Ultra Beatdown Review

artist: DragonForce date: 08/11/2009 category: compact discs
DragonForce: Ultra Beatdown
Released: Aug 26, 2008
Genre: Power metal
Label: Roadrunner, Universal, JVC, Spinefarm
Number Of Tracks: 14
Ultra Beatdown is an epic, sweeping, grand collection of infectious guitar anthems that'll inspire all who listen to either pump their fists in the air or pick up a guitar, whether it be real or virtual.
 Sound: 8.8
 Lyrics: 6.9
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (13) 173 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 27, 2008
12 of 23 people found this review helpful

Sound: Dragonforce is back with their fourth studio album, and they are sounding better than ever. Advancing further with their sound every album, Ultra Beatdown sounds more mature, and is the most diverse album by the metal gods, Dragonforce, to date. In the first track, "Heroes of our Time," Dragonforce ups the ante by having more complex and catchy melody lines in the song. Also the song has many more slow parts than other songs in previous albums. Quite a few of the songs have slower parts in the songs that contrast the faster parts of the song. That's one element in this album that sets it apart from the rest of the albums. In the previous Dragonforce albums, apart from the ballads, most of the songs were preformed at breakneck speeds throughout the entire song. In this album there are many slower parts. The overall melodies in the album are more colorful, on the vocals, guitars, and keyboard. My personal favorite off the album was the song "Heartbreak Armageddon." In the guitar solo, you can hear techniques that sound like those of thrash legend Marty Friedman. The overall melody is amazing, after listening to it, you get the most epic feeling of triumphantness. It is simply amazing. The guitar parts are what most people listen for, and blow most people that appreciate shred, and epic guitar music, completley away. The shred duo, Herman and Sam, do a great job on Ultra Beatdown. Every song had epic, harmonized, and melodic shred. Another thing that sets this album apart, is there are different techniques used throughout the solos, and in the structures of the songs. Not every solo is fast. I think overall, this album is far more diverse and mature sounding. If you have never listened to Dragonforce before, this would be the perfect album to start with. If you have listened to Dragonforce before and were not impressed, I would give this album a listen it would change your mind. And Dragonforce fans, you won't be dissapointed. // 10

Lyrics: These are classic Dragonforce lyrics. For me, I don't pay much attention to them. ZP is a great singer, and does a wonderful just singing, but the lyrics are "fantasy lyrics" done in Dragonforce style. This is the part where most people are turned off, to me I can listen to the lyrics and sing them, but I really don't pay much attention to the meaning, I pay more attention to the melody. In this album, ZP does some pretty awesome melodies vocally, and they are really catchy. They go with the music perfectly, and are really epic, and triumphant. The songs are uplifting, and give you an adrenaline rush becasue they are that uplifting. // 7

Overall Impression: Overall, this was an amazing album. It is an improvment from Inhuman Rampage, and I know many fans from the days of "Valley of the Damned" that like this album. The guiar, vocal, and keyboard parts are for more mature sounding than in the previous albums. Dragonforce has evolved their sound, taking it one step further. Like I said earlier, if you didn't like them before, I would give this album a chance, it's very good. Herman, Sam, Vadim, Fred, ZP, and Dave display the complete mastery of their instruments in this album. All of the parts come together and sound great. I would recomend this to any fan of melodic music. // 10

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overall: 7
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: HeavenlyVirus, on august 27, 2008
2 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, as we all know, Dragonforce have always had a unique sound that has changed in subtle ways with each album and Ultra Beatdown is no exception. Ultra Beatdown is definately a great new sound for the band. In my opinion, several songs stood out more than others. Said songs include Heartbreak Armageddon, Reasons to Live, and A Flame for Freedom. This album was exactly what Dragonforce needed to write to continue to evolve, but not lose their identity. The vocal production and harmonies are also miles above any of their other work. It's amazing to listen to ZP's incredible voice. His range soars up there with the clouds. The guitar solos are also very different. Many of them are actually slow, although not the majority. I think that Heartbreak Armageddon has the greatest DF solo ever written. I promise it will take many of you by surprise. The keyboards also saw a significant improvement. Much less of the traditional synth strings and more new age sounds. It sounds more futuristic to be honest. There are also a lot more keyboard solos. On a sadder note, the drums haven't changed much at all. I hear more drum rolls on the snare, but that's about it. Dave is a great drummer, but nothing about his drumming on this new album really caught my attention. // 8

