Music News


Not too terribly long ago, the Darkness turned heads with flashback metal delivered with tongue so far in cheek that the damn thing must have been severed at the root. DragonForce, appearing with All That Remains and Horse the Band, draws from the same inspirational well, but with a major difference: These guys really mean it, man. Inhuman Rampage, the outfit's new Roadrunner Records release, finds this sextet offering up all the elements that made '70s and '80s hard rock such a love-it-or-hate-it proposition: ZP Theart's cloud-piercing vocals, drummer David Macintosh's hyperactive fills, bassist Frédéric Leclercq's mega-thumping, Vadim Pruzhanov's crazed keys, and string-bending fretboard abuse meted out by guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman. Under other circumstances, tracks such as "Storming the Burning Fields," complete with gothic OH-OH-OHs and shrieking synth arpeggios, might draw guffaws. But DragonForce's pure, undiluted love of this wacky form is more likely to elicit gleeful smiles and airborne devil horns, and that's appropriate. While satire often has a short shelf life, sincerity is built to last.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts