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Album Review : Dragonforce – Warp Speed Warriors

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Review by Richard Henry for MPM

Album number nine already, and I had to think when I looked at that and then I realized that I first heard these guys back in 2003 so that’s 21 years ago already! Ugh I feel old now, anyway, you know what you’re going to get with a Dragonforce album so let’s dive headfirst into this one!

Astro Warrior Anthem

It’s like I have gone back to the 70s with the synth that starts that, before we hit into familiar territory when the guitars kick in, then we shift into familiar tempo, speed metal it most definitely is, however the little break before the chorus is a nice addition before the kicks come in for the chorus, love the harmony section that leads into the second verse, little lead fills after every vocal line, that intro to the solo, really reminded me of Arch Enemy, I like the tempo change and the keys that come in there, as you would expect, some lovely playing there, I love Sams solo before Herman comes in, loads of technique and no restraint as expected, good first track to kick us off!

Power of the Triforce

Thats a cool vocal harmony with like a harpsicord under it to start this one off before the band kicks in, nice not to have the onslaught from the start on this one, more mid-tempo, massive gang vocals on this one, it’s like a band of pirates singing along on this one, and yeah it totally feels like that in the chorus as well, nice key change into the middle section, lovely solo on that, really nice guitar tone as well, and that second half where its less flash really gives a nice contrast from the all-out speed, the vocals go helium after that solo with the break start stop part before we are back into that chorus again, solid track!

Kingdom of Steel

An ominous bell with a drumbeat starts this before the synths start to come in as well, it’s almost synthwave in a way, with a big singalong part right there at the start, I can hear the crowd singing that back, ok this is very like Disney…. that’s straight up the vibe I am getting from that verse, even the chorus sounds like it could be in a movie or something, now that is a really lovely solo, where there is melody and then the technique is in there as well, both solos are like that and it’s so good when they actually do that instead of speed all the time, I can’t say I am loving this track to be fair, but it’s still solid!

Burning Heart

Now you would know within the first five seconds who this in, and we have blast beats, I approve, this is balls to the wall on this one, I love the aggression on this, that lead break reminds me of Cacophony, then there is a break and a build into the chorus, and that’s a big chorus, the way the vocals underneath add to the main lead vocal, and can I just say the drumming on this is outstanding, it’s almost less power metal and more a sort of thrash metal hybrid with like a Wintersun feel, nice bass solo in the middle section before the guitar solo, again the slower pace and melody and then adding the licks in yet again benefit this solo, before the tempo shifts and the drums ramp up, before I assume Hermans solo, which is great but it’s all technique and loses the feel of that first part for me, I liked that piano break that leads us back into the chorus again and a key change as well, great track!

Space Marine Corp

Military drum start to this one before the band enters with a melody and huge reverb drenched drum fills as well, sort of laid back half time feel to the riff and then a keys layer in the background of it as well, fills out the sound, then the chanting vocal comes in, if there was ever a military metal song, this is it, that chorus is so happy, never did you think you would hear a gang vocal of “I’m a Space Marine”, the middle section is just a Full Metal Jacket style march vocal, then into the solo section, some really nice playing on this part on all the solos, even a country lick in there as well, out to the end and an obligatory key change on the last chorus.

Prelude to Darkness

This is sort of a space landscape feel before we get like a Running man 80s action film sort of synth sequence coming in…

The Killer Queen

That synth sequence leads us right into that fast trem picked riff that kicks this one off, blast beats again, and a cool sort of choir vocal before we get to the melody guitars coming in before it picks up, I love when they get aggressive, the verse comes back a bit before it builds into the chorus and the tempo kicks up, lots going on in there vocally as well, never mind the other instruments, really like the part coming out of the chorus and back into the verse, mid-section and we have a key change in there before the vocals come back in, great middle section with the solos and not to miss out the drum work going on in the back as well, because there is lots of fills going on in there as well and it’s easy to miss if your just listening to the solos!