Lyrics: Haha. Lyrics. Dragonforce lyrics have always been over the top, and yet again, Ultra Beatdown makes no exceptions. Riding through harsh winter storms, fighting the forces of evil, finding the truth in oneself. Ultra Beatdown has it all. My biggest complaint is that the line "So far away" appears in at least 3 different songs. I know that the lyrics aren't meant to be serious, but come on, Totman. You can do better. // 5

Overall Impression: Ultra Beatdown is on a whole different level than VotD, SF, and IR. I won't go so far as to say it's 'better', but I will say that it is different. Once again I will emphasize that it's still Dragonforce making the music, so don't expect 8 slow songs. I really liked this album. It's not ground-breaking, but it will entertain me for quite a while. I will, however, admit that some of the guitar parts were overproduced. I felt like the whammy bar sqeals were too much. I can take a few, but Ultra Beatdown gets a bit ridiculous with how much abuse that Edge Zero bridge takes. Anyways, it's a good listen for DF fans, and it may even win the respect of people who are not DF fans. It's definately worth buying. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: Night_Warrior, on august 11, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: Panasonic3, on august 27, 2008
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The overall sound if DF's new release isn't too different from their other stuff, but if you listen close there are very cool subtleties. The Keys (always my favorite with this band) are much more present, have a less synth like sound and venture more into 8-bit stuff and back to their roots with trumpets and strings. The guitars are different as well. The melodies are a little less catchy and heavier. The bridges and guitar interludes are much more oriental sounding than any of their other albums. The solos, I must say, are still brialliant. Sadly, it seems the bass has been really mixed out. I was looking forward to heavy bassage but there wasn't any. And a plus! The drummer is better! // 10

Lyrics: Lyric impression is what you expect. Epic battle metal lyris talking about journeys across time and space and the like, and it fits perfectly. Sadly though for Z.P. Theart, your singing isn't as good. His skill has by no means dropped, but he stopped hitting the high notes and epic screams. I was kind of a let down. I liked his catchy voice. // 7

Overall Impression: DragonForce really is a band like no other modern band. Nobody ever made music this epic, and especially with out as talented musicians. They are just sweet. Great songs would be: Reasons to Live, Heartbreak Armeggeddon, The Last Journey Home, Inside the Winter Storm, and The Warrior Inside. I love nearly everything about this album, and I hate nothing. If I had to change something, it would be the vox, but I don't hate them. Everything 2 hotdogs up. Great album. Does it seem like I bought it? I suppose I'd be pissed if it were lost or stolen because I would be out a computer. // 8

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overall: 9.3
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: Big Tommy P, on august 27, 2008
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 7.3
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: ytse Jammer, on september 01, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Some worship them, others hate them with a burning passion. Ultra Beatdown is the latest offering from the speed/power metal band Dragonforce. The sound is very similar to 2006's Inhuman Rampage with a million guitar tracks, soaring vocals, cheesy keyboards and epic drumming in practically every song. Don't get me wrong on CD it sounds great (I'm not going to discuss the live sound as it isn't relevant) really full and over powering. The video games sounds make a return with some really weird effects going on which give Dragonforce their distinct sound. If your a fan of previous Dragonforce albums then this will sit somewhere between Inhuman Rampage and Sonic Firestorm with elements of both mixed in. However there is nothing new to attract new fans to Dragonforce and it bugs me that many of the new riffs and solos are basically recycled from previous albums. Melodies and chord progressions in certain parts give the feeling that Dragonforce may be running out of ideas. Mix wise I miss the bass from Valley of the Damned, something that really caught my ear on this and Inhuman Rampage is that the bass is boring and weak. Following the guitars and with a few octave runs, the bass is easily forgotten. The keys are pretty much what you would expect cheesy and at times overpowering. The only new elements I can think of are the breakdown in "Reasons to live" and the intro to "The Warrior inside". // 8

Lyrics: What is there to say about the lyrics on a Dragonforce album? cheesy as hell and seemingly getting worse on each album. ZP's voice is OK and he pulls off the epic delivery in most songs but it's what he is singing about that will irritate most people. "So far away", "Shining", "Flying", "Lost", "Tonight". I dare you to drink a shot every time these words come up on this album. // 6

