DRAGONFORCE – Ultra Beatdown

  • 8/10
    DRAGONFORCE - Ultra Beatdown - 8/10


Roadrunner Records
Release Date: August 25, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

DragonForce has been around for almost a decade now, and have released four studio albums to this date, their 2008 release Ultra Beatdown being the latest. They started out as Dragonheart in 1999, but changed their name to DragonForce due to possible issues with a Brazilian band with the same name. The band is best known for their song “Through The Fire And Flames” that was included in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock and the band’s music sales increased dramatically due to this.

The band’s musical style is characterized by their twin guitar solos, their insanely fast pace (at times close to 200 bpm!) and electronic elements that at times can remind you of the classic Nintendo 8-bit songs. DragonForce is a band you either love or hate, and if you like Power Metal you’re most likely already a fan of theirs. It’s easy to use the song “Through The Fire And Flames” as a reference to how their music sounds and those who like that song is going to love their new release Ultra Beatdown. The album is filled with songs that have the typical DragonForce trademark. For instance, the album opener “Heroes Of Our Time” could easily have been taken from their 2006 release Inhuman Rampage.

The second track “The Fire Still Burns” picks up where “Heroes Of Our Time” ends, and both songs are filled with great amounts of speed, catchy chorus lines and fast and melodic twin guitar solos with their trademark Nintendo-sounding squeals. The third song, “Reason To Live” starts insanely fast with near Death Metal sounding drums, but it soon changes to the DragonForce we know so well. A fun fact for this album is that keyboard player Dave Mackintosh has used, in addition to keyboards, a Theremin.

Song number four, “Heartbreak Armageddon,” has almost three minutes of guitar and keyboard solos that see them through slow melodic playing and the insanely fast stuff. “The Last Journey Home” deviates some from the standard DragonForce recipe. It’s a slower song (not a ballad though) with lots of catchy vocal lines. “A Flame For Freedom” is even slower and may be the new ballad-like song to include in their live shows.

“Inside The Winter Storm” picks up the pace again and continues what “Heroes Of Our Time” and “The Fire Still Burns” started. This song is one of the highlights on this record along with the last song on the record; “The Warrior Inside.”

All in all this is a good album. One might conclude that DragonForce haven’t renewed themselves one bit from their prior releases. Granted, they didn’t reinvent the wheel with this record, but they have redefined Power Metal as we know it with their musical style and they play music they enjoy, and most likely that goes for the fans as well. This album is an album filled with music that will brighten your day if you like the band; you can’t help but feeling good after listening to this. If DragonForce’s previous releases did nothing for you, then Ultra Beatdown won’t change that, but if you’re into this kind of music then you will love it!


  1. Heroes Of Our Time
  2. The Fire Still Burns
  3. Reasons To Live
  4. Heartbreak Armageddon
  5. The Last Journey Home
  6. A Flame For Freedom
  7. Inside The Winter Storm
  8. A Warrior Inside


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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