DragonForce have sort of become a parody of a band, remembered famously for that one song in that video game that time. Regardless of what you think, they’ve managed to single handily give Power Metal relevance in the modern day, a time where such a genre shouldn’t really have any real strength, and should have died of ages ago. With how famous, or infamous the band have become because of ‘Through The Fire and Flames’, they’re naturally going to breed a healthy enough following and live show, even if a quarter of those still going to this day are to hear the one or two tracks they know live.
DragonForce’s new album In The Line Of Fire has attempted to bring the power and wonderment of their live show to a purely audible experience, and to say it falls flat on its face wouldn’t be too far wrong. Although you cannot deny the technicality of the individual band members, lead guitarist Herman Li, for example, has become synonymous with overly complicated and almost orchestral guitar tones, and although you hear the pinpoint accurate notes, what you miss is the complete wonderment you get from seeing these musicians playing live. Live albums are meant to excite you for a live show, meant to make shivers ripple down your back, but instead you are missing an integral part of what makes the live show something to behold, and it will never move past it.
Lead vocalist Marc Hudson has now been with the band since 2011, and sadly he doesn’t quite hit the same notes that ZP Theart managed, and the older tracks falter because of it. Honestly, there is no need to own a DragonForce live album when you have all the tracks in perfect digital format already. There is nothing you can gain from this, unless you are a diehard DragonForce fan, and even then you may still be left a little disappointed.
The honest line is this, ignore In The Line Of Fire album however you can, the only positive, is to hear those same incredible riffs and drum beats, but being played live, no second chances, mess up the incredible string of notes and you can’t start again. The issue is, you can get this and much, much more from going to the live show yourself and feasting your eyes on the likes of ‘Valley of the Damned’, ‘Seasons’ and the aforementioned ‘Through The Fire And Flames’ how they were meant to be experienced. If you can grab the DVD instead, that’s great, although we can only review what we’re given.