Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Dragonforce: Warp Speed Warriors break the sound barrier

Dragonforce are so far away from being a standard power metal band. Their ability to experiment with supersonic speeds, technical mastery and goofball self-awareness has helped them maintain the fire and the flames for nearly 20 years. Their newest record sees them once again breaking the sound barrier with ease as they unleash the power of the Warp Speed Warriors.

Warp Speed Warriors has the breakneck speed of Inhuman Rampage but it mixes in the silliness of Extreme Power Metal to make something that still feels epic and grand in scale but also feels tongue in cheek. There aren’t many metal bands that can write songs about The Legend of Zelda and maintain their metal credibility while also crafting a banger but ‘Power of the Triforce’ does exactly that. 

This may sound like a negative point but it’s the greatest strength of the record, several songs sound like they were written with Disney in mind. ‘Kingdom of Steel’ feels like it was inspired by Phil Collins’ tracks from Tarzan and Space Marine Corps could be featured on the Treasure Planet soundtrack with very little rewriting. While some may read that and think “that sounds childish”, it really speaks to their ability to invoke childlike wonder and a need for adventure that only a band like Dragonforce can construct. 

There’s so much whimsy and fun to be had on this record and their live show aims to reflect that once it hits the UK later this month. ‘Doomsday Party’ is set to become a new setlist favourite with its bouncy riffing and catchy choruses intercut with the classic iconic Dragonforce guitar wizardry from Herman Li and Sam Totman. 

‘Killer Queen’ feels the most reminiscent of Ultra Beatdown-era Dragonforce as it hits warp speed while Marc Hudson uses falsetto sonic blast, it’s highly effective and inflicts stun. Clocking in at almost 7 minutes, it’s one of many epics on the record that showcase everyone at the height of their powers. 

‘Pixel Prison’ gives a Machinae Supremacy vibe with its inclusion of video game-inspired synths and gaming lyricism. The whole track feels gigantic and just keeps building the intensity towards some of the best guitar work Dragonforce have ever put out, seriously listen to it and try not to picture them playing on the top of a mountain. 

Taylor Swift is an unavoidable talking point lately and it seems that she’s even made her way onto a Dragonforce album, which was unexpected. This cover is by no means bad but it’s just Taylor Swift’s lyrics set to a standard Dragonforce riff. No shade to the original song but there are Taylor Swift songs that would be better suited for a Dragonforce version than ‘Wildest Dreams’

There are flaws to Warp Speed Warriors but all of them are easily ignored when you take the record for what it is, a fun-filled goofy adventure across the cosmos full of mighty warriors, magic and wonder. If none of that sounds epic then perhaps the hero’s journey is not a journey you should take. 

Warp Speed Warriors is available March 15th via Napalm Records.

Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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