Ultra Beatdown review by DragonForce

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  • Released: Aug 26, 2008
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.4 (280 votes)
DragonForce: Ultra Beatdown
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Sound — 10
As DragonForce themselves have stated, the music is not terribly different. It is however, their most diverse album since Valley of the Damned, in 2003. There is more variation in tempo and texture, and honestly, they have never sounded better. The production is very tastefully done, with clear and precise tones. As the music is more varied, so too are the individual works of the guys. Herman and Sam still shred, as usual. Vadim's keys are beginning to flourish in comparison to the guitars, and features more piano and strings than the previous albums. Newcomer Frederic Leclercq is more than capable of filling Adrian Lambert's shoes, and even contributes to the songwriting (first bassist to do so), having said that, he provides a solid rhythmic stream of mayhem alongside drummer Dave Mackintosh, who is as good as ever.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are typical DF. Battles, quests, etc. However, they are improving as lyricists, and as songwriters. The lyrics do not focus as much on mythical battles and the usual topics, but instead have begun to incorporate emotion into them. They are still DF, though. ZP Theart's vocals are as good as ever, and through the greater diversity of the album, is able to showcase his abundant skill on new levels.

Overall Impression — 10
Critically well-received, Beatdown is looking to assume the throne of Magnum Opus, and rightfully deserves to. It stands above all their previous work and is a working testament to the bands' ability. Heroes of our Time, Reasons to Live, and The Warrior Inside stand out the most. The worst thing about the album is the artwork, which was the source of much friction among fans and critics alike. It is their most beautifully crafted album to date. It may seem a little less guitar-driven at times, which is refreshing, yet they still stand out of all the instruments. If all my DF albums were lost/stolen, this would be the first to replace, as it is easily the most enjoyable. Did they do anything truly original? No, not really, but it is the most varied and original album to date. Those seeking a foothold to DFs music should use this album, essential to the existing fan.

115 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Bard_of_all
    Did he just call them that?
    Holy ****, he did. I like some of Dragonforce's old stuff, but they are NOT metal gods. More like technical riffers.
    Ubermensche
    The problem I have with Dragonforce is that all their songs sound similar. They definitely have their own sound but I don't think it differentiates as much as the review says it does. I own SF and IR. I have trouble listening all the way through because the songs tend to sound the same. Their slow songs are cheesier than ManoWar. Some interesting guitar solos but the solos are generally not as complex as they sound. The patterns they play are not really complex or inventive...just really fast. From a musical standpoint I do not always agree with it. Speed can really kill melody at times.
    Shabalaba
    Hm maybe i will give it a shot but they would be a lot better without the lame lyrics
    gr1170
    Why do people think they speed up their music?? I mean, yea its pretty fast but there is a lot of other shred stuff that is faster than anything Dragonforce has written, not to say Dragonforce isn't up there but there are much faster songs. I have been playing guitar for only 3 years now and I can play pretty much all their stuff. They really can play everything, live too. I know they kind of sucked live a few years ago but I saw them last month and they hit pretty much everything, same speed too.
    Ratt n' Roll
    Im definitely impressed with their new album, It has some kick ass songs and I just love the bonus tracks, all 3 of them rule. Strike of the ninja is my favorite bonus track on ultra Beatdown.
    zoso59
    Dragonforce ROCKS and would be better if they wouldn't try to play drunk... tht was the problem w/ graspop, they tried to play drunk and they CAN'T But yeah im totally buying the new album, its gonna be AWESOME
    duncang
    Checked. There were a lot of comments, just as well I have Pro Tools so I can speed up my checking.
    q1w2e4r4
    I don't mind Dragonforce. I try not to be biased, by it is true - Once you hear a few songs, you're done. I listened to their tracks Through the Fire and the Flames and Black Fire , and all their songs sound like variations of that.
    perilouspete wrote: YOU BUY AR ARBUM O I SHIT ON YAR HEAD. I'M HERMAN LI AND AV A VER WEIR SPEECH PROLEM.
    Hehe...
    uv_abcs
    the thing that i just don't like about them is their drums and the cd cover..
    uv_abcs
    Ikary wrote: ravenking2005 wrote: guys i've gotta be honest here. i'm not feelin' this album. i feel as if they haven't matured at all.. its the same thing... all in the same key... all very very fast. and dobby240. buddy. wtf are you talking about? these guys suck live. they use ProTools to speed up their guitar tracks because they can't play them at regular speed.[Citation needed]
    how did you know? do you know them personally? can you perform better than them live with that speed?
    Ironpriest
    I just don't like it how they use so much computer editing on the final result, it makes it sound less like music. i know its their thing, but if they just slowed the tempo down a bit then i reckon they would be taken much more seriously by music lovers.
