Dragonforce Ascend the Fire and Flames with Reaching into Infinity
True to Dragonforce releases of the past, Reaching into Infinity raises the metaphorical bar yet another rung. The action does not take long to make an appearance in their seventh studio release and does not fail to impress by any means. After a short atmospheric introduction sequence, “Ashes of the Dawn” begins with the same theatrical sense of splendor to which Dragonforce fans have grown so accustomed. Packed full of two-part guitar harmonies, resounding vocals, and kept in time by the recognizable galloping double bass drums used to signify the band’s signature sound in albums past.
The lead guitar work throughout the album is nothing short of breathtaking as it displays a level of speed and precision that will surely prove incredibly difficult to replicate and even more to outclass. Examples of this lead playing style are littered throughout the album, but are especially prominent on tracks such as “Ashes of the Dawn,” “Astral Empire” and “Judgement Day,” to name a few.
Though the album is incredibly fast-paced as a whole, Dragonforce do an excellent job of changing the atmosphere of their songs from triumphant to somber and back again to tell a story worthy of a Tolkien-esque eminence. Much of this change in attitude comes from the masterful transition between acoustic passages and gain-fueled pandemonium. Marc Hudson’s vocals serve to cement a feeling, part fantasy and part conquest, in addition to the display of prowess exhibited by the rest of the band that catapults the level of musicianship to insurmountable levels.
The thirteen-track compilation may seem daunting at first glance, but the energetic and mythical atmosphere of the album will envelop the listener with a sense of adventure, playing like a soundtrack to one’s greatest triumphs. Along the subject of length, the tenth track of the album, “The Edge of the World,” makes light of obvious Iron Maiden influences as it seems to mirror the solemn clean tones found on classics such as “Fear of the Dark,” but marches on in a manner similar to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and serves as a virtuous centerpiece around which the album can resolve.
Reaching into Infinity is of the right makeup to surely become one of, if not the, single most must-have power metal albums of the year. There is no question that this piece will serve to rival and potentially ascend past Dragonforce’s most well-respected works such as “Through the Fire and Flames,” which originally catapulted them into popular culture and cemented them into metal history.