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Guitars are for "show." "Bass and drums are for "go." The rhythm sections drives a band. The longer they play together, the better. Bands that have personnel changes on bass and drums often dig a hole for themselves.

Herman Li and Sam Totman's twin guitar attack, ZP Theart's dramatic vocals and Vadim Pruzhanov's keyboards are Dragonforce's most recognizable elements. But each of the group's three albums has had a different bassist. '03 debut "Valley Of The Damned" had Diccon Harper. A year later, for "Sonic Firestorm," Adrian Lambert played bass. He left in '05 to raise his son. "Inhuman Rampage," released in January of '06, saw Dragonforce dispense with a permanent bassist using Frederic Leclercq for shows. Over time, Leclercq not only became a full member he served as the primary songwriter.

Meanwhile, drummer Didier Almouzni played on the debut but was replaced by Dave Mackintosh on "Sonic Firestorm" and beyond. At least he stuck around - for over a decade.

DragonForce announced in '14 that they had parted ways with Mackintosh and had enlisted drummer Gee Anzalone. "Reaching Into Infinity," the group's seventh album, was their first with Anzalone.

According to Leclercq the album played on the group's strengths while expanding their aperture. "I think we have proven that playing fast was something we were good at, so this time I wanted to bring even more diversity into our music. It's great to challenge ourselves instead of staying in a comfort zone."

Interestingly, Dragonforce is a global band. Li hailed from Hong Kong. Totman was born in England but moved to New Zealand at an early age. At age nine he started his musical training on classical guitar. Pruzhanov, born in the Ukraine, began his musical training, on piano, a year younger than Totman.

Like his former bandmates Mackintosh was another child prodigy starting on drums at age eight. As for Theart, he had been singing as long as he can remember attacking everything from Blues to Thrash Metal.

The group formed in '99 and originally called themselves DragonHeart. Turned out, there was a Spanish group with the same name. So rather than hire lawyers to fight trademark disputes they became Dragonforce, which sounds better for a Metal band.
Dragonforce Discography

Studio Albums:

2003 Valley Of The Damned
2004 Sonic Firestorm
2006 Inhuman Rampage
2008 Ultra Beatdown
2012 The Power Within
2014 Maximum Overload
2017 Reaching into Infinity

Dragonforce is both dramatic, thanks to Theart and Pruzhanov, and surprisingly melodic. "Valley Of The Damned" is a solid start but "Sonic Firestorm" is far better with "Fury Of The Storm." Lyrically dark but not real dark, songs "Soldiers Of The Wastelands" and "Prepare For War" impress. There's even an arena ballad, "Dawn Over The New World " which is far better than "Starfire," from "Valley."

"Inhuman Rampage" is another solid effort, though not as compelling as "Firestorm." Still. "Through The Fire And Flames" is a powerful dose of Speed Metal.

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