    J.J.G.
    yeah i've noticed in the last two albuns that i had that the lyrics were lame. i don't realy mind because i just listen to DF because of the insane guitar riffs, but some reasonable lyrics would help them in conquering the non-guitarist audience.
    HarvesterOfDeth
    Everyone says 'THey suck live' so I will say when they first got popular here and played ozzfest they did mess up a lot when i saw them and they werent very good. but when i saw them in a little club with Killswitch Engage they were amazing. yeah the messed up a few times but they have tons of solos and recording a cd isnt done in one take so its not going to sound the same each time. Ultra Beatdown is a great album and 'The Fire Still Burns' is my new favorite song. and to everyone who doesnt like them I appreciat your dislike so dont show up to their shows and take up space for the people who do actually like them. theres nothing more annoying at a show than a douche standing up front whos not even enjoying the show. get the f out so i can get closer.
    Viking_Swede666
    Vectrox wrote: Dragonforce = Fake Speed Necrophagist = Technical Speed
    HUZZAH!!! you my friend are quite awesome.
    jonathanonfire
    Daisy_Ramirez_ wrote: Reiatsu wrote: In my opinion the reason they sound as bad as they do live (and yes they are horrible live, as much as I love their albums) is that they play in harmony WAY too much on stage. To play those kinds of riffs and runs in harmony live would require absolute perfection from both guitarists which really just isn't feasible. If they were to have just one play lead and the other rhythm and maybe interchange every once in a while it would sound SO much better and they would start earning a lot more respect as guitarists. Anyone who's watched the young guitar DVD clip knows what I'm talking about. Get them to play separately and it's insane. When they play together it sounds disjointed and sour. PLEASE DF... NO HARMONY LIVE!!!!! Um, just watch some talented bands. To use an overused example, Necrophagist. Fermented Offal Discharge live. That solo is ****ing epic, and he does not miss a single note live. WHILST SINGING. And he plays much faster than 14nps. Listen to some real music. that said, I enjoy Dragonforce.
    I couldnt agree more.
    pyritmann
    sometimes these guys are alright to hear, not to listen to though, theres a difference. im a drummer, and i dont like their drumming, but im also a guitarist and their guitar is really cool, but its just not something i could listen to for very long, and i dont know firsthand... but if these rumors about them not being able to play it live, and using pro tools to speed it up is true then thats totally lame. but all ive done is heard so i dont know the Truth
    trendkill-
    J.J.G. wrote: yeah i've noticed in the last two albuns that i had that the lyrics were lame. i don't realy mind because i just listen to DF because of the insane guitar riffs, but some reasonable lyrics would help them in conquering the non-guitarist audience.
    umm im a guitarest and i find this music emotionless and sad cus honestly real guitar players like to listen to bands that can play there own stuff live
    sabres61
    good album and they improved live, saw them on mayhem on the 19th and they definitely stepped up their live performance, herman and sam are on the same page now, but sam's guitar has an edge III so later on in the set his guitar seemed a little off but not that noticeable.
    Daisy_Ramirez_
    Reiatsu wrote: In my opinion the reason they sound as bad as they do live (and yes they are horrible live, as much as I love their albums) is that they play in harmony WAY too much on stage. To play those kinds of riffs and runs in harmony live would require absolute perfection from both guitarists which really just isn't feasible. If they were to have just one play lead and the other rhythm and maybe interchange every once in a while it would sound SO much better and they would start earning a lot more respect as guitarists. Anyone who's watched the young guitar DVD clip knows what I'm talking about. Get them to play separately and it's insane. When they play together it sounds disjointed and sour. PLEASE DF... NO HARMONY LIVE!!!!!
    Um, just watch some talented bands. To use an overused example, Necrophagist. Fermented Offal Discharge live. That solo is ****ing epic, and he does not miss a single note live. WHILST SINGING. And he plays much faster than 14nps. Listen to some real music. that said, I enjoy Dragonforce.
    Reiatsu
    In my opinion the reason they sound as bad as they do live (and yes they are horrible live, as much as I love their albums) is that they play in harmony WAY too much on stage. To play those kinds of riffs and runs in harmony live would require absolute perfection from both guitarists which really just isn't feasible. If they were to have just one play lead and the other rhythm and maybe interchange every once in a while it would sound SO much better and they would start earning a lot more respect as guitarists. Anyone who's watched the young guitar DVD clip knows what I'm talking about. Get them to play separately and it's insane. When they play together it sounds disjointed and sour. PLEASE DF... NO HARMONY LIVE!!!!!
