Metal Review – Dragonforce: Sonic Firestorm (2010 Reissue)

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Metal Review – Dragonforce: Sonic Firestorm (2010 Reissue)
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Dragonforce: The Power Within
Power Metal
Noise Records, Spinefarm Records (2010)
April 19th, 2004
Release length: 56:35
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While the band’s debut full-length album Valley Of The Damned broke the doors down, it wasn’t until their second album, Sonic Firestorm, that Dragonforce became more of a household name. Was it their contribution to the game Guitar Hero III, or was the music on this release actually enough to grab people’s attention? Whatever the reason for the fame, this is also the release that caused them to really become the focus of infamy by many of the Metal community, proclaiming nothing but a bunch of frauds through studio editing. Either way, this debut follow-up is still heralded as their shining moment, and for good reason.

Sonic Firestorm shows the group starting to mature a little more as an act. While on the previous album the material started to feel a little repetative, as if having run out of riffs to splice together and just started to throw things together from previous songs, this one finds songs that are fast and challenging, with the exception of the ballad track “Dawn Over a New World.” There also seems to be more structure as far as the guitar riffs go, aside the solos of course. Overall, this release just feels much more solid in comparison, and it becomes blatently obvious right from the starting track “My Spirit Will Go On”, which introduces you to a Dragonforce that manages to put more intensity in their music without having to go at a blistering speed.

The only thing that can worry the listener is that the album is essentially set up the same way as Valley Of The Damned, but omitting the very brief introduction track at the start of the album. The only difference is that much of the material here is not quite as fast, and that it’s one short. This causes Sonic Firestorm to come across as more of a matured rehash of their first album structurally, though scrapping and rewriting much of the music. Like the previous recording, there’s some catchy songs that fall into similar places like “My Spirit Will Go One”, “Dawn Over a New World”, and “Soldiers of the Wasteland”. The only track on here that’s really pushing the speed limit for the band would be “Fury of the Storm,” which has some great guitar work on it that again borders the inhuman.


The 2010 reissue also features a bonus DVD, but unfortunately it was not included with the promo material. And, just like the Valley Of The Damned full-length reissue, Sonic Firestorm got the same treatment. While the audio quality was not bad, the album was remixed and remastered, which does sound good compared to the original. It’s no real reason to ditch the original copy of the album, but if you want to check out the DVD material, as well as the one Japanese bonus track exclusive track “Cry of the Brave” and have some spare cash to blow, then the 2010 reissue is worth checking out.


Dragonforce have crafted a very good effort with Sonic Firestorm, no matter how they managed to make it. The music isn’t necessarily as fast paced and seems more likely to be played by humans in real life this time around. Without being total overkill, the band manages to incorporate some blistering music with a steady pace to not make the material just too much to take in all at once, leaving you with an album that does show off the talent that the band has for creating catchy and heavy Power Metal songs. While not still perfection, this is the next best step for the band. Of course, if you have the ability, the 2010 reissue is sure to be a pleaser to the die-hard fans, as well as the casual listeners of this act.

01. My Spirit Will Go On – 7:54
02. Fury of the Storm – 6:46
03. Fields of Despair – 5:25
04. Dawn Over a New World – 5:13
05. Soldiers of the Wasteland – 9:45
06. Prepare for War – 6:15
07. Once in a Lifetime – 7:46
08. Cry of the Brave – 5:46
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

2010 Reissue Score: 8/10

Dragonforce (band)
Dragonforce

Digital review copy of this release provided by Spinefarm Records via Earsplit PR.