Maximum Overload

1. The Game
2. Tomorrow’s Kings
3. No More
4. Three Hammers
5. Symphony of the Night
6. The Sun is Dead
7. Defenders
8. Extraction Zone
9. City of Gold
10. Ring of Fire

Marc Hudson – vocals, backing vocals
Herman Li – guitars, backing vocals
Sam Totman – guitars, backing vocals
Dave Mackintosh – drums, bg. vocals
Vadim Pruzhanov – keyboards, bg vocals
Frédéric Leclercq – bass, backing vocals

Valley of the Damned (2003)
Sonic Firestorm (2004)
Inhuman Rampage (2006)
Ultra Beatdown (2008)
The Power Within (2012)

Matt Heafy – guest vocals on "Defenders, "No More" and "The Game"
Clive Nolan – backing vocals
Emily Ovenden – backing vocals

Produced by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden

Released 2014-08-19
Reviewed 2014-09-01


Take some musicians who adore Helloween and the Super Mario Bros video game to the NES-console, give them some amfetamin, lots of amfetamin. Then add a turkey to do the vocals, strip away all the power in the production and fastforward the recording. What do you have then? Dragonforce. That is how they usually sounds, although they do have a new vocalist since I heard them last. And they might be older and wiser so perhaps this Maximum Overload is a breath of fresh air. I think it is always good when a band surprises, I always like to be proven wrong so I have to change my preconceptions of a band.

This time I am not proven wrong, it is the same stuff as before. High speed power metal, twin guitars duelling at massive speeds. Thing is though that it lacks power, they have no authority and no real presence in their performance. The production is okay but I would have liked more power, perhaps the speed at which the songs are performed is detrimental to power or authority. They change one turkey with another, in the vocal department that is. The guitarist of Falconer compared the Dragonforce singer with a turkey when I interviewed him at a festival many years ago when Dragonforce was going on stage about the same time as we interviewed them, I think it is a good comparison.

The album has ten tracks and plays for fifty minutes, it has no discernible variation or depth during those. Bored is a word for it. It is strange that you cannot mask mediocre music by speeding up the tempo, it seems Dragonforce thinks that it is possible. It is really no change from what they did back when they had their amazing success with Valley of the Damned. But the thing is that it was boring then and it is boring now, Dragonforce has never really impressed me and this album does not alter that perception.

What else can I say? They do a cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire which is one of few country songs that I really like, I think it is a great song in original and I have heard a few good covers of it over the years. This is not one of those, it is a song that doesn’t fit to be ”Dragonforced”. But it is not only that, none of the songs stand out, the variation is nonexistent and the album just goes by without you even noticing. Sure I am a bit annoyed by poor vocals but they are masked by the nondescript music. I guess the fans will adore this one like the other ones while me personally along with any other person not snowed into a band that should have been dead and buried long ago just look elsewhere for our musical kicks and let the Dragonforce band and fans live in their own bubble.




Label: earMUSIC
Three similar bands: Freedom Call/Hammerfall/Sonata Arctica
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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