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Oh, the controversy! - 89%

Savi, May 6th, 2007

This album is anthemic, extremely fast (as is expected from Dragonforce), and will fill your ears with plenty of uplifting sounds that will pump you up and make you want to go on an inhuman rampage of your own. It's obvious that I really like this album, so what I'll do for this review is pick apart the little things that I wasn't so happy with. This review is going to sound pretty negative, but only because I'm being picky. I have to be picky because it's Dragonforce, a band that is next to flawless. So if I reviewed them like I would any other band, I would be forced to go on and on about the truck loads of ass they kick, and the review would be boring. So instead of ranting and raving about how much I love them, I'll just discuss the more debated aspects of the album and some of the things that set it apart from their previous releases.

This album has a flawless production, but some of the techno-sounding keyboards and off-the-wall (and often needless) guitar sound effects take away from the epicness of it all. But on the bright side, at least it's probably the most intricate power metal album of all time. I think they made Rampage the way they did because they were tired of power metal albums all sounding the same, and using the same traditional power chords in every verse without much alteration. So they wanted to throw a bunch of curve balls at us with Rampage by adding so many elements that the other albums didn't have. So in a way, that's a beautiful thing. But I just think they didn't quite go about it the way I would have if I were them. Instead of adding a bunch of really weird guitar sounds and making the keyboards sound like something out of a techno song, they should have made it sound more like power metal, but just more complex. They did add some more thrash-like riffs in the verses to eliminate the monotony of the typical power metal riffing style, so that's good. But they kind of went a little overboard with the added sound effects, as I mentioned. Plus, their solos sound like they've been heavily polished in the studio. In other words, this album doesn't seem as raw as the last. It's been touched up similar to the way you would make an ugly person look good with Photoshop. I'm not saying they're horrible guitarists, but I wish they wouldn't tweek the sound too much in the studio. They should do it the old fashioned way, by playing the notes perfectly so that enhancing the sound isn't necessary. The album sounds almost too clean.

I just don't think it was really that necessary to try and make Rampage even more wild and crazy than the other albums. Especially since the other Dragonforce albums were a lot wilder than any other power metal albums to begin with. Dragonforce was already the fastest and most intense power metal band in the world right when they came out. They didn't need to take it one step further, since they were already ahead of the pack in the first place. But they decided to do it anyway, and that's where Inuman Rampage came in. Next time, I hope they just stick to the basics and play traditional power metal, but with a moderate increase in speed and aggressiveness, as they've done in their first two albums. They don't need to add any other elements to their music, just as long as they keep it fast and epic.

Most of the features of this album that I criticized don't really take much away from the whole. It's still a great album with tons of speed, intricacy, melody, and intensity. I'm just reviewing it in the wake of the two legendary albums before it, which forces me to make a much bigger deal about the few and minor negative aspects. By any other band's standards, this album would be a gem. By Dragonforce's standards, it's not bad. I reviewed this album with a keen sense of the band's high standards in songwriting and production value in years past, which is why the review for this album seemed a bit negative. But honestly, the album killed.

They're not sellouts. They're not being suckered into new ideas by their new label Roadrunner. Their minds haven't been warped by the dark side of the industry. They wrote most of the music for Inhuman Rampage while on tour for Sonic Firestorm anyway, before they became huge. Then it was released on Scarecrow Records before they even switched labels. This is the music they want to play. This is what they enjoy playing. Maybe they enjoy it too much, because they constantly get drunk on stage and fuck up the songs from time to time. But I'm not here to review their live shows. The point is, Dragonforce crushes poseurs and trend whores with the ferocity of a thousand boulders rushing down the side of an ice veiled mountain into the abominable tundra of the frozen wastelands below. In other words, the only thing to fear is fear itself. But fear itself fears Dragonforce.