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Dragonforce - "Inhuman Rampage" (CD)

Dragonforce - "Inhuman Rampage" CD cover image

"Inhuman Rampage" track listing:

1. Through The Fire And Flames
2. Revolution Deathsquad
3. Storming The Burning Fields
4. Operation Ground And Pound
5. Body Breakdown
6. Cry For Eternity
7. Flame Of Youth
8. Trail Of Broken Hearts

Reviewed by on June 26, 2006

"Simply put, guitarist Herman Li is one of the best guitarists in the world, and Dragonforce, as a whole, are a group of supremely talented musicians."

With a truly diverse band lineup spanning several continents, Dragonforce combine power-metal vocals and well-mastered, though often gratuitous, instrumentation. Dragonforce are instantly recognizable as remarkable musicians, as they implement Dream Theater-like, lengthy tracks that wrap around some of the best guitars in the power-metal genre. Simply put, guitarist Herman Li is one of the best guitarists in the world, and Dragonforce, as a whole, are a group of supremely talented musicians.

While there is no denying the insane amount of mastery that accompanies each and every lightning-fast track on “Inhuman Rampage,” the long, drawn out songs rely too much on the instruments and too little on memorable or meaningful lyrics (fantasy-genre), well-thought choruses, or catchy guitar riffs. This might sound detrimental, but those are merely minor flaws in Dragonforce’s case, due to the nature of their metal jam-band nature. The well crafted, never overpowering keyboards, the sparsely used vocal-distortion effects, and the fitting power-metal vocals all do well to accentuate the mind-numbing guitars, which are no doubt the main attraction here. Clocking in at an average of around seven minutes per song, “Inhuman Rampage” packs about as much guitar work as could be fathomed, with each track featuring fast paced guitar riffs along with frenetic solos.

The first seven tracks all follow the same furious speed/power-metal recipe, and while there are really no stand out, five-star tracks, the quality is superb throughout. Some highlights include “Operation Ground and Pound,” which is an awesome marriage of keyboard and guitar, and the first track, “Through the Fire and Flames,” which offers up some nice sound experimentation along with killer guitar solos. The last track, “Trail of Broken Hearts,” however, strays from the pack. While it’s not the worst ballad in the world, after the raw intensity of the rest of the album, “Trail of Broken Hearts” just doesn’t feel like it belongs in the mix.

Those into the power-metal genre must listen to “Inhuman Rampage.” Dragonforce manage to do everything the genre is noted for, and do it better than most bands. The only real knock on Dragonforce is the over-reliance on the instruments at the cost of the lyrics and choruses, though that is hard to fault when the instruments sound this damn good. Dragonforce is still a sum that is less than its individual parts, though the individual parts are spectacular.

Highs: Awesome instrumentation.

Lows: The lone ballad and over-reliance on instruments.

Bottom line: Must have for power-metal fans, and worth the attention of all metal fans.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)