Sonic Firestorm is the second studio album by English power metal band DragonForce, released through Noise Records on May 11, 2004.
This album features the song, "Soldiers of the Wasteland", which includes the longest guitar solo on any of their songs. At 9 minutes and 47 seconds, this is also DragonForce's longest song.
Sonic Firestorm was rereleased on February 22, 2010, along with the remastered and remixed version of Valley of the Damned. It also came with the bonus track "Cry of the Brave" which was originally on the Japanese version of the album.
The recording and mixing for the band's 2nd album took place at Surrey's Thin Ice Studios, from the 6th October to the 10th December 2003. All the guitars were recorded at Herman Li's LamerLuser Studios in London.
*ZP Theart - lead and backing vocals
*Herman Li - lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars
*Sam Totman - lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars
*Vadim Pruzhanov - keyboards, piano, additional acoustic guitars
*Adrian Lambert - bass guitar
*Dave Mackintosh - drums
*Clive Nolan - backing vocals
*Produced by Karl Groom and DragonForce
*Recorded and mixed at Thin Ice Studios by Karl Groom
*All guitars recorded at Herman Li's LamerLuser Studios, London, United Kingdom
*Engineered by Karl Groom
*All vocals recorded by Richard West
*Mastered by Eberhard Kohler at Powerplay Mastering
In other media
*The song "Fury of the Storm" is featured as a playable track in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
FootnotesThis text has been derived from Sonic Firestorm on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
DragonForce are an English power metal band from London. Formed in 1999, the group is known for its fast guitar solos, fantasy-based lyrics, and electronic sounds in their music to add to their retro video game-influenced sound.
DragonForce was founded in 1999 by guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman under the name of DragonHeart. The two later found singer ZP Theart through an advert, and soon after acquired drummer Matej Setinc, bassist Steve Scott and keyboardist Steve Williams. Totman and Li had a former musical ensemble experience in the band, Demoniac. DragonHeart then released a demo, toured with Halford, Stratovarius and headlined their own shows under that name. The band later found that another power metal band with this same name already existed and renamed to DragonForce in 2002.
Drummer Matej Setinc left the band in December 1999 to continue his studies in Slovenia, he was replaced by Didier Almouzni. The band parted ways with Steve Scott in November 2000 and Steve Williams in early 2000. Williams later rejoined and left once again in December 2000, days ahead of the band's tour with Halford and Stratovarius. Steve Scott went on to join Shadowkeep, then Power Quest.
Bassist Diccon Harper joined the band in November 2000 with keyboardist Vadim Pruzhanov joining in February 2001 to complete the lineup for recording their first album.
Harper performed on DragonForce's debut album, Valley of the Damned in its completion, but left the band in 2002 because of a tendon problem that required surgery.
Valley of the Damned (2000–2003)
DragonForce recorded their first demo in 2000. It was an independent release, however it was enough to make them one of the most popular independent power metal bands in the UK at that time. Their song "Valley of the Damned" was released as their first single shortly after they changed their name permanently to DragonForce. A promotional video featuring live footage from their tour around Europe was released along with the song. The song was also a huge success on MP3.com where it charted at #1 for 2 weeks as the most downloaded song. Shortly after the demo was released keyboardist Steve Williams and bassist Steve Scott both left the band and were replaced with Ukrainian born Vadim Pruzhanov on keyboard and British born Diccon Harper on bass. Steve Williams later went on to form power metal band Power Quest.
In 2003, the band signed to Noise Records and began recording their debut full-length album, Valley of the Damned. The title track, re-released in promotion of the album, it is one of the most known DragonForce songs to date and is a staple of their live performance to this day. The band's tour for Valley of the Damned lasted until 2004, with the tour ending in Tokyo, Japan.
Sonic Firestorm (2004–2005)
The band's follow-up album, Sonic Firestorm, proved to be even more successful with the lead single "Fury of the Storm". Sonic Firestorm was the first DragonForce album featuring Adrian Lambert on bass and Dave Mackintosh on drums. When Mackintosh entered the band in 2004, they began referring to their style of music as "extreme power metal" due to his fast blastbeats and double bass rhythms. It was around this time that the band began becoming popular internationally and adopted nicknames such as "Bon Jovi on speed" and "Journey meets Slayer."
The tour was much longer than the band's recent tour for "Valley of the Damned" and featured many more headline shows than the previous. The band toured with many well-known metal bands such as W.A.S.P. and Iron Maiden.
Inhuman Rampage (2006–2007)
The band underwent various lineup changes before settling with the six current members.
