Sound — 10
The most impressive duet in neo-classical metal bring you another great sound for the speed junkie in all of us in Sonic Firestorm. Li and Totman were made for each other, and this album truly showcases the perfection of this pair. Totman, who writes most of the band's full work, puts together a harmonic paradise of tone here. And the undeniable talent of Li, who pulls off Totman's truly demanding work, is brightly showcased through his amazing harmonic and sonic speed soloing. The drumwork of Mackintosh, the band's reigning drummer, is also displayed for the world in this album. Great choice on drummers Dragonforce, because this man could win a marathon if need be. His 300+ BPM double bass drum drumming is something out of this world and I get tired just listening to him change a simple bass-snare-bass-snare pattern into an exoctic and ever flowing tide of drumming. The only true complaint in sound is the sad lack of bass. I mean, I'm truly a guitarist at heart, but I appreciate a great thumpy bass every now and then. If you are 100% bass, then you may not like this album so much.
Lyrics — 10
ZP Theart reminds me a lot of Geddy Lee of Rush and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed And Cambria, in that he has a male vocal range that puts Michael Jackson on helium and a swift kick to the crotch could only dream of. This is a truly talented singer and, with Totman's lyrics, a true virtuoso of the voice. The uplifting lyrics of the life of a warrior, or one who's spirit will go on for eternity, really is good for the metal genre, which is normally full of doom, gloom, death and genocide. These lyrics give one a sense of fullness, or a feeling of great heroics. It's a great system that Dragonforce pulls off every single time they enter the studio.
Overall Impression — 10
I believe this to be their greatest album, just a personal opinion, so don't reem me for it. I believe it's just one of those albums where every single song is good, instead of just a few. Valley of the Damned was a bit unrefined, but still a great album that gets a 9 in my book, while Inhuman Rampage was a bit repetative in my opinion. Both great albums, but I believe that Sonic Firestorm is a true work of art that is expressed perfectly through this band's sense of heroism and abstract lyrics. The group's staple, Li and his beyond-this-world guitar talent, really propels this group to a whole new level of awe and true grace in the metal genre, kind of like a whole group of Yngwie Malmsteems at once. I'm a total Satriani junkie, but this is a very refreshing style that can really put a better mood into you when you just need some speed. If this album were stolen, God save the person who took it, cause I would rip their filthy, CD stealing hands off. And then go to FYE and buy it again. Overall, this is the answer to those who want something different from metal or the guitar virtuoso calling out from inside. Truly inspirational, thanks Dragonforce!