Doomsday Party

Nice tapping lick to start this one off, as it builds into a vocal with the synth before we get some electronic drums, this is more a straight sort of song, very heavily 80s influenced for sure, sort of an almost dance beat in the verse section, it is a massive chorus that will stay with you for sure, loads of chanting vocals as well, am sure there will be loads of crowd participation if they play this one live, the middle section is again pure 80s, I love that first solo, again there is bits of technique but lots of melody in there as well, lots of sweeping in there and some nice phrasing, before the melody comes back in again as it did at the start of the solo, before it breaks to the piano part on its own with a lovely vocal, before it builds back into the chorus to end out the track.

Pixel Prison

Synth and piano to kick this one off, now that absolutely reminds me of Wintersun with that guitar melody, then we have blast beats again, this is my favorite Dragonforce, the heavy songs, breaks to a synth and vocal in the verse, with a bouncing part in the back before the band kicks in from a great drum fill into full tilt on the verse, nice change going into the chorus and the drums switch tempo all the time, before a huge singalong chorus that is going at a decent pace, I was not expecting that middle section with the marching drums and the synth going over the top of it, whammy pedal solo over an arpeggiated key part, before we have a half time section with the vocals coming back in, nice key change in there as well, that’s a lovely solo, again its slower and has a load of melody and then throws some licks into it, before it breaks down to keys and vocal as it builds back into the last chorus again!

Wildest Dreams (Dragonforce Version)

Yeah, this is a Taylor Swift song, now it is definitely not what you would expect, there are blast beats, I mean I much prefer this version to be fair, it works, and for what it is, it’s a cool cover, taking a song and changing the arrangement to meld it to your style is the thing, it’s not a copy, it really is their own interpretation of the track!

Doomsday Party (with Elize Ryd)

So, we have basically the same song only with Elize adding to the harmonies and a few lines on the first verse, then she takes over the main vocal on the second verse, now she does take the vocal break after the solos, apart from that it’s the same as the other version on the album.

Power of the Triforce (Instrumental Version)

As like the track before, this is just the song without the vocals, be handy for any aspiring vocalist out there to have a go at as a YouTube cover?

7 out of 10

I love the heavy tracks, but Kingdom of Steel for me, I just wasn’t a fan really, are you going to get anything you don’t expect, probably not, is it a good album, absolutely, I would love an album of just heavy ass tracks like Pixel prison and less of the major sounding happy songs, but hey that’s just my opinion and you may think different, solid album but not really any surprises, sums it up for me.

Warp Speed Warriors will be available in the following formats:      
●    2CD Deluxe Box incl. Bonus Jewel Case CD with 5 bonus tracks, wristband (embroided), poster flag (100x70cm), gaming coin keyring/pendant (with leathercord), packed in a gym bag (Napalm Records Mailorder exclusive) – strictly limited to 300 copies worldwide
●    1LP Gatefold TURQUOISE marbled Vinyl incl. slipmat, record butler (Napalm Records Mailorder exclusive) – strictly limited to 200 copies worldwide    
●    1LP Gatefold PURPLE Vinyl (Napalm Records Mailorder exclusive) – strictly limited to 400 copies worldwide
●    1LP Gatefold ORANGE Vinyl (Retail UK exclusive) – strictly limited to 300 copies    
●    1LP Gatefold BLACK Vinyl    
●    1CD Digisleeve incl. 1 Bonus Track        
●    Digital Album incl. 3 Bonus Tracks

DragonForce are:
Herman Li – Guitar, Backing Vocals 
Sam Totman – Guitar, Backing Vocals 
Marc Hudson – Vocals 
Alicia Vigil – Bass, Backing Vocals 
Gee Anzalone – Drums, Backing Vocals

DragonForce online:
WEBSITE
YOUTUBE
INSTAGRAM
TWITTER
TIKTOK
FACEBOOK

Herman Li online:
WEBSITE
TWITCH
TIKTOK
INSTAGRAM
TWITTER
DISCORD
YOUTUBE
FACEBOOK

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