Maximum Overload (DragonForce album)

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Maximum Overload
Studio album by
Released18 August 2014 (2014-08-18)
RecordedJuly 2013 – March 2014
StudioFascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden
76:14 (special edition)
LabelearMUSIC (Europe)
Metal Blade Records (North America)
3Wise (Australia)
JVC Victor (Japan)
ProducerJens Bogren
DragonForce chronology
The Power Within
Maximum Overload
In the Line of Fire... Larger than Live
Singles from Maximum Overload
  1. "The Game"
    Released: 18 June 2014
  2. "Ring of Fire"
    Released: 7 August 2014[1]
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[3]
Alternative Press4/5 stars
Blabbermouth.net8/10 stars[4]
Exclaim3/5 stars
The Guardian4/5 stars
Kerrang!4/5 stars

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 vocalist Matt Heafy contributed backing vocals on three songs, including the album's first single, "The Game".[5] 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.[5]

It is also the last DragonForce album to feature drummer Dave Mackintosh, who announced his departure from the band on 3 June 2014, and was subsequently replaced by Gee Anzalone.[6]

Concept and recording[edit]

The album saw guitarist Sam Totman co-writing songs with bassist Frédéric Leclercq[7] who, due to his thrash and prog tastes, expects the album to sound "a bit more diverse".[7]

Guitarist Herman Li explained that the album's title and artwork were inspired by "the constant bombardment of information we are subjected to during our daily lives":[5]

Totman said it also reflected the musical direction of the album:[8]

Song information[edit]

On 18 June 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.[9] Inspired 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,[9] a record they had already broken in the previous album with "Fallen World".[10]

According to Herman Li, after recording numerous takes for the "Three Hammers" solo, he couldn't decide which one to use.[11] 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.[11]

"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 31 March 2014.[12] The official version of the song was premiered at Loudwire's website on 16 June 2014.[13] 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.[13] 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."[13]

The album features a cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire".[14] According to Totman:[14]

The band has announced it as their first released cover,[5][14] 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.[15]

The bonus track "Galactic Astro Domination" is a remix of a short instrumental song originally recorded by DragonForce for a Capital One commercial featured on YouTube. 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[edit]

The special edition physical copy of the album contained a bonus DVD with a documentary on the making of the album, A New Found Force, as well as a live performance of the song Cry Thunder, from their previous album The Power Within, at the Loud Park 2012 festival.

1."The Game"4:56
2."Tomorrow's Kings"
  • Leclercq
  • Totman
3."No More"
  • Totman
  • Leclercq
4."Three Hammers"
  • Totman
  • Leclercq
  • Totman
  • Leclercq
5."Symphony of the Night"
  • Leclercq
  • Totman
  • Leclercq
  • Totman
6."The Sun Is Dead"LeclercqLeclercq6:34
  • Totman
  • Leclercq
  • Leclercq
  • Totman
8."Extraction Zone"
  • Totman
  • Leclercq
  • Totman
  • Leclercq
9."City of Gold"
  • Leclercq
  • Totman
  • Leclercq
  • Totman
10."Ring of Fire" (Johnny Cash cover)
  • Cash
  • Kilgore


  • Marc Hudson – lead and backing vocals
  • Herman Li – guitars, backing vocals
  • Sam Totman – guitars, backing vocals
  • Dave Mackintosh – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Vadim Pruzhanov – keyboards, synthesizer, piano, backing vocals
  • Frédéric Leclercq – bass guitar, guitars, backing vocals, guitar solos on "The Sun is Dead" and "Summer's End"[16]

Additional musicians[edit]


Chart (2014) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[17] 48
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[18] 46
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[19] 128
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[20] 91
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[21] 34
French Albums (SNEP)[22] 154
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[23] 20
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[24] 14
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 44
US Billboard 200[26] 62
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[27] 7
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[28] 9


  1. ^ "Ring of Fire CD Single". Apple Music. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Reviews for Maximum Overload by Dragonforce". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  3. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Dragonforce - Maximum Overload". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  4. ^ Van Horn, Jr., Ray. "Dragonforce - "Maximum Overload"". Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "DragonForce To Release 'Maximum Overload' In August". 31 March 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  6. ^ "DragonForce Parts Ways With Drummer DAVE MACKINTOSH, Announces Replacement". 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  7. ^ a b Gillicker, Hannah. "Music Interview: DragonForce". Bring the Noise. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  8. ^ Ramanand, Elizabeth. "Interview: Sam Totman of DragonForce". Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  9. ^ a b Fehl, Zach (24 July 2014). "Interview: DragonForce's Herman Li and Sam Totman talk 'Maximum Overload,' touring plans, Babymetal". Metal Insider. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  10. ^ Kaufman, Spencer (20 February 2014). "DragonForce Stream New Song 'Fallen World'". Loudwire. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  11. ^ a b sciarretto, Amy (30 July 2014). "DragonForce: May the "Force" Be With You". Greater London. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  12. ^ Pasbani, Robert (31 March 2014). "Here's the New DRAGONFORCE Demo featuring TRIVIUM's Matt Heafy". Metal Injection. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  13. ^ a b c Childers, Chad (16 July 2014). "DragonForce, 'Defenders' – Exclusive Song Premiere". Loudwire. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  14. ^ a b c Bowar, Chad (31 March 2014). "DragonForce Reveal 'Maximum Overload' Release Plans, Stream New Demo". Loudwire. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  15. ^ Heller, Jason (6 August 2014). "Hear DragonForce make The Man In Black's "Ring Of Fire" metallic". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  16. ^ DragonForce (18 August 2014). Maximum Overload (liner notes).
  17. ^ " – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload". Hung Medien.
  18. ^ " – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload" (in German). Hung Medien.
  19. ^ " – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  20. ^ " – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload" (in French). Hung Medien.
  21. ^ "Dragonforce: Maximum Overload" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  22. ^ " – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload". Hung Medien.
  23. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH.
  24. ^ "Oricon – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload". Oricon.
  25. ^ " – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload". Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "DragonForce Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  27. ^ "DragonForce Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  28. ^ "DragonForce Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 September 2017.