Dragonforce / Twilight Dementia

Twilight Dementia (Live) (2CD)DragonForce is an English power metal band from London, formed in 1999. They are known for fast guitar solos, fantasy based lyrics, and electronic sounds in their music to add to their retro video game-influenced sound.

Herman Li stated that DragonForce would stop touring in December, spend time at home for Christmas, and then begin writing and recording a new studio album scheduled to be released in 2011.[9]

On February 22, 2010, the band re-released their first two albums, “Valley of the Damned” and “Sonic Firestorm.” Valley of the Damned included newly remixed and remastered tracks while both albums included bonus tracks, updated packaging and DVDs featuring live footage, commentary, and more. Both albums were also released in a box set which featured a t-shirt, a card of guitar picks, and an inflatable guitar.

On March 8, 2010, it was announced via Roadrunner that DragonForce had parted ways with vocalist ZP Theart and would now be seeking a new frontman.[10] Herman Li stated:

It is with great regret that DragonForce announce a parting of the ways with singer ZP Theart. This is due to insurmountable differences of musical opinion but the rest of the band sincerely wishes ZP great success with his future projects.While the creative core members have begun writing the fifth album, they have also started a worldwide search for a new vocalist. We are looking for a powerful, melodic singer to write a new chapter of DragonForce with us.

This story was removed the same day, but officially confirmed by the band a day later in a press statement that also contained a link to request an audition.[11]

The band will release their first live album on September 13, 2010 in Europe and September 14, 2010 for US and Canada. It will be a double-disc set entitled Twilight Dementia. The album art, title, and release date were revealed on the band’s official website on June 22, 2010. The performances were recorded on the final leg of the Ultra Beatdown World Tour.[12] Regarding the album, guitarist Herman Li stated:[12]

For years, fans have been asking us to record a live album, but honestly, we never really had the time due to our worldwide touring commitments and studio album recording. However, due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans on the ‘Ultra Beatdown World Tour’, we decided to finally put some real thought into it…These recordings really capture the raw sonic energy of a Dragonforce show in fine detail. It is so real that you can hear the noise of the crowd and experience the show as it was that night – you can even hear the guitar pedals being stepped on!

The Analysis: Disc One

Heroes Of Our Time—-This is as surprise for me from the onset…I was not really sure that this band with the huge sound could actually transport this sound to the stage….never underextimate! This is full of that classic trademark sound that the band has had on every release…the leads are huge…the drums are incredible and really mixed well. The vocal is as great as it is on record…although a few of the high notes seem to me abandoned for a deeper sound…none the less, this is full of energy and masterful musicianship. The crowd just eats this band alive.

Operation Ground And Pound—-Wasting no time for in between song banter, this song leads right in with remarkable guitar and energy. This is brilliant musicianship in this band…I am floored everytime I revisit this band at how fast they are able to play. This is incredible……the drums are outstanding and the sound in incredibly huge. The vocal still seems a bit flat for me…the energy lacks a bit and the remarkable high notes that you get from the studio are almost absent…none the less, this is a huge epic sound that brings a smile to my face…if only for the remarkable energy. There are some pretty nice screams towards the end of this track though!!!

Reasons To Live—-With a nice announcement about the recording of a live CD, the crowd reacts with literal mayhem. It seems that as the show goes on, ZP warms up a bit and his vocal becomes more fluid than the first few songs. This is magnificent…full of that classic Force sound…a slight large keyboard sound and the incredible guitar of Li….this is a standout track…I feel like ZP had his heart in this track much more. This is stellar.

Fury Of The Storm—-This is stellar as well…the energy is incredible and at the onset, ZP delivers a scream that will blast your eardrums…this is the sound of a vocalist who has really warmed up…finally. The speed of this song is literally insane…the lyrics come at you so fast you could not keep up even with a lyric sheet. It is incredible to imagine someone playing this fast….JEEZ!!! This is really a standout track for me…even though it goes back in time a bit, it still carries a huge current sound and the vocal is magnificent!!!

