Album Review: The Power Within

Taylor Rocca, Copy/Web Editor Ω

Infamous for its international smash “Through the Fire and Flames,” DragonForce returns in 2012 with its fifth studio album, The Power Within.

Shredding their massive melodic metal riffs out of London in the United Kingdom, DragonForce became an international sensation in 2006 thanks largely in part to the inclusion of “Through the Fire and Flames” on the Guitar Hero 3 set-list.

This much can be said about The Power Within: having listened to it with a knowledge of the band’s previous studio work, there isn’t much that sets it apart from older selections out of the DragonForce discography.

Still present is the uber-fast guitar tracking and furious kick-drum. But it all sounds the same as everything that has proceeded it in the DragonForce library. At times it’s even difficult to differentiate between separate tracks on the album.

Perhaps the band simply set the bar too high when it truly broke onto the scene with “Through the Fire and Flames.” What leads me to believe this? The fact that it is impossible to compare anything DragonForce does against any other track from within its discography because nothing else comes close to the ridiculousness of “Through the Fire and Flames.”

The standout track on the album is “Heart of the Storm,” as it features a great rolling guitar riff reminiscent of “Through the Fire and Flames.”

Finally upon reaching the ninth track of the album, “Last Man Stands,” DragonForce gives the listener reason to believe they have something worthwhile to offer. “Light a path for the journey home. Save a prayer for the lost alone. Find a way from the other side before the hero stands, still blinding,” preaches lead vocalist Marc Hudson. It’s really too bad it took so long to find an enjoyable track because I found myself thinking, “Jeez, I feel sort of lost and alone after listening to the eight previous tracks. But I guess I’m glad you’re lighting the path for my journey home. Thanks, Marc.”

Let me be real here. The Power Within is not the biggest atrocity to ever grace the metal genre. There are certainly far worse albums wandering their way throughout the world of metal. If you’re looking for a not-so-serious, Guitar Hero-esque metal guilty pleasure, The Power Within is probably a pretty safe bet. The lyrics won’t blow your mind. The riffs are nothing you haven’t heard before. But all-in-all, The Power Within is a fast-paced, relatively generic metal album, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on what you’re looking for.

The Power Within was released on April 15.