DragonForce Ultra Breakdown

For some, listening to a Dragonforce album once through is a chore. Personally, trying to plough through Ultra Beatdown enough times to formulate a proper opinion was akin to running a musical marathon. With the shortest track being a sizeable five minutes and 20 seconds, and still filled with ridiculous fromage and never-ending solos, Dragonforce aren’t really metal but more like an ear exercise. Some listeners may be able to stomach the way-too-long and way-too-similar "extreme metal” epics but those not loyal should steer clear of Ultra Beatdown. Basically what you’re getting is Inhuman Rampage Part Two, nothing has progressed as far as songwriting, and as mentioned, it’s tough work just listening to the album once. Dragonforce should mix it up and perhaps switch to more listenable four- to five-minute tunes that are far more accessible to the casual listener. Then again, this is their shtick, and the band that was propelled to even greater fame by Guitar Hero 3 do it well. But if you’re not into that sort of thing, Ultra Beatdown is an ultra letdown. (Roadrunner)