DragonForce is a British Metal Band that was formed in London in 1999 by guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman. The band plays a very extreme version of Power Metal at a high speed with solos from out of this world.
Band founders Sam Totman and Herman Li played in a Black Metal!!! band called Demoniac (Darkthrone style with Corpsepaint and Stagenames!) and recorded three albums with this band. Demoniac broke up in 1999 and every current member of Demoniac except for vocalist Lindsay Dawson joined Li's and Totman's Power Metal project DragonHeart. The bandname soon was changed into DragonForce because of an already existing Band from Brazil called Dragonheart. The first demo was recorded with the new vocalist ZP Theart and was published on Mp3.com, where the title track Valley of The Damned became the most played song in the genre of Heavy Metal. This granted the band the opening spot for a Stratovarius Tour aswell as a record Deal with Noise Records in 2002.
The band recorded their first full length record which was also called Valley Of The Damned in 2003. The following record Sonic Firestormwas released in 2004 and the band began to tour excessively for two years with bands like Firewind, Helloween and Angra. The band became more popular in the Metal scene, mostly throughout the furious fretwork of guitar duo Li/Totman.
Dragonforce was signed by Roadrunner Records in 2005 and recorded their third record Inhuman Rampage which is even more complex and fast than their previous records. The record was the commercial breakthrough for DragonForce and brought the band gold awards and international success. A new DragonForce album, titled "Ultra Beatdown" has been announced to be released on August 25th, 2008.
Most Important Record: Inhuman Rampage
Inhuman Rampage is DragonForce's major label debut cd that kicked their career to a new level. The record took the extreme approach to Power Metal one step further and the songs became more complex and the solos even longer and faster. The band was granted the budget to record music videos for Through the Fire and Flames and Operation Ground Pound and they were aired in the international MTV rotation, making the band into an overnight sensation.
The record sold gold in the United States after the track Through the Fire and Flames was featured on Guitar Hero 3. Inhuman Rampage shows the capability of Dragonforce: Fast and heavy on Through the Fire and Flames, melodic on Body Breakdown and a beautiful Ballad called Trail Of Broken Hearts as the finishing track.
1. Through the Fire and Flames
2. Revolution Deathsquad
3. Storming the Burning Fields
4. Operation Ground Pound
5. Body Breakdown
6. Cry for Eternity
7. Flame of Youth
8. Trail of Broken Hearts
Dragonforce play a fast and hard but always melodical version of Power Metal . The riffs are often compared to speedmetal and the drums sometimes play blasbeats, which is very uncommon for Power Metal. The progressive and ferocious soloing of both guitarists has become a trademark of DragonForce and they became ridiciolusly long and fast and are often harmonized for two guitars. Typical for a Power Metal band are keyboards and vocals about Dragons, Dungeons and other fantasy clichees. Dragonforce also put an Epic chorus with multiple backing vocals into each and every song. The vocals of singer are very high pitched and are sung fasntasticly, also in live situations. The band does not take themselves too seriously and enjoy goofing around for example using sounds from video games to make the songs funnier. The band was labeled with a new genre name called Extreme Power Metal.
Herman Li and Sam Totman
Herman Li (Chinese:李康敏) was born in 1976 in Hongkong, China. He started to play guitar at the age of 16 and has played since then in several bands from Hardrock to Thrash and even Deathmetal. In 1998 he joined the Black metal band Demoniac and tourned their sound into a faster and more melodic approach. He co-founded Dragonforce with his sidekick Sam Totman and plays with Dragonforce since then. Li is known for his ferocious playing with incredibly fast picking, legato and tapping and his stage move, where he raises his whole guitar with his tremelo bar while playing a natural harmonic. He has his own Ibanez signature guitar which is based on the S series and is called EGEN. He plays through Laney amps and uses a lot of effect pedals. He has waist long hair, enjoys early 90's video games and trains Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Sam Totman was born August 8, 1979 in Hertfordshire, England. He moved to New Zealand when he was young and started to play the classical guitar at the age of nine. He was a founding member of Demoniac and re-settled to England for the sake of the band. He co-founded DragonForce and has many other musical side projects while playing with DragonForce. Sam is the bands primary songwriter and nearly all the lyrics are written by him. He is known for doing several stunts and moves on stage. Sam plays a lot of diffrent guitars including strats, flying Vs and Icemans but mainly his Ibanez Signature STM , which is a modified Iceman. He plays through Peavy or Laney Amps.
- Through The Fire and The Flames is featured as the most difficult Track on Guitar Hero 3
- The band is infamous for heavy alcohol consum which sometimes affect their performance negatively
- Bassist Frédéric Leclercq sometimes switches Instruments with guitarist Sam Totman or Herman Li for fun, he plays guitar up to their level too
- The band uses monitor speakers with built in ventilators to achieve a Flying Hair look while performing
- Sam and Herman have Showoff Moves like overhanded playing or the harmonic whammy raise
- Keyboarder Vadim Pruzhanov switches to the Keytar if he wants to join the stage action up front
- Singer ZP Theart enjoys changing the vocals spontaniously into a Not suitable for minors version
- Instead of pickholders, Dragonforce have beerbottle holders on their microphone racks
- Every member is a videogame fan and they incorporate videgame noises like the Pacman Noise into their songs
- Dragonforce also use Supernintendo Game soundtracks as their live intro, for example The Ken Theme from Streetfighter II or the Donkey Kong Theme
* 2000: Valley of the Damned (Demo) * 2003: Valley of the Damned * 2004: Sonic Firestorm * 2006: Inhuman Rampage * 2008: Ultra Beatdown
--ZakkWylde 01:02, 27 June 2008 (CEST)