London-based power metal sextet Dragonforce recently released their sixth full-length record, Maximum Overload. The album marks a new direction for the group—while guitarists Sam Totman and Herman Li have produced all of the music in the past, this time they called upon Jens Brogen, who is known for his work with Opeth and Paradise Lost. Besides the 10 main tracks, a special edition also features five bonus songs.
Maximum Overload is very much a Dragonforce record; each track is thrashy, laden with harmonies and power chords that pack a punch. The band wastes no time building up the LP, as its opener, “The Game,” starts off with a bang and paves the way for the rest of the tracklist. The song features Trivium’s Matt Heafy, as do several others, which was an excellent choice because his vocals complement those of current singer Marc Hudson. “Symphony Of The Night” is a standout as most unique, consisting of a catchy rhythm that is ushered in alongside the plucking of a tinny guitar, which makes appearances throughout the entirety of the track. Before transitioning into the bonus portion of the disc, the band took to covering Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire,” which came as a pleasant (though slightly strange) surprise. It is a highlight of the album, shedding new light and putting a creative spin on the classic.
For established Dragonforce fans, Maximum Overload will be a welcomed release. However, despite its slight twists and turns, it does lack variety, and can become tedious. Regardless, the pure amount of energy found within the album is contagious and will get a listener’s blood pumping.