampage' is like running a goddamn marathon for me. I have to take a nap after it's over.

Actually, maybe it's more akin to someone sitting you down in front of a massive bowl of delicious candy, saying that you can't get up until you're done eating every piece. It's wonderful for a while, particularly when you're hungry, delighting in each piece's sweet and flavorful fun. After about a third of the way into the bowl, though, you start to not want to eat candy anymore. But it's not really an option, is it? He's not OFFERING you all the candy you can eat, he's making DAMN WELL SURE you eat every piece. So you persist. The unwrapping of each candy becomes more laborious, your tongue becomes sore from the constant sugar's tastebud-bludgeoning hammer, and your stomach swells painfully as you pack more and more candy down your gullet. You keep eating, and it becomes more and more exquisitely painful with every piece. And after a while, you notice that you no longer taste sweetness, but just a hot, salty flavor. Do you know what you're tasting?

It's your tears. Your tears.

Okay, so I can't deny that I love Dragonforce. They are, like candy, delicious and sweet. I don't give a shit that they're uncreative and only have one song, because that one song is fantastic. They're incredibly fast, catchy, and fun to listen to alone or with friends. They're great driving music. They're INCREDIBLY shallow and disposable, but they are perhaps the best trash that metal has ever come up with. Most importantly, it's EXCITING music: it has a constantly driving intensity to it that really forces you to enjoy it. Constant melodic riffs and solos and soaring vocals over a bed of nonstop double bass and blast beats? Yeah, I'm game for that.

The real problem comes when I try to listen to a whole album. It's almost physically painful. I can handle 25 minutes, maybe a half hour of this insanely melodic, hyperspeed power metal before my brain just shuts down. It's just too much. For some reason I can listen to hours of brutal death, grind, or ultra-raw black metal, but for some reason, this little band is somehow too much for me. Maybe it's just the number of notes is too much for my primitive, slam-oriented brain to handle and were it only that Dragonforce had more breakdowns I'd be able to get through a whole album. But as it stands, I'm put into a coma for six months when I listen to the whole thing, which is really quite a terrible thing.

That being said, those first 25 or 30 minutes are pretty divine. Dragonforce is one of those bands which really does make me overtly cheerful and want to play air guitar. The music is pop in metal drag, obviously, but it's stunningly well composed pop that never gets boring or trite. I'd imagine they're a fantastic band live, and that hearing this while surrounded by thousands of other equally nerdy individuals is a lot like visiting Mecca. But it's almost as good all alone in your room and does make you feel like you can jump over a mountain using your cock as a pogo stick. In short, it's heroic and catchy and perhaps some of the best pop music out there today. I love it.

It's the sort of thing where you almost appreciate its shallowness. It's music that will not stand the test of time, but it's not meant to. It's an outburst of flamboyantly cheerful youthful enthusiasm, and while you could criticize it for that very reason, the band really sees that outpouring of feeling as reason enough to make its music. It's decidedly immature and decidedly inartistic, but perhaps the willingness to abandon more erudite values is what makes it so charming. You can find worth in a lot of things, you know. Because the fact is, though it has no value, we all demand a little candy at one point or another.