Rating:
8.5
DragonForce - Maximum Overload
18 August 2014


01. The Game
02. Tomorrow King
03. No More
04. Three Hammers
05. Symphony Of The Night
06. The Sun Is Dead
07. Defenders
08. Extraction Zone
09. City Of Gold
10. Ring Of Fire [Johnny Cash cover]
11. Power and Glory [Special Edition bonus]
12. You're Not Alone [Special Edition bonus]
13. Chemical Interference [Special Edition bonus]
14. Fight to Be Free [Shadow Warriors cover] [Special Edition bonus]
15. Summer's End [Japanese bonus]
16. Galactic Astro Domination [Special Edition bonus]


Some wise guy in some forum recently said "Sure, DragonForce only has one song, but it's catchy as hell."

And never were words truer, since Maximum Overload, the band's sixth foray into their own fast world is tremendously catchy. Already after the very first listen, you'll find yourself humming every single melody in here, also thanks to some of those old DragonForce tricks, such as the guitars "singing" the chorus all over the track, bringing it back frequently and skilfully in different parts of the song. The old tricks, in general, still work great, like the dynamic yet predictable Li-Totman guitar duets, or those overused clichés like the "calm before the storm" before the last chorus. They still work. Therefore, the whole DragonForce thing still works.

Maximum Overload is a rather heavy album (for the band's standards, mind you), with no ballads and, as always, a huge influence of electronics, in the general sound but also with little background flourishes, noticeable only with a careful listen.

As the title states, the release is definitely Maximum, as the guys don't spare themselves some fun queerness (like the "instrumental" part in "Extraction Zone"; it is for posterity to judge if this was awesome or just awkward); but it's also Overload, since mammoth solos have made their comeback. Yup, the old DragonForce nemesis has been sleeping and thought dead throughout the whole of The Power Within, just to return now, even if not as disruptive as in the ZP years (coffee gag? seriously?).

This, though, doesn't affect the quality of the release, that demonstrates the good that hiring Marc Hudson has done to the band. Their sixth album will hardly buy DragonForce any new fans, since their musical horizon hasn't become any wider, but it'll surely be a tremendous pleasure for anybody who has ever liked the band throughout the years, having both the over-the-top ZP cheesiness and the relative seriousness regained thanks to Hudson.

DragonForce's luck is that, despite the fact that they've been more-or-less doing the same thing for more than a decade, they've been the only DragonForce around, the only band to manage to play this subgenre so comfortably to create itself a name that does not need anything more to say, both for fans and detractors. Together with the likes of other easily recognizable bands like Sabaton and such, they've been so influential that their style, like it or not, has become a solid trademark, and a testament to their career.



On a side note - do check out the "Ring Of Fire" cover. Personally, having grown up listening to Johnny Cash's and Social Distortion's versions of the song, hearing it DragonForce-ized was... strange. It was as awkward and awesome as if Firewind ever made a Flashdance cover. Oh wait…

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Production: 10


Band profile: DragonForce
Album: Maximum Overload


 



Written on 10.08.2014 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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Sword_Chant - 10.08.2014 at 18:31  
Good review and it's a good DF album. That said I thought The Power Within was possibly better. I don't think i'd give the production a 10... Maybe it's just me (or just the mp3s) but it sounds a lot lower in quality than the last album did. But I definitely agree with the 5 on originality and 9 for performance, as DF's musicianship (especially on the guitar solos) remains tight and dynamic.
R Lewis - 10.08.2014 at 18:41  
Written by Sword_Chant on 10.08.2014 at 18:31

Good review and it's a good DF album. That said I thought The Power Within was possibly better. I don't think i'd give the production a 10... Maybe it's just me (or just the mp3s) but it sounds a lot lower in quality than the last album did. But I definitely agree with the 5 on originality and 9 for performance, as DF's musicianship (especially on the guitar solos) remains tight and dynamic.

Dunno, my promo copy with decent headphones sounded crystal clear. Anyway, thanks!
Boxcar Willy - 10.08.2014 at 18:43  
Can we just all appreciate the fact that DragonForce covered a Johnny Cash song
R Lewis - 10.08.2014 at 19:24  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 10.08.2014 at 18:43

Can we just all appreciate the fact that DragonForce covered a Johnny Cash song

Wait til you hear "andIfellintoaburningringoffireeeee"
cossaisVendeurs - 10.08.2014 at 21:35  
Written by R Lewis on 10.08.2014 at 19:24

Written by Boxcar Willy on 10.08.2014 at 18:43

Can we just all appreciate the fact that DragonForce covered a Johnny Cash song

Wait til you hear "andIfellintoaburningringoffireeeee"