The band was introduced to the mainstream with their third album Inhuman Rampage, released in 2006 after signing with Roadrunner Records in UK, USA, Canada, France and Australia. The song "Through the Fire and Flames" is one of their most famous songs and is featured on the games Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. Lindsay Dawson of Herman Li and Sam Totman's former band, Demoniac, appeared as backup vocalist for this album. Before the release of the album, bassist, Adrian Lambert, left the group to raise his newborn son in November 2005. He was replaced with Frédéric Leclercq for the remaining of the Sonic Firestorm Tour. Frederic later became an official member of the band in January 2006. He was also featured in the band's music video for their second single off Inhuman Rampage, Operation Ground and Pound. Inhuman Rampage is a common favourite among DragonForce fans due to its heaviness and complexity. The 'Through the Fire and Flames' single reached gold disc status in USA and Canada.
Ultra Beatdown (2008–2009)
The band toured with Disturbed and Slipknot throughout the summer of 2008 on the Rockstar Energy Metal Mayhem Festival. The band returned in the Fall with the release of their 4th studio album, Ultra Beatdown. The first track and first single, "Heroes of Our Time", was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance on December 3, 2008, losing out to Metallica with their song "My Apocalypse". A short version of "Heroes Of Our Time" is also featured in the video games Skate 2 and the full version in NHL 10.
On January 22, 2009, the music video for their song "The Last Journey Home" was released to the Xbox Live Community a week before it was released online.
DragonForce carried out the Ultra Beatdown tour in Latin America, North America and Europe. They were supposed to play in Latin America in May 2009, but the tour was postponed to late 2009. They performed at the Two Days a Week Festival in Weisen, Austria on September 4. Then, they performed in several cities of Canada and United States from September 15 to October 11, with special guests Sonata Arctica and Taking Dawn. The next tour was in Germany, from October 16 to October 30, followed by a single live performance in Luxembourg on October 31. Then, they went to Latin America to perform in Curitiba, Porto Alegre, São Paulo, Mexico City, Santiago, Buenos Aires and Bogotá from November 6 to November 14. The final part of the tour was carried entirely in the United Kingdom, from November 19 to December 12.
New album and departure of Theart (2010–present)
Herman Li has stated that DragonForce will stop touring in December, spend time at home for Christmas, and then will begin writing and recording a new studio album scheduled to be released in 2011.
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.http Herman Li stated:
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.http
The band released their first live album on September 13, 2010 in Europe and September 14, 2010 for US and Canada. It is 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. Regarding the album, guitarist Herman Li stated:
The band confirmed that they would be the opening act for Iron Maiden in two UK shows in August. The first at Odyssey Arena in Belfast August 3, 2011 and the second at The O2 Arena in London August 5, 2011.
On March 2, 2011, DragonForce announced their new singer, Marc Hudson.
The band have frequently referred to their style as power metal. Herman Li commented on descriptions of the band's style in an interview with Guitar World: "'Nintendo metal', 'extreme power metal', 'Bon Jovi on speed', 'Journey meets Slayer', ... people are always coming up with weird labels for us."Guitar World, Holiday 2006, pg 72 "Hotter Than Hell" The band has sometimes been mislabeled as a speed metal band due to the fast tempos present in their songs, but always as a supplement to other types of metal descriptors.
Controversy for DragonForce occurred in late 2006 shortly after the Inhuman Rampage tour gained larger audiences in later cities. The band had many technical difficulties with the guitars, which is deemed to be the most "stand-out feature" in their music. The band also drop-tuned their instruments to E-flat tuning on that tour. This, coupled with low-quality recordings of the live performances that were subsequently uploaded to the Internet, created rumors of the band speeding up their music in-studio due to being unable to perform it live at such speeds. Although these rumors were disproved by subsequent tours where the band performed their music at the same speed as it appears on the albums. Herman Li stated, "Graspop Metal Meeting of 2006 was total disaster. The technician we had back then didn't even tune the guitar, and no monitoring was done properly. We didn't hear anything...". He also said that most of the Inhuman Rampage tour was bad overall due to technical difficulties.
* Marc Hudson – lead vocals (2011–present)
* Frederic Leclercq – bass guitar, backing vocals (2005–present)
* Herman Li – guitar, backing vocals (1999–present)
* Dave Mackintosh – drums (2004–present)
* Vadim Pruzhanov – keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals, theremin (2001–present)
* Sam Totman – guitar, backing vocals (1999–present)
* Didier Almouzni – drums (1999–2003)
* Diccon Harper – bass guitar, backing vocals (2000–2003)
* Adrian Lambert – bass guitar (2003–2005)
* Steve Scott – bass guitar, backing vocals (1999–2000)
* ZP Theart – lead vocals (1999–2010)
* Steve Williams – keyboards, backing vocals (1999–2000)
* 2003: Valley of the Damned
* 2004: Sonic Firestorm
* 2006: Inhuman Rampage
* 2008: Ultra Beatdown
ReferencesThis text has been derived from DragonForce on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0