Company: Metal Blade Release: 2014 Genre: Power Rating: 4 Reviewer: Greg Watson
Holds true to their ability to totally pull the rug out
So, as the new DragonForce came across my list, I realized that I had not listened to the band since the release of "Inhuman Rampage" and it's safe to say I was interested in checking out their new album, "Maximum Overload" to see what, if any, changes had taken place with the band. Right from the jump, I immediately noticed the "new to me" vocalist, Marc Hudson. As the opening notes of "The Game" kicked in, there was a sense of familiarity and yet newness that made its way through my ears. The first thing apparently clear to me is that Marc Hudson can wail (no disrespect ZP). Not only have the band really cut back on the long, almost annoyingly lengthy guitar solos but the songwriting has improved by leaps and bounds. Tracks like "Tomorrow's Kings", "Three Hammers" and "City of Gold" are all quality songs that you could hear any power metal band performing with gusto. "Defenders" blew me away with a very heavy thrash influence and Hudson's vocals reach sonic crescendos at times. A huge surprise was their version of "Ring of Fire". I am not a Johnny Cash fan at all (begin the chorus of boos and curses thrown my way) but hot damn this cover is just bad ass. Having matured, DragonForce have crafted an album that still holds true to their ability to totally pull the rug out with their sheer speed and precision. Herman Li and Sam Totman definitely need some respect for the things that they pull off on the guitar. "Maximum Overload" was a total game changer for me in this band's genesis.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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