“Life is too important to be taken seriously,” Oscar Wilde once said. He could just have easily been talking about power metal – that most ridiculous of sub-genres.
Like all the best power metal bands, DragonForce are in on the gag. Their seventh album doesn’t stint on the Wagnerian bombast, from the Ritalin-powered kick drum assault of Astral Empire to the epic Guitar Hero duels of, well, pretty much everything on here. But there are pop smarts amid the silliness – you’re never more than a minute or two away from an epic chorus, whether that’s the arms-aloft anthemic Judgement Day or the poker-faced power balladry of Silence.
In fact, if there’s a problem it’s that the whole thing isn’t batshit crazy enough – sure, singer Marc Hudson can belt it out with the best of ’em, but the caps-tastic WAR! screams out for even more in the way of eye-popping operatics. It’s what Oscar Wilde would have wanted.