DragonForce have released their latest album called Reaching into Infinity. Released on the 19th of May, Reaching into Infinity is the English (in origin) power metal bands 7th studio album. Reaching into Infinity was released via earMusic and will be the band’s 7th studio album overall. It will also be the DragonForce’s 3rd studio album since long time vocalist ZP Theart left to join Skid Row and was replaced by Marc Hudson.
DragonForce have released a new single from that album already, called Judgement Day. I wasn’t a big fan of it. Essentially it reminded me of all the things that I don’t like about DragonForce. It was predictable, over produced, synth heavy and remarkably similar to other songs by them. Despite how that sounds I don’t hate DragonForce – I like quite a few of their tracks actually. I just found over the years that for every good one, there were 4 or 5 bad ones and I stopped listening. I came back to them for the new single and was utterly disappointed with how little had changed over the years.
DragonForce formed in 1999 and only 2 of the original members now remain in guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman. They, and Marc, are joined by Vadim Pruzhanov who looks after keys, synth, keytar and backing vocals. On drums we have Gee Anzalone and on bass it is Frédéric Leclercq (also guitarist for death metal group Sinsaenum).
Reaching into Infinity has 11 tracks on it and is around an hour long. Unfortunately it doesn’t really do much for me and feels like “just another DragonForce record” for large parts of it. It starts with a little instrumental intro which is fine and leads nicely into the first proper track, Ashes of the Dawn. This is one of the songs on the album I like a lot. It really captures the whole power metal vibe with loads of great ascending guitar leads and solos. It almost feels a little restrained. More focus on the song as a whole then showing off on the guitars and it benefits from it.
Songs like Judgement Day, Astral Empire and Land of Shattered Dreams sound like most other DragonForce songs ever. Lots of soloing, some really cool guitar leads but a boring song.
The song Silence is a ballad which seems out of place on the album despite having passionate vocals from Marc. There is a track called War! which is fast and frenetic, more like a thrash song really which I want to like but it has terrible lyrics. Seriously cheesy like “War. Now this is war. Straight from the core.” The drums are great in this song though.
Midnight Madness is one of the other success on the album. It again captures the big, epic feel of power metal and has a huge chorus and soaring guitar solos. That track precedes War though so the happiness is quickly sucked away again.
For all my complaining, DragonForce do actually attempt to do a few things differently here and there. The Edge of the World has an example of that with a short section bordering on death metal. Harsh vocals and everything. I like it but this track is 11 minutes long and most of it is boring. It feels like 2 or 3 tracks stuck together and is just too long. I would like to see them touch on this heavier side again though. It works.
That is pretty ,much how the album goes. A highly polished, very produced DragonForce record. It has a couple really good tracks on it. There are moments on a lot of the other tracks that are intriguing. There are a load of solos, some that are excellent despite the tracks they are on not always being the same. The vocals are mostly fine though sound a bit off on one or two tracks, namely War and Curse of Darkness. The drumming is solid throughout though the bass is often hidden behind the soaring guitars and high pitch vocals.
If you are a die hard DragonForce fan, this will be perfect for you because it is exactly what you would expect. Anyone who isn’t too sure about previous albums, this is no different really. It isn’t likely to change your mind.
Like an overly made-up super model, Reaching into Infinity has loads of glitz and glamour but very little substance.
You can pick it up for yourself from the links below. Be sure to check the band out on Facebook and Twitter as well. Make sure you give them a like or follow to keep up to date with news from the band.
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Reaching into Infinity by Dragonforce (earMusic)
The Final Score - 4/10