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Twilight Dementia (2xCD)

Ultra Beatdown

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DragonForce Split With Frontman (And I'm stoked!)
March 11, 2010
Ultra technical powermetallers, DragonForce, recently issued a statement regarding their parting of ways with frontman ZP Theart, and while this may be a huge bumout for actual fans of the band, I for one am glad to hear such news. Why? Because when any band has members that are as well versed in their respective instruments as the musicians that make up DragonForce, the vocalist should be equally as impressive. And unfortunately, ZP Theart wasn't impressive at all. In my personal opinion, power metal vocals alone just don't cut the mustard in metal today. I don't care how good your range is for that style. You need to bring more to the table than that. Mixing in some screams and the like would be suitable for sure. Not saying you need to scream through the entirety of the album, but if you can't scream, growl, or belt out any kind of aggressive vocals at all, then you need to go learn how. That's just my take on it though... here's the official release:

It is with great regret that DragonForce announce a parting of the ways with singer, ZP Theart. This is due to insurmountable differences of musical opinion, but the rest of the band sincerely wish ZP great success with his future projects.

While the creative core members have begun writing the band's fifth album, they have also started a worldwide search for a new vocalist. "We are looking for a powerful, melodic singer to write a new chapter of DragonForce with us." said guitarist Herman Li.

Anyone wishing to audition for the vacant position should apply following the instructions at this web address www.dragonforce.com/audition.
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DragonForce Announce Fall North American Tour
June 23, 2009
DragonForce will be back to administer another ‘Ultra Beatdown’ upon American venues. The band will embark on a month-long, headlining tour this Fall, which kicks off on September 18 in Hollywood and runs through October 11 in Philadelphia. This will probably be the band’s final US tour in support of their most recent album, 'Ultra Beatdown'.

Sonata Arctica, as well as DragonForce labelmates Taking Dawn, will serve as support. The band’s latest power-riff fueled opus, 'Ultra Beatdown', was unleashed upon the world last August and the momentum around the band is still going strong.

Tour Dates:
09/18 - House of Blues - West Hollywood, CA
09/19 - Regency Center @ The Grand Ballroom - San Francisco, CA
09/20 - Roseland - Portland, OR
09/21 - Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC
09/23 - Edmonton Events Centre - Edmonton, ALB
09/24 - MacEwan Hall - Calgary, ALB
09/25 - Odeon, The - Saskatoon, SAS
09/26 - Burton Cummings Theatre - Winnipeg, MAN
09/28 - The Beaumont - Kansas City, MO
09/29 - Cabooze On The West Bank - Minneapolis, MN
09/30 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL
10/02 - Sound Academy - Toronto, ONT
10/03 - Le Medley - Montreal, QUE
10/04 - Theatre Imperial - Quebec City, QUE
10/06 - The Fillmore New York At Irving Plaza - New York, NY
10/07 - Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD
10/09 - The Palladium - Worcester, MA
10/10 - Chance - Poughkeepsie, NY
10/11 - Theater of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
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DragonForce Announce UK Tour
June 20, 2009
The mighty Grammy-nominated Dragonforce have announced a massive UK tour for this winter. After bringing their fiery fretwork to Donington Park last weekend for a capacity Download Festival performance, the band are set to play almost a month of shows in November & December, dubbed the Hearts & Minds Tour 2009, with the run being co-promoted by Metal Hammer magazine. Their current album, ‘Ultra Beatdown’ gatecrashed the Top 20 in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Far East and hit the Top 10 in Japan on its release, marking them out as a truly successful British band on the international stage. This past Monday (June 15th) also saw Dragonforce’s twin guitar wizards, Herman Li and Sam Totman pick up The Dimebag Darrell Shredder gong at Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods annual awards ceremony.

In more immediate news, the ‘Force also play a one-off London show on 29th July at the Kentish Town HMV Forum as part of the Kerrang! Awards week of shows. Support comes from Brit rockers Stone Gods and Glamour Of The Kill. Tickets went on sale yesterday (Friday June 19th) at 9am, from www.aloud.com / 0844 848 8888 or www.hmv.com, and are priced at £20 adv.

"We really wanna give fans a special show, as it's been a while since we played in London," says DragonForce guitarist Herman Li. "I think we're going to mix our set up, maybe some bonus tracks that we wouldn't usually play live and do something interesting for our fans. We also really like playing diverse bills. We love variety. People listen to different music at home, when they are growing up, it's great to have live shows like that too. Perhaps we will make some new fans at Download, who will then come along to the headline show!"

