JUSTIN’S METAL REVIEWS W/C 18/8/08
DRAGONFORCE / ULTRA BEATDOWN
Power Metal is usually associated with bands from Scandinavia but there are exceptions to the rule and British band Dragonforce are the exception in this case, their brand of Speed Power Metal just blows you away, the Keyboard and Guitar interplay is played at impossibly fast speed and how the drummer keeps up is totally beyond me.
This is the bands second album for the Roadrunner label, (their 4th overall) and they really have found their niche, all their songs have an anthemic like quality to them with a very positive lyrical feel, there are lots of fast musical passages, interlaced with Neo-Classical touches that set the band apart from the competition, the opening track “Hero’s Of Our Time” or “The Fire Still Burns” are perfect examples of just how good the band can be. There are some slower moments on this CD with plenty of dynamics on offer; one listen to “A Flame for Freedom” will prove this with its Journey like chorus.
There is no doubt that Dragonforce are Britain’s best Power Metal band and the highest complement I can pay them is to say they sound so Scandinavian, if you like bands like Helloween or Stratovarious you will love this CD and that’s why it gets the Justin seal of approval. Also listen out for “Heartbreak Armageddon”, “The Warrior Inside” and “Reasons To Live”.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 58 + 8 TRACKS
SHINEDOWN / THE SOUND OF MADNESS
This is Shinedown’s 3rd album and if this CD is anything to go by I’ve been missing out big time as the brand of radio friendly Melodic Rock is a real treat to listen to.
Musically they are in the same vein as Sevendust, Nickelback, 12 Stones, Seether etc, and deserve to be heard by all, the songs are tight, well written and performed with passion and fall into two categories, the heavier tunes, where all the stops are pulled out, “Devour”, “Cry For Help”, “Sin With A Grin” and “Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide” and the mega power ballads, in the shape of “Call Me”, “What A Shame”, “Second Chance” and “If You Only Knew” all of which could be massive hits if given half a chance.
This is a very fine album and would grace anyone’s collection, the thing that strikes me the most is how perfect the songs are both lyrically and musically if you want proof just listen to “Breaking Inside” and tell me its not the catchiest thing you’ve heard in a long while, totally essential and a well deserved album of the week, I doubt if there will be a finer CD in this genre this year.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 52 mins + 14 BRILLIANT TRACKS