Valley Of The Damned [Reissue]

2010, Spinefarm Records
Power Metal

La ristampa del disco d'esordio degli ultra power metallers britannici
Review by Gaetano Loffredo - Publish on: 22/02/10

In spite of, let’s say, a “professional bias” that only allows me to pay attention to Dragonforce not more than 15 minutes a day due to chronic intolerance to anything in music that can be called “extreme”, I have to admit that the English band, from the top of their power metal (estreme, like I said), has been able to cope as best as possible with a genre that had already said it all in the twenty years before their debut album.
The version, just delivered to our editorial office, timely reissued and now on sale in all shops, benefits from a remarkable production restyling, and now Valley Of The Damned sounds exactly like its three younger siblings: Sonic Firestorm, Inhuman Rampage and Ultra Beatdown. Quality or fault? Is it good or bad?

The reply, if any can be found, will be totally subjective. The raw sound of the original disappeared and is now replaced by all the cliché that, like it or not, led Dragonforce to the top. Therefore, one can understand the need and insistence of Herman Li (guitars) who craved for a discography suited to the sound style that made the band famous. Among the other things, the reissue of Valley Of The Damned includes a bonus track released only in Japan, “Where Dragons Rule”, and the addition of an interesting dvd including a live performance in Japan dating back to 2004, video interviews, recording & remixing sessions, and comments by the band.

Now a few words about the album, the real reason that can justify the purchase of the product. Valley Of The Damned, considered as the best Dragonforce album by many people (not by myself), is filled with epic and pander melodies, pushed by a performance speed that is amazing as well as redundant. The quality, with respect to the other three albums, is the structure of the tracks, a bit more varied; the fault is the same as usual: repetitiveness beyond any bound. The flat performance by the vocalist ZP Theart is to be pointed out, but he does better from the following album on.
If you already own the first version of Valley Of The Damned, my advice is to go for the restyling only if, like Herman Li, you are sound-freaks and you crave for a Dragonforce discography completely suited to the standards set by Sonic Firestorm.

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