DragonForce New Album!
posted 6/16/2008 6:36:41 PM
DragonForce New Album!
DRAGONFORCE PREPARES THE WORLD FOR AN ULTRA BEATDOWN
Attention heavy metal warriors and guitar heroes across the land. DragonForce are pleased to announce Ultra Beatdown as the title of their forthcoming new album for Roadrunner Records, due in stores world wide on August 26.
Ultra Beatdown is an epic, sweeping, grand collection of infectious guitar anthems that'll inspire all who listen to either pump their fists in the air or pick up a guitar, whether it be real or virtual. DragonForce's single from 2006's Inhuman Rampage, "Through The Fire and Flames," exploded on the public beyond the metal world thanks to its appearance on the massively popular guitar simulator game. The single has been RIAA certified Gold in the US.
The track listing for Ultra Beatdown is as follows:
1. Heroes of Our Time
2. The Fire Still Burns
3. Reasons to Live
4. Scars of Yesterday
5. Heartbreak Armageddon
6. The Last Journey Home
7. Inside the Winter Storm
8. The Warrior Inside
DragonForce are the metal sensations of recent years, making their mark right across the globe with a colossal run of shows to promote one of the genres most remarkable releases.
‘Inhuman Rampage’ left the press in a state of critical meltdown. “While most bands want to be bigger than Metallica, DragonForce have the capacity to exceed Star Wars,” gushed the UK’s Metal Hammer magazine. “How DragonForce will ever top this album remains to be seen,” agreed its gobsmacked sister title, Kerrang! had already got in on the act, declaring: “DragonForce are only getting bigger. Prepare for the onslaught.”
But it wasn’t just Britain that fell under the band’s spell. The media from all over North America, Continental Europe, Japan and Australia joined them, and Germany’s Rock Hard astutely predicted: “DragonForce could become the first British metal band in ages to reap respect from all over the world.”
The six-man wrecking crew notched up 3 World Tours, 240 shows in 26 countries including North America no less than four times for ‘Inhuman Rampage’, winning kudos from peers and influences alike, accumulating several shelves full of awards along the way, and sending audiences wild with an explosive musical style that features elements from all styles of music from rock, metal all the way to early 90’s video games music; a unique style that in the absence of anything more descriptive they like to call ‘extreme power metal’. If anything, the DragonForce sound is as complex and hard to pin down as their bizarre combination of national heritage. Though based in London, the group have roots in, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Ukraine, Scotland and France.
‘Inhuman Rampage’ is the third DragonForce album, following ‘Valley Of The Damned’ (2003) and ‘Sonic Firestorm’ (2004). Those first two records were well received in their own right, but the band’s last disc – the first to be marketed by Roadrunner Records in the UK, N. America and Australia – is the one that really thrust them to international contention.
“This time around we were able to make videos, and more and more TV channels around the world ended up playing them,” explains Herman Li, one half of the band’s unstoppable guitar army, referring to the popular promos for ‘Through The Fire And Flames’ and ‘Operation Ground And Pound’. “It meant that people could hear the music and decide for themselves,” he adds. “The magazines started to take quite an interest in us, too, at last. Until then it had all been down to the internet and word of mouth.”
DragonForce began touring the third album in North America even before its release, headlining – and, more importantly, filling – clubs of varying sizes. In most cases, tickets for these dates sold out within a week. There were unusual scenes in Los Angeles, Sunset Boulevard being temporarily closed down as swarms of DragonForce fans departed the Whisky A Go Go in post-gig, sword-waving euphoria. The group’s growing reputation quickly led to a prize spot on the main stage of the US Ozzfest.
On that same tour, Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist Zakk Wylde told an interviewer: “DragonForce are awesome, bro.” Meanwhile, an astounded Kirk Hammett of Metallica agreed: “Those guys from DragonForce are the fastest guitar players I think I’ve ever seen. They’re like Yngwie Malmsteen on steroids.”
Once the Ozzfest was over, striking while the iron was still hot, the band jetted across the Atlantic – AGAIN! – for another coast to coast headlining US tour, including sold out shows at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles and the Nokia Theater in New York’s Times Square.
As well as concentrating on the USA, the group were invited to play the main stage at the UK’s prestigious Download Festival twice, in the summers of ’06 & ‘07, also playing two sold out UK headline tours, 3 visits to Japan including Tokyo’s Loud Park Festival, their debut tour of Australia (again, sold out) and maintaining an equally high profile in mainland Europe.
With so much roadwork under their collective (bullet) belt, it’s no surprise that the band’s live show has developed into a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it audio-visual extravaganza. The guitarists bounce around on trampolines whilst sending rapid-fire arpeggios of red-hot riffing and scorching solos into the stratosphere. A chest-beating frontman in the old school mould, South African ZP Theart covers every inch of the stage, never missing a note. Vadim Pruzhanov’s lunatic keyboard playing is a sight to behold, but he also makes a point of throwing shapes at the front of the stage on a portable instrument. It’s more than obvious that Frédéric Leclercq began life as a guitarist offering far more than mere rhythmic accompaniment to Dave Mackintosh’s frantic yet refined percussion.
“There has been a huge leap,” acknowledges Li. “Something I noticed on the last UK tour is that we’d grown more on that tour than over both the previous two.