Picture of Dragonforce

Valley Of The Damned

Dragonforce - Valley Of The Damned ©2003 Noise
1. Invocation Of Apocalyptic Evil
2. Valley Of The Damned
3. Black Fire
4. Black Winter Night
5. Starfire
6. Disciples Of Babylon
7. Revelations
8. Evening Star
9. Heart Of A Dragon

It amazes me that bands still insist upon forming to play power metal. Dragonforce, who have already started out on the wrong foot by using the word "dragon" in their moniker, offer their debut Valley of the Damned for public consumption. There's a good chance it'll give you severe gastro-intestinal complications.

Older fans might remember a band called Nitro. They came about in the late 80s as the fastest and highest pitched band in the land. They were summarily dismissed as a cheesefest and have been relegated to humorous sidenotes of the 80s. Dragonforce somewhat reminds me of Nitro in that respect. While taking on the the tried n' true Gammaweenovarious style of speedy power metal, Dragonforce seems determined to play faster and higher than their counterparts. Unfortunately, Valley of the Damned sounds like a synthesized, artificial record that lacks any sort of human participation. Part of it is within the drum production, which has about as much organic material as any product you might find at McDonald's. The songwriting is generic as Starbucks Coffee. And of course, anyone playing power metal gets an instant demerit for lacking the temerity to try playing something even remotely original. This is something out of Malmsteen's worst nightmare or Dr. Stein's laboratory. Valley of the Damned is overwrought junk food full of nothing but empty calories and heartburn.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2004

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