while Dragon­force get ex­tra shreddy

SPEEDY POWER METALLERS BRO DOWN BUT DON’T SLOW DOWN IN LON­DON

Kerrang! (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: JAMES HICKIE PHO­TOS: JAMES SHARROCK

■ FAN­TAS­TI­CAL TALES of epic hero­ism. Fin­gers mov­ing across fret­boards at ve­loc­i­ties that would bother a speed cam­era.the ap­peal of a night of power metal is clear for the sold-out crowd tonight, with a line snaking all the way up Cam­den High Street. It’s not as long as the road Dragon­force have taken to get here, though. Near­ing the end of a con­ti­nent-hop­ping con­quest sup­port­ing seventh al­bum, Reach­ing Into In­fin­ity, this UK tour there­fore marks some­thing of a vic­tory lap.

It’s an ex­pe­ri­ence shared by broth­ers in arms Power Quest, who get their share of the glory. Singer Ash­ley Edi­son soaks up the packed crowd’s adu­la­tion for fist-pump­ing bom­bast, and does a grand job of cre­at­ing a suit­ably fun-lov­ing at­mos­phere. But it’s noth­ing next to the cheers, horns and plumes of dry ice which are thrown up when Dragon­force ar­rive on Ashes Of The Dawn, and Her­man Li and Sam Tot­man lay into the first of this evening’s grat­i­fy­ing shred-offs.

Amidst the Sam and Her­man show – the for­mer slug­ging beers while Her­man plays keepy-uppy with his axe – comes a wacky in­ter­lude where Frédéric Le­clercq ditches the bass and en­gages the au­di­ence solely through wild gui­tar histri­on­ics.the pan­tomime only gets weirder when he’s joined by drum­mer Gee An­za­lone and singer Marc Hud­son, switch­ing to the bass, to play a mus­cu­lar ver­sion of the Su­per Mario sound­tracks.

If that all sounds a bit nuts, that’s be­cause it is. So are the pri­apic an­themics of Judge­ment Day and Through The Fire And Flames, as overblown as a bulging hot air bal­loon. But it’s their sense of self-dep­re­cat­ing fun that saves it from the po-faced vir­tu­os­ity of, say, Dream The­ater. With tongues firmly in cheek, and an­other crowd slain, Dragon­force live to shred an­other day.

The ’Force adopt the Sta­tus Quo stance in im­pres­sive style Her­man Li looks overjoyed with his fret-tap­ping turn

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