Mu­sic

Youth Street News - - Content - Anil­menon

It seems when­ever a metal band like Dragon­force has a lit­tle bit of main­stream suc­cess, the neg­a­tive com­ments al­ways pour in. I sup­pose it makes sense, as it wi­dens their au­di­ence to more peo­ple to be openly crit­i­cal, trolling or not. For bet­ter or for the worse, it also puts a lot more pres­sure and scru­tiny on these bands when they re­lease new al­bums. But Dragon­force has been on the slight­main­stream for quite some time, with In­hu­man Ram­page be­ing over 10 years old now. They've put out sev­eral al­bums since then, all rel­a­tively keep­ing their sig­na­ture sounds the same. And with their new­est re­lease Reach­ing Into In­fin­ity out, we can see if things have

yet again re­mained the same, or if we might get some­thing new.

Dragon­force has never been one to change up their for­mula much. Ever since the very begin­ning, their MO has been power metal at ridicu­lous speeds, and near-painfully ex­tended gui­tar so­los. This is what ev­ery­one knows of Dragon­force, and this is also what ev­ery­one ex­pects from Dragon­force. How­ever, like any band that's been on the scene for sev­eral years, there are slight vari­a­tions and pro­gres­sions in their over­all sound from al­bum to al­bum. Though, at the end of the day they're still Dragon­force, which makes news of an up­com­ing al­bum fairly pre­dictable in terms of what to ex­pect. Now, pre­dictable doesn't nec­es­sar­ily have to mean bad or bor­ing. There is a def­i­nite chance that it will, but it doesn't have to be. And I firmly be­lieve that ap­plies to Dragon­force and Reach­ing Into In­fin­ity.

Af­ter a short in­tro track, Reach­ing Into In­fin­ity opens up with "Ashes of the Dawn". Hon­estly, when I first heard this song, I al­most had to laugh, be­cause this is just so Dragon­force. I know that just stel­lar jour­nal­ism, but I'm will­ing to bet you know ex­actly what it is I'm talk­ing about. Duel­ing har­monies on gui­tar, fre­netic skank beats on the drums, orches­tral syn­the­sized sounds, and tri­umphant lyrics about over­com­ing the dark­ness. Could this ap­ply to many other power metal re­leases at any given time? Of course it can, but the par­tic­u­lar Dragon­force touch is there. So­los are still as ex­trav­a­gant as ever, the drums still never take a break, and Marc Hud­son still lays down a catchy melody. Dragon­force's for­mula caught on for a very good rea­son from the begin­ning, and I think it still stands true to­day.

Ever since The Power Within, that band's song lengths have grad­u­ally re­duced lit­tle by lit­tle, which I think has made the songs even more mem­o­rable af­ter a first lis­ten. "As­tral Em­pire" is prob­a­bly

the speed­i­est song on the al­bum, and with a

re­spectable song length of around 5 min­utes, I knew ex­actly where to go back to when I wanted to give it a re-lis­ten. And on the other end of the spec­trum, the al­bum's longest and slow­est track, "The Edge of the World" clocks in at around 11 min­utes, and also presents us with some­thing new and un­ex­pected; screamed vo­cals. Band­mates, like bassist Frédéri­cle­clercq have con­trib­uted to harsher vo­cal styles be­fore, but this par­tic­u­lar sec­tion sounds like Hud­son bring­ing the house down with screamed vo­cals. If you want to talk about mem­o­rable mo­ments in an al­bum, this is prob­a­bly the most mem­o­rable. It's still in a rel­a­tively slow sec­tion, with lots of low-tuned dou­ble pick­ing and ex­ces­sive dou­ble­bass all the way through. All in all, it's one of heav­i­est things I have ever heard from Dragon­force.

Whether you like them or not, Dragon­force ap­pears to be here to stay. I for one love this prospect, and hope they con­tinue to put out al­bums like this for years. Sure, not ev­ery al­bum is go­ing to be ground­break­ing, and not ev­ery track is go­ing to be a com­plete win­ner, but there are gems to be found ev­ery­where. And that isn't to say that I'm go­ing to be lis­ten­ing to this al­bum from top to bot­tom for years to come, but when this al­bum is good, it's pretty freak­ing good. Reach­ing Into In­fin­ity is sim­ply an­other great en­try for Dragon­force's ca­reer. If you've avoided Dragon­force for years now, maybe give this one a try and see if their pro­gres­sion is some­thing you en­joy a lit­tle more.

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