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DragonForce - 2008 - 95%

BehemothNZ, August 26th, 2008

We all know that power metal isn’t exactly the most creative of musical genres but DragonForce have definitely tried their hardest to make ‘Ultra Beatdown’ different from the rest.

The album starts off with the signature styled Dragonforce guitar work with Heroes of Our Time (which is probably the best power metal song is year), but what makes this album different than previous releases is that there are more slow segments shown on such songs as Heartbreak Armageddon and Reasons to Live, which gives the album more variation and almost at times feels progressive which is a really smart move for this band. Speaking of Reasons to Live, DragonForce are known for their fast drumming with Dave Mackintosh, formerly of Bal-Sagoth, but this song has black metal styled blast beats that are defiantly reminiscent of his past work and makes the phrase “extreme power metal” much, much more believable.

If I could sum this album up in two words it would probably be “epic” and “catchy”. The epic would come from the vocal and keyboards. ZP has outdone himself on this album with more backing vocals as well as the layering and Falsetto work that ZP is known for. As for the keys, they are far more prominent which serves as a good thing production wise. The lyrics are mainly focused on uplifting themes and overcoming evil which are a positive thing, quite different form their previous works which focus on Armageddon and dark themes.

As for the name of the album, can’t say I’m a big fan of it but it does well with the music and gaming themes they are known for, which is a bonus.

Anyone who is lucky enough to pick up the special edition of ultra beatdown will get 2 extra songs and a D.V.D containing the making of the album and the making of Herman Li’s signature Ibanez E-Gen guitar which is definitely a bonus.

I definitely recommend this album to anyone interested in power metal or of course DragonForce.