Fields Of Despair—-Leaving barely a second to catch your breath, the band launches into this song with little fanfare. This is a typical huge and epic track from one of the earlier releases, although much of Dragonforce material just sounds like one long song!!! ZP seems really warmed up as he hits note after note right on cue. The drums on the track are massive…they are the star of the show for me. This is full of nice vivid lyrical imagery of mystical ideas and wofds….but the standout is the band…a new vocalist will come, but the sound is the bands own and it will continue on.

Starfire—-Personally, I love this song…..with a really nice keyboard intro, the song takes form rather slowly….allowing the audience to soak it all in. ZP comes across sounding remarkably like Meatloaf….whisch should not be a huge surprise…this kind of huge epic sound is right up his alley. When the song reaches its full pinnacle, you are sucked in by the vivid lyrics and the gentle sounds coming from a band that normally plays at hyper speed. This is just phenomenal!!!

Soldiers Of The Wasteland—-This epic 10 minute track includes every bit of grandeur that the band is capable of. This is incredible….the energy is remarkable…the speed of the music is stellar and the vocal, by now warmed up, is better than the recorded version. this is full of audience hype and some screams from ZP that will leave your ears ringing for a few moments. This is just incredible…a full on regalia of spectacular musicianship. I could never ask for more…this has guitar solos, drum solos and a vocal to die for.

Disc Two:

My Spirit Will Go On—-Perhaps I have more sentimental bones in my body than I would care to mention, but this remains my favorite track from this band. Indeed when the time comes for me to pass, this remains my only wish…that my spirit will go on. This is huge…overblown and magnificent. I love every single note of this song…this is full of the kind of Metal that bands just do not make anymore…and the vocal is pretty damn magnificent. There is nothing about this I would change…this is damn near perfect.

Where Dragons Rule—-With a nice keyboard intro and a humorous demand ….”If you have hands, put em’ up…” the song is full of nice musical movements that fit perfectly into the bands MO…full of the slight build-up and the eventual all hell breaking loose mentality, this is stellar. The vocal is fantastic….ZP sounds so much better than he did at the beginning of this release…the vocal is clearer and more pitch perfect than imaginable. this is a stellar track….one of my favorites from this live release.

The Last Journey Home—-This is the typical sing-a-long concert song that many bands have abandoned these days. Not these guys…this becomes a remarkably huge track that is full of audience participation and some incredible guitar playing. ZP sounds incredible…hitting his notes with ease and Li delivers a guitar that will leave you with your jaw hanging. This is remarkable…I love the old school sing-a-long shit that you have to find at 80’s Metal revival shows…this has a hook as well…the melody that runs underneath the whole damn thing is so addictive you will have it in your brain for freakin’ days…just what I needed!!!!

 Valley Of The Damned—-Going back to the very beginnings of the band’s recording career, I was a bit surprised to see that this track was on here. What makes this song so great is that the vocal is so spot on….finally. this is incredible…taking you back 5 years to when i first discovered this band and was blown away by not only the speed of the playing but the remarkable melody that they captured in the process. This is a stellar preformance…the vocal is just fantastic….leaving me completely breathless by the time everything is over. Fantastic!!!

Encore One:

Strike Of The Ninja—-Keyboard heavy and full of that classic never tiring Dragonforce sound, the band returns with this track that leaves you wondering how the hell the band has managed to hold up under all of this speed playing. This has a hook that is unforgettable…this melody will settle in your brain and wake you from a sound sleep in the middle of the night…this is just remarkable…a full on anthem that is delivered with expertise and precision.

Encore Two:

Between The Fire And The Flames—-Saving the band’s biggest hit for the very end, the band delivers it in full, fine form and more. The crowd has been waiting for this and they respond in the predictable fashion…with utter joy and madness…peppered with incredible enthusiasm. This is as large as it is on record…the band refuses to let the crowd down…..when the track finally opens up to its full glory, you are blown away…the crowd sings along with every single verse and the result is something that deserves to be on record…this is freakin fantastic…I could not think of a better way to end this pretty phenomenal show. Looking forward to the next chapter!!!

****3/4 out of 5


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