Like many fans of DragonForce fans, I’m disappointed that the original singer ZP Theart had to go, but I hear his new band “I Am I” is doing really well, so be sure to check it out too:
Now here’s the line-up:
Marc Hudson – Lead vocals, Backing vocals
Herman Li – Guitars, Backing vocals
Sam Totman – Guitars, Backing vocals
Vadim Pruzhanov – Keyboards, Piano, Backing vocals
Dave Mackintosh – Drums, Backing vocals
Frédéric Leclercq – Bass Guitar, Harsh vocals, Backing vocals
So, the new singer is Marc Hudson, and the change of front men is like replacing Perry with Augeri. The quality hasn’t cheapened. I didn’t even tell the difference, and I still don’t hear it. However, the real victory on this album is really in the melody section:
Sam Totman doesn’t have any rough chords in this album; songs like the opening track “Holding On” is in perfect sync with his counterpart Herman Li. Overall, the songs, like “Fallen World” and “Wings of Liberty” are much cleaner than songs on “Inhuman Rampage” and “Ultra Beatdown”. I’ve very impressed at the improvement on this album, and hopefully the sound with be transitioned onto the big stage.
Dave Mackintosh is an incredible drummer. His most powerful songs in this amazing Long Play are “Give Me The Night” and “Seasons” are his best songs so far, and he’s proven that he’s not just a FAST drummer, but a structured one as well, just like Bonham. In the rhythm section, Leclercq lacks the speed of his lead guitar counterparts, but a many thanks to him from keeping the songs from being fat. Still, being in a band with former black metal guitarists, it’s common for his performance to be over showed and near-inaudible.
Pruzhanov is a master keyboard player. While the amazing “Heroes of Our Time” performer didn’t stand out as clearly as he did on “Valley of The Damned” or “Ultra Beatdown”, but “Heart of The Storm” was sheer genius in the first solo, with perfect sync with Herman. The opening of “Last Man Stands” is incredibly epic. He’s still worthy as a keyboardist to study. Together with Leclercq, he keeps the rhythm strong, standing out here and there to remind us he doesn’t just play extensive chords.
Now to the man himself: Herman Li. “Die By The Sword” is incredible on his part. He was more paced this time, even playing slower in some songs like “Last Man Stands”, just to show he’s not an all-out speed freak.
The tracks are much shorter on this album, but every member really put all their effort to make this album even better than their 2008 “ensemble”. The final acoustic track of “Seasons” is proof that DragonForce still sounds brilliant without an amplifier. With or Without ZP, this was definitely a collectors album. Anyone trying to better their guitar skills (or drums I guess) could always play along with this and get better results than P90X… or Randy Rhoads.
GREAT ALBUM! MORE LUCK TO THESE GUYS IN THE FUTURE, AND MUCH LOVE TO ZP!