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DRAGONFORCE - Maximum Overdrive (2014)


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DRAGONFORCE - Maximum Overload [Japanese Special Edition +6] (2014)


Whether you love them or hate them, British Power Metal titansDRAGONFORCE have made an iconic impact on the Rock & Metal community. Their new CD "Maximum Overload" will be released all over Europe next August 18th on various formats, including a Special Edition with five bonuses.


The album already appeared in Japan, and this "Maximum Overload Japanese Special Edition +6" features an extra, exclusive Japan bonus track.

I must admit I wasn’t always a huge fan of DragonForce as while their musicianship is excellent, their songs were too much 'speeded'. One or two tracks were ok, but then I got bored soon.


Well, my opinion chaged with this "Maximum Overload", the band's sixth foray into their own fast world, because although still fast and heavy, it's tremendously catchy.

Already after the very first listen, you'll find yourself humming every single melody in here, also thanks to some of those old DragonForce tricks, such as the guitars 'singing' the chorus all over the track, bringing it back frequently and skilfully in different parts of the song.




One of my favorite songs on the album, “The Game”, kicks off the record with a bang. It features Matt Heafy (Trivium) on back-up vocals, and though I am not personally a fan, they work very well to emphasize the emotionally driven lyrics through the chorus.


Instantly picking the album up into the DragonForce we all know is the following track “Tomorrow’s Kings”, which begins with great keyboard and lead guitar work. The main melody and the galloping drum and bass behind it create quite the buildup before the vocals enter to rock hard.

“Symphony of the Night” and “The Sun is Dead” are both very strong songs, showing off the speed metal guitar riffs and amazing keyboard fills.


There's an unusual element in the middle of “Extraction Zone” where I felt like I was listening to the soundtrack for a classic video game; 'Sonic The Hedgehog' and 'Super Mario Brothers' sprung to mind. Whether these are normal or not these tracks caught my attention and that’s what great songs are supposed to do, so in this case the unusual elements worked here.


The album ended on a triumphant note via a cover of Johnny Cash classic “Ring Of Fire”. I particularly like how they took a song right out of their genre and made it their own.




This Special Edition features quite interesting bonuses, especially for classic hard rock listeners.


One of the best songs is the midtempo “You’re Not Alone” which is sonically dark and emotional, but beautiful at the same time. The keyboard work is quite different, and behind classic riffs and basic drumming, this is an easy listen that will absolutely stick with you.


"Power And Glory" is one of the catchiest and commercial tunes on the CD, and "Summer's End", the Japanase exclusive bonus, reminds me Gary Hughes / Ten.


"Galactic Astro Domination" is a remix of a short instrumental song originally recorded by DragonForce for a Capital One commercial featured on YouTube. In the video, guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman are performing the song on an asteroid in space while using Capital One's Mobile Banking App. Cool stuff.




Something has changed in DragonForce's camp (and not only that drummer Dave Mackintosh left the band); "Maximum Overload" is more focused on melodies and catchiness than never before.


The progressive and speed touch are still there, but this is extremely commercial and listenable for all Rock audiences, and the lyrics are much better polished than any previous effort. Production, of course, is massive and huge.


DragonForce's luck is that, despite the fact that they've been more-or-less doing the same thing for more than a decade, they've been the only DragonForce around, the only band to manage to play this subgenre so comfortably to create itself a name that does not need anything more to say, both for fans and detractors.


Quite Recommended.

Roadrunner / Warner Music ~ WPZR-30584/5

01 - The Game
02 - Tomorrow's Kings
03 - No More
04 - Three Hammers
05 - Symphony Of The Night
06 - The Sun Is Dead
07 - Defenders
08 - Extraction Zone
09 - City Of Gold
10 - Ring Of Fire
11 - Power And Glory (bonus track)
12 - You're Not Alone (bonus track)
13 - Chemical Interference (bonus track)
14 - Summer's End (exclusive Japanese bonus track)
15 - Fight To Be Free (bonus track)
16 - Galactic Astro Domination (Remixed, bonus track)

Marc Hudson – lead vocals, backing vocals
Herman Li – guitars, backing vocals
Sam Totman – guitars, backing vocals
Vadim Pruzhanov – keyboards, piano, backing vocals
Frédéric Leclercq – bass, backing vocals
Dave Mackintosh – drums, backing vocals
Matt Heafy - guest vocals on Defenders, No More and The Game


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Love the vocals and choruses. But those drums and guitars are way too fast and after a song or two I need to change the music.

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Love the vocals and choruses. But those drums and guitars are way too fast and after a song or two I need to change the music.


Pretty much the reason I never liked 'em. Way too fast is about right.


But some strong choruses on this disc and I kinda dig it.

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