Overall Impression: Reviewing this from someone who doesn't mind Dragonforce I would say it's just about worth picking up. It does get better with more listens and it just about gets away with being better than Inhuman Rampage. There are a few tracks that will grab your attention however most are mediocre and "been here before" will spring to mind. 01. Heroes of our time - a decent opener but soon forgotten. 6/10 02. the Fire Still Burns - really dig this track, however the lyrics scream TTFATFs. 7/10 03. Reasons to live - my favorite track on this album. Crushing intro and a cool middle bit. 9/10 04. HeartBreak Armageddon - very sonic firestorm, another decent track. 7/10 05. The Last Journey home - oriental sounding with a variety in structure. One song that does stand out as being different. 8.5/10 06. A flame for freedom - the intro reminds me of a Christmas carol. I really hate the Dragonforce "Ballads" that end up on every album. Boring as hell. 4/10 07. Inside the winter storm - sweet intro, again a nice dual harmony breakdown. 8/10 08. The Warrior inside - I love this song. It's techno intro is great and it's great way to end the album. 9/10 // 8

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overall: 6.7
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: Bloodtrocuted, on september 02, 2008
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 7

Lyrics: 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. // 5

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 7.7
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: DragonForceFan2, on september 08, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Reasons to Live has a very death metal/grindcorish feel intro and then goes on to normal DragonForce and has catchy vocals and good guitars. The guitar solo has real nice slow drumming and some bass and the guitars are slightly less fast than usual but you know, fast isn't everything. Then it goes to fast drumming, unnoticable bass, and real fast guitars again like usual. Heartbreak Armageddon has yet another nice intro and a little guitar solo in the beggining. Then after that it's DragonForce. Then at 3:57 starts a lovely slow part which ends at 5:19 into a normal DragonForce solo. The Last Journey home features some soothing acoustic guitar and fun riffs and is not a DragonForce slow song, but a normal paced song of theirs. It has a nice slow part as well. The Fire Still Burns is pretty average. This one sounds especially like Through the Fire and Flames. Inside the Winter Storm is good has a great intro, and yet another slow part which some classical piano, bass, and vocals, yet it dosen't last very long. It has a great guitar solo. Heroes of our Time has a cool intro, catchy parts, a great solo, and an awesome outro. The Warrior Inside has an epic intro which makes you feel happy and an outro that might make you even she'd a tear of joy. Now the best song in this album is for sure Scars of Yesterday. One of the best DragonForce Intros, great lyrics which are catchy and have a non-fantasy meaning which seems to do something about sorrow and sadness about someone who died. And a real fast solo somewhat like the solo of One by Metallica then an awesome keyboard solo that follow. And a great outro with nintendo sounding keyboards and vocals. Strike of the Ninja has yet, another epic intro, and some awesome guitar riffs and solos and catchy vocals. E.P.M has a real awesome very nintendo-sounding intro but not much is too exciting after that. A Flame for Freedom is an epic DragonForce slow song with awesome keyboards, vocals, and a guitar solo. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics are, with the exception of Scars of Yesterday, nonsence fantasy lyrics but still the singer has a great voice, in the studio and live, and the vocals are catchy throughout the album. If the lyrics weren't fantasy nonsence in every song then it would be perfect. // 7

Overall Impression: The most impressive songs are Scars of Yesterday, A Flame for Freedom, Inside the Winter Storm, and Strike of the Ninja. Yes, especially with all the awful artists we have today it is great compared to other artists. I love it because it's just awesome in many ways. I hate about is that again the drums sound almost exactly the same in every song, except in the slow parts, the bass is nearly non-existant, and that the lyrics are fantasy nonsence. I don't have the album yet, although I plan on getting it so when I see DragonForce live in November I'll have something for them to sign if I get the chance. I just heard all the songs off YouTube and MySpace. Overall this is a great album compared to all the crap we have now a days in the music industry and that almost all old great bands are going downhill and that the new stuff emerging is filled with crap, but in the mainstream, this is one of the few great mainstream bands, and you can still find a lot of great stuff in the underground music industry. // 8

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overall: 7.3
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: AdemaOnYourHead, on september 19, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Let me get this out of the way first. If you're an absolute Dragonforce hater, like a lot of you are, "Ultra Beatdown" probably is not going to change your mind. However, if you're someone who's been on the fence about Dragonforce, this is the album that will knock you down onto Dragonforce's side of the yard. This is easily Dragonforce's best album. No longer can you say all their songs feel like "Through the FIre and Flames V.2." Almost every song, while still following the usual Dragonforce formula, have a unique touch that will make you say, "Oh yeah, I remember this song." So, if you've been iffy on Dragonforce, this is the album that will change your mind. But if you absolutely hate them, there's nothing here that will radically change your mind and turn you into a hardcore Dragonforce fan. // 8

