DragonForce / The Breakneck Mayhem Of Warp Speed Warriors

DragonForce take some amount of slagging, both online and beyond. They are like the Nickelback of Extreme Power Metal. But in naming their latest album Warp Speed Warriors, it appears they don’t give a shit what people think. And why should they? With this being their ninth studio outing, they have secured a massively loyal fanbase that has revelled in their breakneck mayhem for more than two decades.

DragonForce – Warp Speed Warriors (Napalm Records)

Release Date: 15 March 2024

Words: Brian Boyle

If you have followed the band’s journey since their formation in 1999, you will know DragonForce are the brainchild of guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman.

And bizarrely it isn’t the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai or Joe Satriani who are at the forefront of their musical influences. No, it’s retro video game music, which would explain the ludicrously titled songs and their music being described as Nintendo Metal.

DragonForce - Warp Speed Warriors (Napalm Records)
DragonForce – Warp Speed Warriors (Napalm Records)

As well as having two axe maniacs who play like their fingers have been injected with Michael Flatley’s DNA, they have a big, tall blonde singer called Marc Hudson, a bit like Sebastian Bach and blessed with a voice from the Gods.

He sings songs like Power Of The Triforce, Space Marine Corp and Pixel Prison. You haven’t the foggiest what he’s singing about, but chances are neither does he. But whatever it is, you’re on board with these helter skelter speed-fest tunes.

But you don’t need to have jerked a joystick like a nerd possessed to fully enjoy the sumptuous madness of opener Astro Warrior Anthem or the more mundane titled Burning Heart. The good versus evil battle cries in the predictable, but towering choruses will suck you into their world if you let them.

Like all their albums so far, they don’t come attached with a set of brakes, and at times, it’s like a three-way battle for attention between Li, Totman and Hudson, leaving drummer Gee Anzalone and bassist Alicia Vigil holding it all together and clinging on for dear life.

But there is a welcome break from the monotony. The hugely infectious Doomsday Party has the Eurovision Song Contest plastered all over it with one of those Douze Points choruses.

Force or a farce, this band know their market, and they are and probably will always be unrivalled in the world of, dare I say it, Nintendo Metal.

Sleeve Notes

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