10/20/2005 - Review by: Ken Pierce
Dragonforce - Sonic Firestorm - 2004
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
3/3/2004 - Review by: Anthony Burke
Dragonforce-Sonic Firestorm 2004 Noise/Sanctuary Records reviewed by: IcedMojo
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.
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