Full ‘Force dates line up as follows:

29th Jul – London Kentish Town Forum

19th Nov – Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall
20th Nov – Reading Hexagon
21st Nov – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
23rd Nov – Southampton Guildhall
24th Nov – Truro Hall For Cornwall
25th Nov – Bristol University
26th Nov – Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
28th Nov – Preston 53 Degrees
29th Nov – Bradford St Georges Hall
30th Nov – Sheffield Academy

1st Dec – Hanley Victoria Hall
3rd Dec – Glasgow Barrowlands
4th Dec – Dundee Fat Sam’s
5th Dec – Inverness Ironworks
7th Dec – Middlesbrough Empire
8th Dec – Cambridge Corn Exchange
10th Dec – Lincoln Engine Shed
11th Dec – Manchester Academy
12th Dec – Liverpool Academy

Tickets are on sale now, priced £16 and are available from box offices and all usual agents. You can buy online at www.seetickets.com/dragonforce.

Dragonforce are currently out on the European summer festival circuit. Come September they head back Stateside for more US dates, before moving on to Canada.
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DragonForce Cancel Latin American Tour Due To Swine Flu
May 9, 2009
It is with great regret that DragonForce have been forced to postpone their debut tour of Latin America due the Swine Flu crisis. The travel restrictions and Government restrictions on gatherings of large groups of people locally has meant it is impossible for them to play their shows this month.

Guitarist Herman Li stated; "We are obviously not happy as we were all really looking forward to touring Latin America for the first time and were all set to go, but there is nothing we can do about it, this has been forced upon us by Government intervention. Work has already started on re-scheduling the shows so any fans who bought tickets should keep them as they will be valid for the new dates. Watch out for announcements in the media or online as we will be playing there in the near future for sure"!

Meantime, Dragonforce are set to play the main stage on Saturday 13th June at this year’s Download Festival. www.downloadfestival.co.uk. Plans are afoot for further UK shows later this year in support of current album, ‘Ultra Beatdown’.
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Cynic Announce U.S. Tour Dates
April 11, 2009
Celebrated legendary progressive metal unit, Cynic, has announced U.S. tour dates in support of its critically acclaimed new album, 'Traced in Air'. Fresh off of a North American tour with Meshuggah, the forward thinking band will team up with fellow guitar heroes Dragonforce for a twenty city U.S. trek that is set to kick off on April 15 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA.

Back by popular demand nearly fifteen years after the release of the band’s seminal debut 'Focus', Cynic has again proven why it has always been regarded as one of both metal and progressive rock’s go-to touchstones for creativity, vision and unparalleled musicianship. 'Traced in Air' has met to rousing applause in the time since its November, 2008 release, being called “beautiful” by The New York Times and “one of the best albums of the decade” by Guitar World. The album reunites the prodigious Cynic team of guitarist Paul Masvidal - respected worldwide as one of progressive rock’s most innovative players - and major-league drummer Sean Reinert. Produced by Grammy-winner Warren Riker (Down, Santana, The Fugees), 'Traced in Air' not only stands up to Cynic's masterful debut, it pushes the band’s unequaled style and sound - a seamless meshing of traditional metal structure with both jazz and fusion - into altogether new realms.

With the upcoming tour, Cynic will continue to prove to music fans that there is little to none of its recorded output that the band cannot re-create in a live setting. A taste of what to expect can be experienced now as new songs from 'Traced in Air' have been posted online at this location.

Cynic U.S. tour dates:
4/15 - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
4/17 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
4/18 - Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
4/19 - Missoula, MT @ Wilma Theater
4/21 - Fargo, ND @ The Venue at Playmakers
4/22 - Omaha, NE @ Sokol Auditorium
4/24 - Sauget, IL @ Pop's
4/25 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
4/26 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
4/27 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
4/28 - Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
4/30 - Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls
5/01 - Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
5/02 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
5/04 - Providence, RI @ Lupos at the Strand
5/05 - New Haven, CT @ Toad's Place
5/07 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
5/08 - Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights
5/09 - Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock
5/10 - Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
5/12 - Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
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(31 news stories listed.)
HOME TOWN: London, England
ZP Theart (vocals)
Herman Li (guitar)
Sam Totman (guitar)
Frederic Leclercq (bass)
Vadim Pruzhanov (keyboards)
David Macintosh (drums)

Prepare yourself for a gripping, exhilarating ride when DragonForce release their much-anticipated US debut, 'Inhuman Rampage' on Roadrunner Records. The album's title is an apt summation of a devastating musical journey, an unstoppable force that the six-man group brings forth on tour, leaving devastated cities in its wake. Combining the primal force of Power Metal with hard-earned musical proficiency, influences from band members' various cultural backgrounds and generous quantities of muscular melody in a unique style that they call 'Extreme Power Metal', DragonForce have established themselves as THE premiere international Heavy Metal export.

