Sound — 7
Dragonforce has always provided that hyper-speed, ripping guitar, with equal parts melody and equal parts mindless notes. This album is no different, they give their audience the exact same energy they had in Inhuman Rampage. Occasionally, they start a song with a feel that can only be explained as Sonic Firestorm style. Essentially, Ultra Beatdown is a mixture of all their past albums. Songs like "The Fire Still Burns" and "Last Journey Home" positively wreak of Sonic Firestorm. Dragonforce also throws in a lot of techno inspired video game sweeps and crazy noises in this one. Almost obnoxiously so, and it can get a bit irritating. But essentially, this is a solid album, especially if you're driving at night and need something to keep your heart at five hundred BPM. But one can only wonder why they didn't strive to make something more unique. A lot of it is cookie cutter, and they could have done a lot more. A few tracks seem more like they deserve to be on Dance Dance Revolution, rather than booming out the speakers of a passing truck. Either way, this band has put a lot of effort into this album.
Lyrics — 5
ZP Theart delivers his unique sound once again, and it's as awesome as ever. He can hit notes that make the songs a lot more distinct. Their lyrics, however, are lacking. As corny and shallow as ever, their songs have a certain repetitive nature, and an overabundance of 'eternity' 'freedom' and 'far away'. My question is, how much better could they be if their lyrics were as driving as their guitar? However, if you numb your mind to the lyrics and pay attention to the overall sound, it's okay.
Overall Impression — 8
This band has serious potential to be a borderline cultural force, with their particular brand of inoffensive nonsense, zany energy and amazing guitar. What they haven't done is try to change that. A few good songs from this album are "Reasons to Live", "The Fire Still Burns", "Last Journey Home" and "Heroes of our Time". If their next album contains deeper lyrics, more structured guitar with less random solos, and a better grasp of their overall sound and intention, this band could kill.