Written by Alex Stojanovic
Reaching Into Infinity
Ashes Of The Dawn
Curse Of Darkness
Land Of Shattered Dreams
The Edge Of The World
Our Final Stand
Hatred & Revenge (Bonus track)
Evil Dead (Death cover) (Bonus track)
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Label: Metal Blade Records (USA) Cadence Music Group (CAN)
Marc Hudson - Vocals Herman Li - Guitars & backing vocals Sam Totman - Guitars & backing vocals
Frederic LeClercq - Bass & backing vocals Vadim Pruzhanov - Keyboards & backing vocals Gee Anzalone - Drums
To this day however, The Power Within remains untouchable. It's simply one of the band's best albums in terms of songwriting and performances. Ever since that album, they started making more of their songs shorter and more concise while still incorporating a couple of longer tracks on each record. On the band's new album Reaching Into Infinity, Hudson continues to prove why he's the perfect vocalist for DragonForce with his incredible and diverse range, with all respect to Theart. The signature high velocity shredding solos from Herman Li and Sam Totman and the big epic choruses are still present, along with new elements we haven't quite heard on a DragonForce album yet. This album also serves as an introduction to the talents of new drummer Gee Anzalone.
Following the intro title track, the next four tracks might seem like your average fast DragonForce songs, but "Ashes Of The Dawn" stands out in particular because the main guitar melody is so memorable, you will find yourself whistling it. At first, The Power Within had the fastest DragonForce song written with "Fallen World", then they beat that with "The Game" on Maximum Overload. The fastest song on this album, which is "Astral Empire", doesn't beat the tempo of "The Game", but if you're a fan of either of those other songs, this will be a stand out track for you. This track is also where Frederic LeClercq gets to shine with a bass solo that leads into the solo section.
If the band released another album similar to Inhuman Rampage with fast tracks all the way through, things would get stale real fast. That's why I'm glad that on the albums since Ultra Beatdown, they started writing some slower and more mid-tempo songs to keep things fresh for the listener. While we're on that subject, things head into power ballad territory with "Silence", where Hudson just soars vocally, making this a song that would sound excellent in a stadium or a festival setting. The keyboards from Vadim Pruzhanov provide a symphonic touch to the song.
On this album, DragonForce show a bit more of their aggressive side in some areas. A couple of examples of this include "WAR!", where Hudson starts incorporating a bit more gruff into his vocals, producing more thrash style vocals, and for the first time ever, we hear Hudson dabbling in death metal with his vocals on "The Edge Of The World", the band's first ever 11-minute epic. It's funny because as I was listening to it, I thought it was like 5 or 6 minutes long. When an 11-minute song feels like that, it's a good song. Death metal vocals on a DragonForce album. Who would've thought?
One of the record's most anticipated moments is actually one of the bonus tracks, which is their cover of Death's "Evil Dead". They've successfully put their own stamp on it while remaining true musically to the original, and this is another area where Hudson pushes the boundaries of his vocals. He doesn't try to emmulate Chuck Schuldiner's gutterals, as he brings a more thrash-sounding vocal to the track, but he does scream out the title pretty good. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Scream Bloody Gore this year, it makes sense that the band chose to cover a song from that album. R.I.P. Chuck.
Reaching Into Infinity may seem like a typical DragonForce album to some, but through and through, it's a really enjoyable listen with a multitude of memorable moments and they spread their wings more here. They still haven't topped The Power Within, but they have topped Maximum Overload. If you're a loyal DragonForce fan, there's no doubting you will appreciate this record.
Highs: Great production and solid songwriting. Stand out tracks include "Ashes Of The Dawn", "Judgement Day", "Silence" and "Edge Of The World"
Lows: If DragonForce's music isn't your cup of tea, then steer clear.
Final Rating: 8/10