The summer of 2005 saw them sharing festival stages with Iron Maiden and mounting a sold-out headline tour of the UK generating pandemonium wherever they touched-down. Intensive bouts of touring to accompany the band's first two releases - 'Valley Of The Damned' in January 2003 and the following year's 'Sonic Firestorm'- has seen their fan-base escalate in quite dramatic terms. Meanwhile, the European metal press has swamped the band with almost universal reams of adulation."DragonForce are getting bigger. Prepare for the onslaught", Kerrang! Warned. "DragonForce are as metal as f**k," roared the UK's Metal Hammer, "They'll be enormous." Writers and magazines from France, Greece, Finland, Sweden, Holland, Japan and many more wasted little time in falling under the band's spell. Perhaps the best summation of all these accolades was Rock Hard (Germany)'s prediction that: "DragonForce could become the first British metal band in ages to reap respect from all over the world." Against all odds, DragonForce have single-handedly revitalized Power Metal in their home base (the UK), awarding credibility to a genre that, until their arrival, was regarded was little more than a joke.

Clearly, plenty rides on 'Inhuman Rampage'. However, instead of resorting to panic and watering down the style of music that secured such a position of prominence,DragonForce have gone further over the top than ever before. The new album is faster, bolder and heavier - yet still as stirring and distinctly accessible - as anything they've attempted so far. "We've come up with the ultimate formula," proudly declares Herman Li, one half of the band's unstoppable guitar army. Combining intensity, chaos and melody, with all the DragonForce trademarks, it's something that's never been done before. "For us, this is the next evolution in the DragonForce sound, he continues. I've never heard an album that sounds like 'Inhuman Rampage' - the title says it all! It's seriously gonna blow some heads off around the world during the next year."

The eight-song album was recorded at Thin Ice Studios in Surrey and guitarist Herman Li's own studio in West London, some of its guitar sections recorded in hotel rooms while the band wound up the tour for 'Sonic Firestorm'. Track titles like 'Through The Fire And Flames', 'Operation Ground And Pound', 'Revolution Deathsquad' and 'Storming The Burning Fields' leave the listener in no doubt of DragonForce's malicious intent, and more importantly their aversion to climbing the ladder of popularity by selling out. Winner of the Dimebag Darrell Best Young Guitarist award at Metal Hammer UK's Golden Gods, Li and his six-string partner in crime Sam Totman have never sounded hungrier nor eager to prove their worth. From the start of each song to its exhausted finish, notes fly from all angles.

The album ends with its sole ballad, 'The Trail Of Broken Hearts,' though as Totman quite rightly points out: "We still managed to squeeze three separate guitar solos in." However, it is not shredding for shredding's sake - keen to squeeze as many notes as possible into certain songs, the pair has experimented with various new textures and sounds on this albums.

"We wanted to keep things interesting, and there are sections of certain songs that will remind you of video games", grins Hong Kong-born Li. "Many people will hear them and assume they were made by keyboards. That's completely wrong. All those parts are done on the guitar." Vadim Pruzhanov co-wrote several of the album's songs (including 'Body Breakdown') and is credited along with Li and Totman as a co-producer. His dazzling keyboard runs are as daring and provocative as anything performed on guitar frets. A Ukrainian by birth, Pruzhanov is fast becoming known for lengthy and insane solo excursions during the band's live shows and has really come into his own on 'Inhuman Rampage'.

On the other hand, vocalist ZP Theart is already regarded as the glimmering pearl in DragonForce's crown. South African-born, Theart is the real deal - a stomping, roaring, beer-swilling frontman who fronts the band with passion and wit. Alongside Li and Totman, Theart was a co-founder of DragonForce. The trio met in London in September 1999, using the name DragonHeart for their initial two years of existence. Shortly thereafter, drummer David Macintosh joined the fold. Most recently, DragonForce have added bassist, Frederic Leclercq, from the French Power Metal band, Heavenly. Quick to realize the possibilities of the internet, the band posted a set of demos at their website (www.dragonforce.com) and were rewarded not only by half a million downloads, but the interest of Sanctuary/Noise Records in the UK.

Early support slots on tour with Halford and Stratovarius in the UK, plus the timely recruitment of a superior rhythm section molded a professionalism to match their commitment. Before too long the group were placed on the launching pad of international success. The sextet toured Europe, South East Asia and the Far East to promote the debut album, and before too long, critics were queuing up to praise DragonForce's fusion of modern melodic power metal, the energy of speed metal and the confident, in-your-face delivery of bands twice their age. From day one, the band's goal was to establish an identifiable style all of their own.

To an outsider, the lyrics may seem to tell otherworldly tales of sword-wielding warriors occupying distant battlefield plains, but strip away the fantasy imagery and a message of modern-day positivity is right there under your nose. But most of all, DragonForce's success is attributable to musicianship and perhaps their most under-played asset of all - a skill for composing ultra-memorable, rabble-rousing heavy metal anthems. 'Inhuman Rampage' offers indisputable proof.