Dragonforce: Maximum Overload

Power metallers toy with their comfort zone.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Once memorably described as “Nintendo metal”, largely due to the squeaks and squeals from the dog-hearing end of the sonic spectrum chirruping forth from Herman Li’s guitar sprints, for fans of such aural intricacies, there’s plenty here to savour.

Rousing choruses, blast beats and typically overwrought bombast are also present and correct, not least on opener The Game. Approaching 240bpm, it’s their fastest yet, and in terms of heart rate, quite a flutter. Elsewhere, deviations into thrash (Defenders), prog-tinged middle sections (Symphony Of The Night) and even a hint of funk (Extraction Zone) illustrate a minor willingness to push things beyond the usual, and it’s all the better for it.

Always a polarising band, ultimately there’s little on offer to snare a neutral. For the zealot, however, new heights of melody and assurance await.

Tim Batcup

Tim Batcup is a writer for Classic Rock magazine and Prog magazine. He's also the owner of Cover To Cover, Swansea's only independent bookshop, and a director of Storyopolis, a free children’s literacy project based at the Volcano Theatre, Swansea. He likes music, books and Crass.