Dragonforce – Maximum Overload


Review by Mark Granger


Release date: 18 August 2014

Let’s get something straight. This is Dragonforce we’re talking about. Like AC/DC, they don’t do surprises. They go by the age old maxim, ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ and they do what they do better than 99% of bands of their ilk, so to misquote Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “If you don’t like them by now, you will never, never like them, ooh, ooh, ooh”. But if you do, then you won’t be disappointed by Maximum Overload.

Opener ‘The Game’ whizzes by at a million miles an hour, all soaring vocals (with a little roaring courtesy of Trivium’s Matt Heafy) and insane guitars. And from there on in the album varies very little, but there are some dalliances into other genres. ‘Symphony Of The Night’ has an intro that is almost prog influenced, but 30 seconds in and the machine gun guitars are back. ‘Three Hammers’ begins with a section that recalls …And Justice For All-era Metallica if they melded with Iron Maiden and also showcases singer Marc Hudson’s vocal acrobatics to the full along with the return of Herman Li’s pac-man guitar.

The other noticeable thing about Maximum Overload is the fact that Herman Li and Sam Totman could almost be accused of occasionally playing some tasteful guitar solos amongst the squeals, noises and widdly sections, and on ‘Three Hammers’ and ‘The Sun Is Dead’ they break out some of the heaviest riffs ever to make it on to a Dragonforce album.

Keeping with the template laid out by previous album Twilight Dementia, the songs on Maximum Overload are relatively short and don’t stretch to the nine minute mark like they did on their earlier albums. If it’s an intentional move on the band’s part it’s a smart one as their style can get a little repetitive on their epics and shortening the length strengthens the power of the songs, focusing the hooks and solos leaving only what’s necessary which leads to a much better listening experience. Maximum Overload was never going to convert any new fans to the ‘Force but none of their current fan base is going to turn their nose up at what are some of their finest songs yet.

Dragonforce – Maximum Overload7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. The Game
  2. Tomorrow’s Kings
  3. No More
  4. Three Hammers
  5. Symphony of the Night
  6. The Sun is Dead
  7. Defenders
  8. Extraction Zone
  9. City of Gold
  10. Ring of Fire