Reaching Into Infinity
Release Date: May 19th, 2017
Some bands take a certain sound and embrace it so completely and immerse themselves into it so completely that they manage to further mold and condense the sound until their very name becomes synonymous with the style of music they produce. They become iconic poster children for their particular genre.
DragonForce is one such band. They have, over the course of seven albums, become known for a sound that is over the top, melodic, and overall *fast*. Some may call it ‘power metal’ some may label it ‘speed metal’ but whatever you call it there is no denying that DragonForce is one of the biggest players in the field today. Love them or hate them (their sound tends to polarize music fans into either category) when you hear DragonForce you know precisely who you’re listening to.
This of course brings us to “Reaching Into Infinity” the British formed band’s seventh studio album. DragonForce has gone through a number of lineup changes throughout the years but one factor has remained constant: the twin guitars of Herman Li and Sam Totman. Once again their signature sound firmly cements this release in the mind of the listener as a DragonForce album. The high tempo shredding and upper octave guitar noodling are present along with their trademark frenetic soloing, which wrenches the multitudinous squeals and bleeps that have led the band being sometimes referred to as ‘Nintendo metal’. The essential recipe that is a DragonForce album has not changed in the least. It has, perhaps, been kicked up a notch or two (at least in respect to the band’s past few releases).
“Reaching Into Infinity” opens with a minute and a half long instrumental prelude: snare drums and twin guitars in a gradual buildup which releases in the flash that is “Ashes of the Dawn” which is everything you could hope for from a DF tune. Things really heat up however with the beginning of the next track “Judgement Day” which is a high-speed assault of melody. Definitely a highlight. Things continue much the same throughout the album with the exception of the somewhat forgettable ballad “Silence”. It’s not bad of course; it’s just not what we came here for. Fortunately, the tempo picks back up with the following track and never lets down for the remainder of the album. “War” is quite possibly the fastest and heaviest track these guys have laid down since their more speed metal leaning origins. It sounds like something early Blind Guardian would’ve come up with. It’s damn near a thrash tune, with the obligatory DF melody present of course. Speaking of unexpectedly heavy, there’s a bit in the “The Edge of the World” that makes use of death metal vocals which while vastly incongruent with the rest of the album proves that these guys are not afraid of a little experimentation.
The album is anthemic, with a triumphant, positive vibe throughout (with the exception of the ballad because… ballad). There’s no angst here, just the joy that comes from lighting fast riffs and exultant worship of the power of metal.
Reviewed by Farron 1340