Album 0148: DragonForce – Sonic Firestorm

Release Date: 2004
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. My Spirit Will Go On (07:54)
2. Fury Of The Storm (06:47)
3. Fields Of Despair (05:25)
4. Dawn Over A New World (05:13)
5. Above The Winter Moonlight (07:31)
6. Soldiers Of The Wasteland (09:47)
7. Prepare For War (06:15)
8. Once In A Lifetime (07:47)
9. Cry Of The Brave (05:46)

Total Length: 01:02:24

My Spirit Will Go On starts the album pretty well, with a memorable chorus and some cool instrumental parts. Still not my favorite track as I still think something is off with the mix. DragonForce is a band I’ve gone back and forth on. They were great for getting me started into metal in general, but once I had explored a bit and came back to them, I realized just how odd they sounded. Generic, yet unique. Fast, but not as fast as other bands while still seeming like there was some studio trickery at certain points. Lastly, the guitar solos sometimes sound like gibberish instead of something memorable, depending on the song. I still enjoy the band, they’ve just become a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Fury Of The Storm is kind of the quintessential song by the band. This album is when they started in some more extreme influences, such as blast beats, and they are used to fairly good effect here. I still enjoy this song. Fields Of Despair is the first point where the album starts to fall off a bit. It sounds incredibly similar to the previous two songs, and has almost nothing that sets it apart other than the chorus. Dawn Over A New World is more of a ballad and it’s only decent. I really like the intro piano too, but it doesn’t really go anywhere or have any kind of buildup.

Above The Winter Moonlight embraces the cheesiness a bit more than some of the other tracks, with a really cool synth opening, and some pretty neat vocal lines. The instrumental section has some good riffs as well as tossing in some acoustic guitar. Soldiers Of The Wasteland is kind of what I wish the band did more of. The opening is perfect, and longer songs seem to work a bit better for them honestly. Prepare For War is like track three in that it really doesn’t set itself apart in any way and isn’t necessary at all.

Once In A Lifetime was my favorite DragonForce song for a long time when I was really into the band, and it’s still easy to hear why. The intro is fantastic, the lyrics are fun, and the backing synths are neat. Good song still. Cry Of The Brave is a bonus track and really doesn’t offer anything new. In the end, this album simply isn’t good enough anymore. When I knew less it was great, but after all this time it just doesn’t quite hold up for most of the time. Only a few of the songs try to differentiate themselves and that’s a bit of an issue. However, those songs are still good because I love the cheesiness.

Final Rating: 6/10

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