Keven's Music Review: DRAGONFORCE – The Power Within

The new Dragonforce album is the first to feature a brand new vocalist, although you may not even notice if you're a casual listener. New guy sounds just like the old guy who sounded just like mini-Dio. Needless to say if you enjoyed their oldschool inspired shred sessions, you'll be on board for 'The Power Within'.

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The fifth full length album from Dragonforce may contain some of the shortest songs that the band has ever recorded, but that doesn't mean you won't be left exhausted from all that 80's power metal. Listening to 'The Power Within' is at both times mesmerizing and tiring. I get this same feeling sometimes with Dream Theater, because although the songs are epic, they can come off at times like the extended edition of Lord of The Rings. It's just a little much and I like it when the songs are kept tighter and more focused.

Even with shorter tracks, Dragonforce have simply sped up the solos and crammed the same amount of shred into a smaller package. If you like your music like you like posters of naked chicks riding dragons then this is essential listening. I've always found some holes with the genre of power metal because the sound can come off as too light or 'shiny' if that makes any sense. The songs are crazy as hell but they aren't overly memorable. I've listened to 'The Power Within' multiple times and I have a really hard time remembering anything that stands out. 'Heart of The Storm' is very Children of Bodom inspired with the cool keyboards and breakdowns but it's not executed as well.

The musicianship is remarkable and Dragonforce are masters of their craft. New singer Marc Hudson sounds dead on and would make Dio proud as he stares down from the rock heavens. Herman Li and Sam Totman's dueling guitars are astounding and I mean astounding. Listen to 'Die By The Sword' and if you dig it, then pick this record up.

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Despite the incredible shred clinic Dragonforce have exhibited here I was not completely sold and that's likely due to my personal tastes. Fans don't have to fret because of the vocalist shuffle, Hudson nailed it. I'm just personally left exhausted from all of that sparkly fantastical power metal and frankly a bit bored.

1. "Holding On"
2. "Fallen World"
3. "Cry Thunder"
4. "Give Me the Night"
5. "Wings of Liberty"
6. "Seasons"
7. "Heart of the Storm"
8. "Die by the Sword"
9. "Last Man Stands"
10. "Seasons (Acoustic Version)"

2.5 Stars