    theacademyeats
    the guitarists r good no doubt but the fact that they can't play it like it is on the album is pretty lame. i mean don't try and pretend like ur a virtuoso when ur not
    speedofthepuma
    ok, dont go blowing your horn saying that Li and Totman cant compare to some of the greats, because they can, they are far more experienced and good than most of us will ever dream to be, as for the band i honestly think they are mediocre and overated, its the price of being popular and loved by a crowd of people who hear the name and hype and call themselves a fan, but for the band members of Dragonforce, they are doing what they love, and isnt that music? I dont care if they are horrible, the dream of music pierces the soul of anyone who loves it.....even if the singer of Dragonforce sucks some big ones
    Jondy
    nothing special just more same ol good ol fast ol dragonforce.
    ytse Jammer
    Better than inhuman rampage, not as good as sonic firestorm or Valley of the damned. It's ok. Reasons to live and the warrior inside are my favorites
    Shazazmic
    Ultra Beatdown! The 40 minute furious masturbation session caught on tape!
    angelofdeath99
    Shazazmic wrote: Ultra Beatdown! The 40 minute furious masturbation session caught on tape!
    hahahahah thats why they call it "uplifting" it lifts up your-you know!
    Dr-Funkenstein
    Might check this album out, but Heroes of our Time was pretty uninspiring really. Is there anything to rival 'Soldiers of the Wasteland' or 'Disciples of Babylon' on here?
    Jugulator_cro
    Ultra Beatdown sounds more mature, and is the most diverse album by the metal gods , Dragonforce
    Did he just call them that?
    guitardood666
    In the verse they are palm muted really fast, but the solos still sound pretty much the same
    guitardood666
    to be quite honest, i like dragonforce but it would be nice to hear new drum beats and new guitar lines than just the same power chords palm muted really fast
    PleaseDie
    markojuo wrote: all talent in music in the end leads to song writing skill. whoopdidoo with the speed and all that, if you enjoy watching someone vibrating their right hand really fast, then be my guest, but skill can NEVER replace sound. If you cant write songs that are even the least bit differentiating then ask yourself this. are you really that talented?
    Well said.
    HostileFTW
    5/10 Lyrics are nonsensical, all the songs sound like every other one, there is rarely any variety. The only redeeming qualities are of the 5 minute solos without ZP singing, but they still can't play it live.
    Cyanide86
    I dont know what's the big deal about this band.Bad music,bad vocals,bad solos.Just because everything is fast,so what?Solos sometimes sounds like music from videogames,very bad. 1/10
    markojuo
    all talent in music in the end leads to song writing skill. whoopdidoo with the speed and all that, if you enjoy watching someone vibrating their right hand really fast, then be my guest, but skill can NEVER replace sound. If you cant write songs that are even the least bit differentiating then ask yourself this. are you really that talented?
    MT in Austin
    Speed over music. Li and Totman are talented and fast but the music just tires me out. Maybe if the singer was better and songs had some variety, it would be more interesting. 6-8 minutes of non-stop double bass gets old quickly to me. There is a reason why classic video game music is usually only 15-30 second loops. Spped loses its impact after minutes of the same thing over and over again.
    duncang
    SsPunk wrote: Soroki wrote: Dragonforce is great at making almost every song sound exactly like their other ones.... I have to say...this is music meant to impress people who think anything over 150 BPM is good... +1 I saw them live with a friend once. Tbh, yeah, they were rubbish :| i dont understand why people get so hyped up about them. Oh right. Guitar hero.
    The hype existed long before they were ever on guitar hero. It was just the quality of their music. Checked.
    King Kobra
    Not as good as Inhuman Rampage, on par with Sonic Firestorm, and I'm not a fan of Valley of the Damned so much better than that. The solos are still epic and the shredding continues! Favs are Heroes of Our Time, Inside the Winter Storm, The Last Journey Home, and The Fire Still Burns.
    SsPunk
    Soroki wrote: Dragonforce is great at making almost every song sound exactly like their other ones.... I have to say...this is music meant to impress people who think anything over 150 BPM is good...
    +1 I saw them live with a friend once. Tbh, yeah, they were rubbish :| i dont understand why people get so hyped up about them. Oh right. Guitar hero.
    Soroki
    Dragonforce is great at making almost every song sound exactly like their other ones.... I have to say...this is music meant to impress people who think anything over 150 BPM is good...
    SamTotman
    Been to see then live twice, third time next month. They are amazing live, tbh, ignore the idiots who take awful cam quality videos and post them up "OMFGDRAGONFORCESUCKSLIVEOLOL" I really like this album but it won't beat valley of the damned.
    Ikary
    ravenking2005 wrote: guys i've gotta be honest here. i'm not feelin' this album. i feel as if they haven't matured at all.. its the same thing... all in the same key... all very very fast. and dobby240. buddy. wtf are you talking about? these guys suck live. they use ProTools to speed up their guitar tracks because they can't play them at regular speed.
    [Citation needed]