Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
Sonic Firestorm
Noise Records
10/20/2005 - Review by: Ken Pierce
Dragonforce - Sonic Firestorm - 2004

Track Listing
1. My Spirit Will Go On
2.Fury Of The Storm
3.Fields Of Despair
4.Dawn Over A New World
5.Above The Winter Moonlight
6.Soldiers Of The Wasteland
7.Prepare For War
8.Once In A Lifetime
The band Dragonforce is a very interesting unit indeed. They not only combine the factors of being musically diverse along with a completely technical level of play; but they include a level of speed that at times will make you surely think that your CD is skipping instead of playing. I was literally blown away when I first heard “Sonic Firestorm” and as you listen yourself you will find that you are in the musical equivalent of a hurricane. Starting off with “My Spirit Will Go On”, you are quickly brought into the band’s world and what they opt to accomplish on a record. As I said there are blistering fast moments and there are bands that play for the sake of speed sake alone. Not so in the case of Dragonforce, for throughout each song the members never seem to lose pace with one another. The song maintains its structure and does not ever seem to fall apart where you could expect such action to be the case under these conditions. It was really something to close my eyes and envision this being done in a live sense. In most cases playing music fast simply for the sake of it will not impress me all that much so it was refreshing to see this level of speed being showcased on top of killer technical prowess. Chops would be an understatement for Dragonforce.

A lot of the album follows along the same course of speed as the first track, but that does not mean to be taken as the songs sound all alike. They just use the same formula on the entire CD. There is one track that effectively serves as the ballad of the disk and that is “Dawn Over A New World” . The tune is nicely done and being in the middle of the disk it allows you a breather before the ass-kicking again. Holding only 8 songs you might feel a bit cheated, however most of them are over 7 minutes in length with “Soldiers Of The Wasteland” running at just under 10. This track in particular even has a section with a very Iron Maiden feel to it. One can easily take Dragonforce as the Dream Theater of Progressive Power Metal; a title I am giving them since the music defies the normal genre classification for me at present. I also liked “Fury Of The Storm” and “Once In A Lifetime”. The band truly did not really remind me of anyone else so I cannot really draw comparisons to them. In one sense this is great as it stands as being a little more on the unique side.

The lineup consists of ZP Theart (Vocals), Herman 'Shred' Li & Sam Totman (Guitars), Adrian Lambert (Bass), Dave Macintosh (Drums) and Vadim Pruzhanov (Keyboards). It was impressive to also see a large lineup be able to pull all this together. Playing Metal at this rate is not so easily done in my opinion. Overall this was an enjoyable CD and I think fans of speedier power metal as well as creative use of lightning fast shredding will enjoy the work that these guys have delivered to us. Check it out, bands like this deserve more exposure.

-- Ken Pierce 08.15.05

Rating: 8/10
3/3/2004 - Review by: Anthony Burke
Dragonforce-Sonic Firestorm 2004 Noise/Sanctuary Records reviewed by: IcedMojo

Track Listing
1. My Spirit Will Go On
2. Fury of the Storm
3. Fields of Despair
4. Dawn Over a New World
5. Above the Winter Moonlight
6. Soldiers of the Wasteland
7. Prepare for War
8. Once In a Lifetime
Dragonforce has done it again. With the release of the follow up to “Valley of the Damned” entitled “Sonic Firestorm”, the guys proved that they have more in their tanks than 1 good album.

Formed in 1999, under the name Dragonheart, they changed their name to Dragonforce in 2001 to avoid confusion.

This album is very fast, melodic, and heavy as hell at times, however, I do believe it lacks originality during a lot of the album. Am I saying that “Sonic Firestorm” is bad--definitely not. What I am saying is that it did not make me say “holy shit” like “Valley of the Damned” did.

Sure, it is faster and maybe even an attempt at more powerful, but somewhere along the way, they lost what set them apart from other melodic power metal groups. A lot of the album sounds like one long song that, at least, does get broken up with a cheesy (at best) ballad, “Dawn Over a New World”. It is not all bad though, with the pounding power of “My Spirit Will Go On”, “Fury of the Storm”, and “Above the Winter Moonlight” added by David Mackintosh (who replaced Didier Almouzni on drums), and guitar riffs and solos preformed by Herman Li and Sam Totman. Add keyboard works by Vadim Pruzhanov, and incredible vocal skill by ZP Theart, sounds of Edguy (or Avantasia, take your pick), Nightwish, and Stratovarius, there you have “Sonic Firestorm”!

My opinion and rating is 6.5/10. Musically, it is plain and not too interesting, however, I will recommend this album to those who like melodic power metal. You may see it different. Normally I do, so I guess I shocked myself that this album didn’t do much for me.

Extra: Herman Li has the longest hair I have ever seen on a guy.

--IcedMojo 03.03.04

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