"SO FAR AWAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!"
BitterCOld - 10.08.2014 at 21:55  
Having also grown up with the Cash version and the Social D cover (saw them touring for that album) ... what a horrible waste of time. up there with Winger's Purple Haze as the most soulless cover of a song that had, well, soul.
Opethian - 11.08.2014 at 02:53  
Im not a fan but i love that art work. Listening to a track on YT. Sounds pretty solid. As always with this band. The guitars are pretty crazy fast haha.
Wes - 11.08.2014 at 18:29  
This album is quite good! most tracks have some really creative solos much like the last. I'd say the whole album is a really great listen. Loving it.
-Quatropus- - 11.08.2014 at 21:51  
I haven't been sold on the music that DF performs and this CD still doesn't. DF still remains to be considered "that one popular song on Guitar Hero that people tried to play".
R Lewis - 11.08.2014 at 22:05  
Come on, people. I can't feel the hate!
Sword_Chant - 11.08.2014 at 23:56  
I'm not sure what it is about The Power Within but I still think it's their best album by a long shot, maybe it's just that it wasn't quite as predictable. I have to say this album is growing on me though and I really do prefer the new singer to ZP, his vocals suit DragonForce well.
Wes - 12.08.2014 at 16:32  
Written by Sword_Chant on 11.08.2014 at 23:56

I'm not sure what it is about The Power Within but I still think it's their best album by a long shot, maybe it's just that it wasn't quite as predictable. I have to say this album is growing on me though and I really do prefer the new singer to ZP, his vocals suit DragonForce well.


I feel the same way. This singer and the last album really mark a new birth of the band. I was worried about this album from the tracks they streamed online Defenders and The Game, but the other tracks are classics in my opinion, the solos are smart and melodic like The Power Within. Growing on me fast too!
DreamingDesire - 12.08.2014 at 23:47  
Why do bands decide it is a good idea to fade out a song during a guitar solo?!? This always makes me mad

Though I did enjoy the album a lot, seems ZP really was the weak link!
Xyanade - 13.08.2014 at 11:05  
Written by DreamingDesire on 12.08.2014 at 23:47

Why do bands decide it is a good idea to fade out a song during a guitar solo?!? This always makes me mad

Though I did enjoy the album a lot, seems ZP really was the weak link!


Well TBH ZP wasn't bad at all, but I somewhat really enjoy these two albums without him.
tea[m]ster - 13.08.2014 at 19:20  
Anytime I see "DragonForce" I keep thinking GuitarHero. Thanks for the review..
DreamingDesire - 13.08.2014 at 20:34  
Written by Xyanade on 13.08.2014 at 11:05

Well TBH ZP wasn't bad at all, but I somewhat really enjoy these two albums without him.


I agree with you, I enjoyed Valley of the Damned, Sonic Firestorm and Inhuman Rampage but did not like Ultra Beatdown so much.
The Marc albums are great return to form and I actually think he suits the band well
The Shape 1973 - 15.08.2014 at 19:25  
Written by R Lewis on 11.08.2014 at 22:05

Come on, people. I can't feel the hate!

Looks like the DragonFarce label has been put to rest.
Ruchesko - 19.08.2014 at 04:26  
Bit surprised you made no comment of Matt Heafy's presence.
R Lewis - 19.08.2014 at 12:11  
Written by Ruchesko on 19.08.2014 at 04:26

Bit surprised you made no comment of Matt Heafy's presence.

There's not much to say. Pretty useless if you ask me.
Ruchesko - 19.08.2014 at 16:34  
Written by R Lewis on 19.08.2014 at 12:11

There's not much to say. Pretty useless if you ask me.

Ah, good to see we agree.
Cynic Metalhead - 19.08.2014 at 19:25  
Written by R Lewis on 19.08.2014 at 12:11

Written by Ruchesko on 19.08.2014 at 04:26

Bit surprised you made no comment of Matt Heafy's presence.

There's not much to say. Pretty useless if you ask me.


You got to give credit to him on new Trivium record(only if you've heard it). It turns out to be really good album.
Stunning Cactus - 20.08.2014 at 01:41  
"The Game" is my favorite thus far. I think I may just buy this album because it is so full of intense energy and really solid writing.
Luneth - 26.08.2014 at 14:20  
Hehe, what do you know, Dragonforce are making good music again. Still, I think it premature to suggest this album is better than Valley of the Damned. Having said that, certain songs on this album are terrific, others, bland and repetitive with forced solos. The Game, Tomorrow King and Symphony of the Night stand out most to me. The outro is an awesome touch

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