For many years now Power Metal has proved to be a genre that has divided the metal community. Whether it’s from the uplifting tone of the music to the lyrical standpoint, it’s certainly had its fair share of criticism.
We had bands like Helloween and Blind Guardian emerging from Germany in the late 80s and early 90s whom were building those bridges but it didn’t feel like there was a band that everyone could get on board with.
We then get to Dragonforce. Flying out of the gates back in the early 2000’s like a hairy version of the avengers, combining all the characteristics of the Power Metal scene but amped up and ready to make whoever stands in front of them combust.
From storming the main stage at Download Festival to opening for Iron Maiden this is a band that had taken this type of music to heights it’s never been. Six albums under their belt the question I ask is where can Dragonforce go where they haven’t already been? ‘Reaching into Infinity’ is the answer. Back with their Seventh album, Dragonforce are ready for another chapter in their journey.
Atmospheric is the best word that describes the opening to ‘Reaching Into Infinity’. Layers of guitar and keyboard effects washing over each other with military like drums building to the point where the signature Dragonforce sound comes racing at you like a shark. ‘Ashes of the Dawn’ opening with a traditional heavy metal riff erupts into breakneck speed with the sound of guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totmans face melting exchanges.
Recent addition to the band Marc Hudson definitely holds his own vocally and nails the high notes. Lyrically this is no different from the traditional fantasy induced fiction we hear a lot in power metal bands but within the context of the musicianship behind it, this completely draws you in.
‘Judgment Day’ is a banger from the get go, very comparable to the bands renowned hit ‘Through The Fire And Flames’. The song opens with Keyboardist Vadim Pruzhanov providing an other worldly feel until it all comes crashing down like a tsunami of riffs and punishing drums. The pace is that of a bullet train until the 4-minute mark when we get to a break that demands a singalong.
A standout is the track WAR! Opening with a Slayer like riff before going into hyperdrive WAR! is a flat-out thrash song. It will be a surprise if this song doesn’t make it on the setlist when it comes to touring this album, this is a circle pit anthem!
Majestic is the best way to describe the longest track on the album the ‘Edge Of The World’. Clocking in at around 11 minutes. The song begins with an acoustic opening not long before erupting into a life. This is the standout point for singer Marc Hudson on the album I feel. Vocally this is very much keeping in line with the previous tracks but around 6 minutes comes a pure death metal approach to the vocals introducing growls which really catch you off guard. This may have a lot to do be bassist Frédéric Leclercq’s death metal roots taking influence.
Never the less proving that this type of music can still feel current in 2017, Dragonforce fly the flag and fly it high!
Reaching into Infinity out May 19th on EarMUSIC.