Sunday, May 21, 2017

DragonForce - Reaching Into Infinity (2017)

Ever since the power house known as DragonForce changed singers, the band have made it no secret that they have tried to take a step back in their music writing, not going completely buck wild insane in solos and song length. It is a plan that the band has hold pretty well with their two latest albums, "The Power Within" and "Maximum Overload", but the focus seems to be a little lost here in "Reaching Into Infinity" (which I guess the album cover is telling from the start).

No, "Reaching From Infinity" is not an album with 8 "Through The Fire And Flames" copies, but it contains more of the old DragonForce than its two latest predecessors, which is kind of odd since the band has stated that this is one of their most experimental albums of their career, spreading their sound to new horizons. I would definitely not go so far, because "Reaching Into Infinity" still got blazing speed, catchy choruses, crazy solos, and cheesy lyrics that will either make you smile like an idiot, or give you a stomach ache from the lactose overload.

The experimental parts are pretty few actually, but most of them do work. The most obvious one is in the second to last song, the 11 minute (!) ballad "The Edge of The World", and it is not only because of its obscene length, for when you reach the middle of the track, the band throws in some death metal vocals into the mix. Listening to this album first time around, I thought "well, that was the end of that album, must have reached the next album on my playlist", but nope, still DragonForce. It is supposed to represent death and all, and while that in itself is really cheesy, it does bring some dynamics into the song. Still, 11 minutes is kind of overkill.

Speaking of overkill (not the band), it is still the problem with DragonForce after all these years, they simply do not know when to stop. While it is not at the level of their early career, it is still a mouthful to take in when you are listening to them. Even if almost all of the songs are between 4 to 6 minutes in length, they still have a high density level, filled to the brim with all that makes DragonForce. The album is 1 hour long, so it is easy to get exhausted when you listen to it from start to finish.

There is still a lot of upside to this record though, the biggest one being that it is fun as hell. Say what you want about the band, but you cannot deny that their unique style of power metal is exciting as hell. When Totman and Li sets their guitars on fire, they set off a wild ride that twists and turns in almost every possible way, while we all try to imitate it with our Guitar Hero/air guitars. And Marc Hudson, who I have been a little hard on since he joined the band, has stepped up his game, delivering his best performance yet. As long as you are not too serious and can handle the cheese, songs like "War!", "Judgement Day", and "Midnight Madness" will be a blast to listen to.

So yeah, while "Reaching Into Infinity" is far from the most experimental album out there, DragonForce still puts in some effort to bring a varied experience, even if two ballads does not really count as an awful lot. It is classic stuff really, so if you have a hard time to swallow the meme that is DragonForce, then you should not bother with this record at all, but if you like the over the top insanity and the blazing power that this band produces, then it will certainly be up your alley. "Reaching Into Infinity" is at its core a fun album that pulls few surprises, it is ultra power metal as you would want it, with cheese and all.

Songs worthy of recognition: The Edge of The World, Judgement Day, Land of Shattered Dreams

Rating: 7,5/10 Wars!

More reviews of DragonForce
Maximum Overload

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