DRAGONFORCE – Maximum Overload
The international extreme power metal act Dragonforce are back once again, ready to prove to the world that there is more to their style that shredding, speed, and dive bomb guitar maneuvers over the top of larger than life happy melodies. Their sixth studio album "Maximum Overload" is their second with latest vocalist Marc Hudson, and first for new recruit drummer Gee Anzalone. Of course the band never forsake their tried and true OTT numbers that made them a Guitar Hero favorite – check out the opener "The Game", the freewheel burning "Tomorrow’s Kings", and "Extraction Zone" if the past Dragonforce attack is what you desire.
Where they decide to expand their horizons so to speak is in more controllable arrangements that aren’t 200 BPM and filled with prolonged Li/Totman solo breaks. "Three Hammers" has a cultural riff appeal that is more in the classic Iron Maiden, Dio mold while "The Sun Is Dead" contains a lot of German power tricks and diversity in pacing (along with a stunning organ solo from Vadim Pruzhanov) that would appeal to those who love Iron Savior or Gamma Ray. The sextet want to prove to the metal community that it’s not just about gimmicks at this point- they want to develop a stable of songs that this generation can use as the soundtrack to their lives. Never mind their left field cover of the Johnny Cash classic "Ring of Fire" – heavier than ever, speed harmonies abound, and Marc’s melodies rising during the chorus to encourage a lot of audience sing a longs should they choose to perform this live.
10 songs in a tidy 49 minutes, Dragonforce may have taken a slight sideways turn for "Maximum Overload", but in the long run this could give them a healthy career boost. Because in any metal genre, if you are only a one trick pony in terms of attack, shred, repeat – it’s tough to gain more than a little bit of notoriety and fame. Applaud Dragonforce as this could be their best top to bottom studio record in their career.