while Dragonforce get extra shreddy
SPEEDY POWER METALLERS BRO DOWN BUT DON’T SLOW DOWN IN LONDON
■ 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.