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Inhuman Rampage - 85%

The Clansman 95, June 14th, 2018

Inhuman Rampage is the third album by English power metallers DragonForce. The album was propelled by succesful single "Through the Fire and Flames", a song included in the popular video game "Guitar Hero III". The album went gold in the UK and in the USA and topped the US Hit charts, becoming the first power metal album to achieve such status in the US..

This album shows an increased keyboard presence compared to its two predecessors (although the soloing is less prominent than in "Sonic Firestorm"), some screamed backing vocals and an even higher level of virtuosities by the guitar duo Herman Li/ Sam Totman, that provides an incredible amount of solos and shredding. The musical style of the album is distingished by aggressive and extremely fast riffs, prominent and outstanding dual guitar harmonies and pressing yet catchy and breathtaking vocals that mantain the pace extremely fast throughout the entire album, with the sole exception of the final ballad "Trail of Broken Hearts". The rhythm section is extremely fast and features typical extreme metal grooves such as the blast beat; the double-bass is a costant for the entire duration of the album. The eight tracks (nine if you own the Special Edition) feature excellent melodies and choruses and incredibly technical (yet somehow definitely self-indulgent) solos, but they can grow a bit repetitive due to the similar structure of most of the songs, many of them including similar formulas, like instrumental bridges that although being really catchy may grow to sound a bit similar to each other the more you listen to the album. Another possible flaw of the CD may be the fact that almost all the tracks pass the 6 minutes mark, and then they can result a bit tiring to listen to if you're not exactly into the band, or even if you're looking for a bit more variety. Furthermore, the bass is almost completely lost in the mix, save a couple lead slaps here and there, and that's a shame considering the technical ability of bassist Adrian Lambert; a wasted occasion to add more variations and original musical solutons to the songs.

The opener "Through the Fire and Flames" (the band's most well-known song) brings the album right into action, closely followed by "Revolution Deathsquad" (one of my favourite tracks, featuring an extremely long solo session) and the furious "Storming the Burning Fields". Three songs make use of the seven strings guitar: "Revolution Deathsquad", "Storming the Burning Fileds" and "The Flame of Youth". ZP's performance is really excellent in each song, but we have to notice the fact that they used a lot of effects to make his voice sound even cooler.

"Inhuman Rampage" is a solid, entertaining and enjoyable album, presenting some minor flaws, mainly amenable to the lack of variation and the self-indulgence of the musicians, often just willing to showcase their insane playing skills; nonetheless, I recommend it to every power metal and speed metal aficionado, being ultimately catchy and memorable when compared to the rest of the power metal world.