Lyrics: All right, well, to sum up the lyrics in a few words: It's Dragonforce. They're certainly not winning any awards for their lyrics, and you will still find an abundance of fire, flames, and waiting for the day that is so far away. So if you're expecting some major change in their lyrical themes, you will be sadly disappointing. However, with that said, the lyrics, while nothing special, are different enough from their past albums to feel a lot fresher. ZP Theart's voice sounds as good as ever. Oh, and briefly I'd like to talk about the title of the album itself. "Ultra Beatdown" sounds sort of like a generic NES beat 'em up, and was definitely a turn-off to the album, but if you can get past all that, it's not bad at all. // 6

Overall Impression: Overall, Ultra Beatdown is a really good album. Almost all the songs have something to offer, each with it's own touch of uniqueness to make it more memorable than the last. So, in my opinion, this would be Dragonforce's best CD yet. It really is an Ultra Beatdown. But again, it's nothing so amazing that if you hate Dragonforce I'd say "Oh pick up Ultra Beatdown, it will change your mind." But if you just don't like them very much or you're on the fence, this CD is at least worth a try. In closing, allow me to give you a little track-by-track breakdown of the songs on Ultra Beatdown. 01. Heroes of Our Time: this is a decent opening track, not the best on the album, but certainly not the worst either. 7/10 02. The Fire Still Burns: an enjoyable track, but nothing too special. The intro is pretty cool. 6/10 03. Reasons To Live: definitely my favorite track on the album. It has a strong, crazy Dragonforce intro you won't soon forget, and halfway through breaks into an amazing slow sort of bit in the middle, with a great solo. And who said Dragonforce can't play slower? This song is a little hard to describe, I strongly recommend you give it a listen. 9.5/10 04. Heartbreak Armageddon: this one is another of of my favorites. The intro again has some cool, heroic feeling guitar work going on. It's another strong song with another, cool, slow solo in the middle. And I actually like the lyrics on this one, too. 9/10 05. The Last Journey Home: this song sounds like the title, if you can understand what I mean. The song feels like a long journey home. This is another good track, and the solo, while not slow per se, is still great, making some use of the "video game" sound effects Herman Li loves so much. 8/10 06. A Flame For Freedom: a ballad type of song, similar to Trail of Broken Hearts. Some excellent guitar on this track, again disproving the notion that Dragonforce can only play fast. 7/10 07. Inside the Winter Storm: another powerful track, that hits you hard from the beginning, with another "epic" sounding solo in the middle. This song again, sounds like it's title. 7/10 08. The Warrior Inside: well, this is really the one track I honestly disliked. Same old Dragonforce here, not much to say really. 5/10 Bonus Tracks: 09. Strike of the Ninja: wow, only 3 minutes? On a Dragonforce song? This is a really cool little song, with very ninja-like guitar playing. 8/10 10. Scars of Yesterday: the intro feels very old-school video game like, almost like Ninja Gaiden. For me, the is definitely not a bad thing. It's one of the strongest songs on the whole album, which makes me wonder why it's just a bonus track. 9/10 11. E.P.M. if the intro to Scars of Yesterday sounded like an old-school video game, the intro to this IS an old-school video game. This is another really good track, makes it worth buying the bonus edition of Ultra Beatdown. 9/10 // 8

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overall: 9.3
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: aenimafist, on december 18, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I bought this album anticipating a good follow up to Inhuman Rampage, not expecting this one to be a classic. Everyone seems to have that attitude now-a-days: the next album a band releases will be the best of their career or something. They have really high expectations like for the new Metallica. It was okay but everyone was freaking out. Anyway I listened to this album a few times and thought it was okay but after hearing it many more times I realized this CD is a lot better than I initially thought. The featured track Heroes of Our Time actually isn't too bad like TtFaF was. Reasons to live is the best song on this album hands down and it seems like most people agree with me. A lot of people don't really like Warrior Inside though but I think it is a great track to end an album on. Heartbreak Armageddon has to be the dumbest song title by this band but the song holds it's own despite the title abuse. // 9

Lyrics: ZP is my homeboy. This guy is an incredible vocalist and has the perfect voice for this power thrash genre of DF. Along with leading the band to musical victory, ZP crafts vocal melodies surpassed only by few. His best performance is on Reasons to Live because his whole vocal range is expressed. Warrior Inside is his second best but the ending to Heroes of Our Time was a little too predictable. The epic lyrics about battles and fighting through life where the sun shall rise again sometimes make me laugh but without such obscure lyrics it just wouldn't be Dragonforce. // 10

