Live Music + Gig Reviews

Dragonforce @ Academy, Liverpool

20 September 2005

Mendeed rip into Liverpool like a group of starved vultures tearing into a piece of fresh meat in the open spaces of the desert. For half an hour the Glaswegians are uncompromising, harsh and heavy. They have a lot of good riffs about them and a strong stage presence but occasionally the songs feel like they are too similar.

Nevertheless, they are building up a robust fan base with their raw singles (the best so far being the superb Beneath A Burning Sky – one of the highlights of their set) and despite the vaguely one-dimensional sound, they have a very promising future.

As for Dragonforce, it is like a spontaneous heat wave as soon as the sextet walk on to the tiny stage with a near riot being caused amongst their over-enthusiastic followers – that’s the result of zealous fans with a few pints in their stomachs. Since their debut album in 2003 with Valley Of The Damned, the London-based (but multi-national) band have earned considerable interest in the metal world and with such a solid set it’s easy to see why.

The twin guitars of Herman Li and Sam Totman are straight from the ’80s archive of heavy metal, an archive that contains key players such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden (whom Dragonforce have toured with). Meanwhile, singer Z P Theart, although not yet as great a frontman as Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson, certainly has a dominant voice.

Although at times you wonder if Dragonforce are taking the mick with their silly stage antics and “power metal”, their current Meet The Sonic Firestorm Tour has given this group of metal warriors considerable kudos in all corners of the country and tonight is yet another show packed to the brim.

Dragonforce must have walked away from Liverpool feeling like proper legends, such is the strength of the crowd’s reaction to supercharged songs such as My Spirit Will Go On. They’re simply going to get bigger and better.

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Dragonforce @ Academy, Liverpool