DragonForce: Maximum Overload [2014]

DragonForce - Maximum Overload [2014]

Released 18 August 2014 (Europe)
19 August 2014 (North America)
Recorded 2013-2014 at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro,Sweden
Genre Power metal
Length 49:33
76:14 (Special Edition)
Label earMUSIC (Europe)
Metal Blade Records (North America)
3Wise (Australia)
JVC Victor (Japan)
Producer Jens Bogren

Maximum Overload is the sixth studio album by British power metal band DragonForce, which was released in Europe on 18 August 2014, and in North America the next day. Trivium‘s Matt Heafy contributed vocals on 3 songs: “Defenders”, “No More” and “The Game”.[4]

The album was produced by Jens Bogren, marking the first time the band decided not to record in their own studio and with an outside producer. The album was released in three versions: standard physical or digital CD, special edition physical or digital CD (with five bonus tracks and a bonus DVD), and vinyl.[4]

It is also the last DragonForce album with drummer Dave Mackintosh, who announced his departure from the band on June 3, 2014, and was subsequently replaced by Gee Anzalone.

On June 18, 2014, German label Ear Music released the official video of the opening track “The Game” which featured new drummer, Gee Anzalone, as Dave Mackintosh had departed before the video was made. The song also features Heafy’s vocals. Herman Li recorded the solos of both this song and “City of Gold” aboard Zoltan Bathory‘s yacht, off the coast of Los Angeles.[8] Iinspired by Sepultura‘s Beneath the Remains and Slayer‘s Reign in Blood, “The Game” is the fastest song ever performed by the band at 240 bpm,[8] a record they had already broken in the previous album with “Fallen World”.[9]

According to Herman Li, after recording numerous takes for the “Three Hammers” solo, he couldn’t decide which one to use.[10] Because his dog always reacted with a “cute face” to the pitch bending “Whammy effect”, Li had his pet listen to all takes and picked the one which made her do the cutest face.[10]

“Defenders”, which also features Heafy on backing vocals, was the second single and the first song to be revealed via a demo version released via a video uploaded to DragonForce’s official channel on March 31, 2014.[11] The official version of the song was premiered at Loudwire‘s website on June 16, 2014.[12] The newer version was also released as a single on the day after, on iTunes. According to Herman Li, “Defenders” was one of the first songs from the album to be finished.[12] He also explained that the idea for the song “was to create a contrast, by fusing some thrash metal style riffs with DragonForce’s big epic choruses and high speed twin guitars solos. Our friend Matt Heafy from Trivium helped us out with some aggressive backing vocals in the pre choruses. In terms of lyrics, here we went for our classic fantasy approach similar to our first album.”[12]

The album features a cover of Johnny Cash‘s “Ring of Fire“.[13] According to Totman:[13]

Every band member wrote down three songs each and we compared them all, just for a laugh. I wrote down ‘Ring of Fire’ by Johnny Cash, an idea which the rest of the band loved, so we’ve DragonForce-ized it!

The band has announced it as their first released cover,[4][13] not counting “Strike of the Ninja”, originally “Feel the Fire”, by Shadow Warriors, Totman’s side project on 2008’s Ultra Beatdown and in their 2012 album The Power Within: “Power of the Ninja Sword” also by Shadow Warriors. Maximum Overload itself features a third Shadow Warriors cover: “Fight to Be Free”, available as a deluxe edition bonus track. The song was premiered at The A.V. Club on 6 August, 2014.[14]

The bonus track “Galactic Astro Domination” is a remix of a short instrumental song originally recorded by DragonForce for a Capital One commercial featured onYouTube. In the video, guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman are performing the song on an asteroid in space while using Capital One’s Mobile Banking App.

Track listing

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. “The Game” (feat. Matt Heafy) Sam Totman, Marc Hudson Frederic Leclercq, Totman 4:56
2. “Tomorrow’s Kings” Leclercq, Totman Totman 4:13
3. “No More” (feat. Matt Heafy) Leclercq, Totman, Vadim Pruzhanov Totman, Leclercq 3:50
4. “Three Hammers” Totman, Leclercq Totman, Leclercq 5:50
5. “Symphony of the Night” Totman, Leclercq Totman, Leclercq 5:19
6. “The Sun Is Dead” Leclercq Leclercq 6:34
7. “Defenders” (feat. Matt Heafy) Totman, Leclercq Leclercq, Totman 5:47
8. “Extraction Zone” Totman, Leclercq Totman, Leclercq 5:06
9. “City of Gold” Leclercq, Totman Leclercq, Totman 4:43
10. Ring of Fire” (Johnny Cash cover) Merle Kilgore, June Carter Cash Kilgore, Cash 3:15



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