Sound — 9
The sound of Ultra Beatdown has taken parts of every DragonForce album and put it into one, and it has added new elements for DragonForce that made Ultra Beatdown one of a kind. From the high speed shredding, to the insane synth, to the tear delivering vocals, this album has it all. This album seems to focus more on vocals, piano, and synth more than guitar. The songs all have there ups and downs through the whole album. 01.Heroes Of Our Time: 7.5/10 this song is one of the meh songs on the album. The intro is catchy untill the sweep picking section, that has no direction. The lyrics in the chorus are not my favorite either, but it has a very catchy chord progession and melody. The solo bores my a little as well. But the song would be nothing without the outro, they land on the right note prefectly. 02.The Fire Still Burns: 7.5/10 this song is another meh song. It has a catchy intro that every DragonForce fan likes, and the end of the chorus when they sing "The Fire Still Burns" is very catchy and you may have it stuck in your head for a few days. 03.Reasons To Live: 9.5/10 Vadim, Sam, and Fred knew what they where doing when the wrote the music to this song. The music is perfect for any DragonForce fan or DragonForce hater. The intro on the thrermin and 215bpm blastbeat had me banging my head the minute I heard it, and it's all calms down with some synth sweeping. The lyrics to this song are very love them are hate them, like when they sing "A Star Shines In All Of Us" but that is a very DragonForce type lyric for you. After the extremely catchy chorus, you have the best part of the whole album, the solo. The nifty harmonic minor with wah pedal lick is the best way to start off the solo, and then when Sam comes in with the Whammy Pedal, the solo starts to really kick in. Then the drummer, Dave Macintosh, lays down amazing beats throughout the whole solo that made my father, a drummer who hates DragonForce, say "That was amazing, [b]that[/b] is music".". After the main solo, and after the funny wistle that made me lol, they solo over the chorus and go to a vocal chorus redux, and ZP Theart's vocals on the outro can make anyone cry. 04.Heartbreak Armageddon: 8.0/10 this is a very in-your-face kind of song. The vocal intro is even in your face! The song is very well put together and all follows smoothly compared to any other DragonForce song. And the acoustic solo had my father saying again how amazing the music is. This song also emphisizes how well Vadim Pruzhanov works on the Synth during the solo. 05.The Last Journey Home: 8.0/10 this song is all over the place compared to track 4, but DragonForce pulls it off. This is also a very different DragonForce song, and the haters would agree that it does sound different. The main highlight of this song is the solo. The solo actually feels like Sam and Herman are actually having a guitar duel. Herman, yet again shows off his amazing talent for legato sweeps and amazing tapping skills, as sam shows off his punchy and tight style of playing that makes you want to palm mute the next time you play guitar. 06.A Flame For Freedom: 7/10 the worst of the DragonForce ballads. They should have stuck to the piano intros like in Starfire, or Dawn Over A New World. The solo to this song is ok, and its really only good the first time you hear it. I do like the lyrics though, especialy in the beggining when they say "In the dark December morning light, Far strong to the burning winds, the fires of Hell will foresake me". These lyrics single handedly make me realize why this such a great band. 07.Inside The Winter Storm: 9/10 another great one! Sam wrote the music all by himself and he knew what he was doing, as shown in the chorus break. When it stops, and the piano kicks in, its just amazing how he pulled it off. Then when the lyrics come in to the chorus after the break, when ZP sings "A light for the world will save us tonight" it shows how great Sam can write melody lines, and with such great lyrics, like "Its just one wasted man in one wasted land" make me sit and interpret the lyrics. The song is all for the chorus! 08.The Warrior Inside: 8.5/10 I will get this out of the way first, the intro sounds like a news cast intro, witch is cool if you like that stuff like me. There is no doubt the Vadim wrote that inrto. The lyrics are very catchy and how they are sung makes them sound even better. I think thats what makes this song very nice. And when it gets slower for the solo, its just amazing. I got to see them play this song live, and that is when I realiazed that this song has an amazing solo. And this song has a first for DragonForce, at the end of this song, they don't have a chorus redux, they just go right into the outro. That is another reason why this song is a great one. -Special Edition Tracks- 09.Strike Of The Ninja: 7.5/10 Sam basically covered his own song. The orignal song was called "Feel The Fire" by "Shadow Warriors", a side project from 2000 (It is unknown if they are still together today) with Sam and ZP, although they still deny ever forming Shadow Warriors. The quality of the orignal version is very bad, but the older song is very good, I reccomend that song more. 10.Scars Of Yesterday: 9/10 the best of the bonus tracks. This song has one hell of a groove and is a very different DragonForce song, differnt for two reasons. Reason one, being the music, it is still DragonForce cheesy that the fans like, but its just different, you have to give it a listen to. And reason number two is the topic of the song, no more slaying dragons or riding on eagels! This song is about rape! The lyrics talk about tying an Ex Girlfriend up, puting her on a drug and raping her. Thats not why I like the song (well not the ony reason :) ), yet again, Vadim wrote amazing synth parts, and Fred who wrote the solo and plays it live. This is a very musical song and its bound to catch your ears. And, if you like video game music, you are sure to catch those sounds the Vadim put in there. 11.E.P.M: 8/10 Rumored to stand for Extreme Power Metal. Its an O.K song, not my favorite though. The intro makes me want to play MegaMan 2, and the lyric themes ("Blind my eyes burning forever to wash my sins away") are very appeling to me. Overall, I rate the songs and sounds on this album an 8.5, rounded to a 9.
Lyrics — 8
Overall, the lyrics are ok, as long as you are a Power Metal fan. Some people don't find slaying dragons and accompanied vocal lines nice to them and would rather listen to someone killing someone. I like all kinds of metal so I listen to Cannibal Corpse as well, but I just find DragonForce more appealing for there lyrics. And as a Cristian (I might not act it) I feel these lyrics appeal strongly to me. The lyrics, for the most part, compliment the music well, as shown in "Inside The Winter Storm". If you give it a listen, you will know what I mean. The singer, ZP Theart (Zip-ee) is not what I would call the best sing, but he isnt average, but he isnt the worst. But he is also not anyone they picked up off the street, he can sing, and he is unique, and thats why he dosent suck. He can hit really high notes and his bass and mid range is very well suited for Power Metal. And thats why ZP (Or Mister, cookie to whoever get the refrence) is a good singer for this album.
Overall Impression — 9
This is no album compared to Valley Of The Damned or Sonic Firestorm, but it is amazing compared to Inhuman Rampage. I think this takes the best of every album and puts it into one. The most impressive songs on the album are "Reasons To Live", "Inside The Winter Storm", and "Scars Of Yesterday". I love that this album brings out the best of all the other instruments besides guitar, they really focus more on Synth and Vocals. Although the bass will never be as good as on Sonic Firestorm's "Above The Winter Moonlight", or Valley Of The Damned's "Heart Of A Dragon" it is alright. I also love that this is the first album that the bassist Frdric Leclercq wrote music for, he is a very good musician and if you want to hear more of him, I suggest listening to Maladaptive. If I had to hate one thing on the album, it would be that they don't do a Triple Attack like in the "Soldiera Of The Wasteland" solo, but I can live without it. If this was stolen, I would, without a doubt, rush to the store and buy a new copy. I am a member of the Offical DragonForce FanClub: Soldiers Of The Wasteland, and I just thought that I would share my thoughts on the wonderful album with everyone.