Overall Impression: The thing that annoys me the most about DF actually wasn't perpetrated by the band but by RoadRunner Records liscencing TtFaF for Guitar Hero. Anyone who is fan of the band just because they played that song on Guitar Hero, especially that 100% fink, cannot call themselves a fan. Whew! Thanks for letting me say that. Okay, Ultra Beatdown stillisn't as good as Inhuman Rampage or Sonic Firestorm but it might be better than Valley of the Damned. I'm not really sure because each album is unique in it's own way and stands out differently. Strike of the Ninja was a cool addition to the record in the special edition but I wish Dave would have gone to a standard four-feel rather than hitting the snare on all beats in the chorus. Overall this album was a success and Dragonforce seem to be having a very popular tour with Turisas right now. This record has the best album booklet DF ever put out... just throwing that out there! // 9

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overall: 7.3
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: PancakeLad001, on january 26, 2009
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Sound: Dragonforce has created one of their best albums yet. Still hanging with the hard rock and metal genres, all of the songs are great. Especially Heroes of Our Time and Heartbreak Armageddon. Although none of the songs compare to Through The Fire and Flames, their best song in my opinion, they all come in second to it. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics were alright, but not the best I've ever heard. It seems to me that the only unique things about the songs is the guitar solos. All the lyrics seem to be about battle, death, or fire! I've heard that every day, so no thank you! All the lyrics seem to blend together into one huge song. Breaking Benjamin uses the same style of lyrics, but at least they're different in every song. // 5

Overall Impression: Ultra Beatdown, in comparison to Dragonforce's other albums, probably comes in second to what I've heard. The guitar solos rock your brains out, but they always do anyway with their rock and metal music. All the songs have nice intros and great music. My favorite song would have to be Heroes of Our Time, the first track. Then comes The Fire Still Burns. The only thing I don't like about it is that all the songs are ridiculously long, like at least 7 minutes each. If they had shortened them down a bit, then they could have fit more songs on the CD. If you have never heard Dragonforce before, this is not the CD for you. I recommend Inhuman Rampage, just for the fact that it has the band's most famous song, Through The Fire and Flames. If you're not used to heavy metal music, then you'll probably go through an adjustment period. The first time I heard the CD, I only liked one of the songs. But after a few days of listening, I like all of them! Go Dragonforce! // 9

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overall: 9.7
Ultra Beatdown Reviewed by: LukeElliff, on february 16, 2009
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Sound: The fourth album by Dragonforce. My favourite by far. In my view, the band has now found the perfect combination between the guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, and vocals to release a truely epic album. This album is another day in the office for DragonForce, with the regular solo's and what now, but they have slowed parts down, which is risky to me, but it payed off and, well lets face it, it makes Inhuman Rampage look bad. The diversity of the band has changed hugely over the last two years, and now feature extreme vocal pitch switching (The Fire Still Burns), the new MIDIjet system used by Vadim (Reasons to live) and the solos seem a lot deeper, not just jumping straight it. The Last Journey Home shows a smoother solo, building up to a full volume epic segment. Overall, this album is one of the best I have heard, and they have improved live too, seeing them in Newcastle on 8/10/08, I felt they have mastered the live performances. Great job lads! // 10

Lyrics: Well, lets face it, Dragonforce have always used fantasy lyrics, but it works for them. There is some controversy with them, as bassist Frdric Lcreq has gone on record saying that fantasy lyrics are not his sort of thing, but has grown to except them. Throughout this album, ZP has shown more passion and commitment than before (if that's possible) and has stretched his vocals to new levels, and shows an ability to push a powerful voice weather it be high pitched singing (The Fire Still Burns), or more classical ballad styles (The Warrior inside ending, A Flame For Freeom). Personally, I find the lyrics wierd, but they are presented so well by ZP I have become really fond of them. // 9

Overall Impression: This album is so amazing, it blows the older stuff away in my view. All four Dragonforce albums are unique, and are improving all the time, making all fans desperate to get their hands on aa new dragonforce album. The song that stands out most to me has got to be The Warrior Inside, as this song has everything from the energetic build up into, to a slow soft ending, and a good solo too. The lyrics are what make this song truely great though is the lyrics, "In a lifetime of disaster, it's a battle to the end" is such an amazing line, it inspires me when I'm down, plus Herman and Sam are so good on this song it makes me want to play guitar more than usual. In this album, as all new guitarists will, I love the solos. Even though I see myself as a rhythm guitarist and not so keen on playing solos, I still enjoy listening to the magic that DragonForce put into guitars. However, I do dislike the fact that you can barely, if at all, hear the bass guitar. If this was stolen, then I'd definately buy it again, even though I have it on my computer, Ipod, back-up disc etc, so if you steal those off me I will break you legs. Great album, can't wait for number 5. // 10

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