Maximum Overload (DragonForce album)
|Studio album by|
|Released||18 August 2014|
|Recorded||July 2013 – March 2014|
|Studio||Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden|
76:14 (special edition)
Metal Blade Records (North America)
JVC Victor (Japan)
|Singles from Maximum Overload|
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". 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.
Concept and recording
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":
|“||We were in an airport departure lounge surrounded by TV screens, flight information screens and advertising screens. We then looked around and no one was saying a word, they were all looking at more screens on tablets, laptops and mobile phones. There's no escaping it; it's complete information overload!||”|
Totman said it also reflected the musical direction of the album:
|“||We were trying to come up with a title to try and describe the music, it's kind of like an overload of music, faster guitar playing and more of everything. The theme of the album is talking about our society and what it does at the moment – information on the internet and phone and absorbing a lot of this unnecessary stuff.||”|
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. 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, a record they had already broken in the previous album with "Fallen World".
According to Herman Li, after recording numerous takes for the "Three Hammers" solo, he couldn't decide which one to use. 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.
"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. The official version of the song was premiered at Loudwire's website on 16 June 2014. 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. 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."
|“||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, 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.
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.
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.
|5.||"Symphony of the Night"||5:19|
|6.||"The Sun Is Dead"||Leclercq||Leclercq||6:34|
|9.||"City of Gold"||4:43|
|10.||"Ring of Fire" (Johnny Cash cover)||3:15|
|Special edition bonus tracks|
|11.||"Power and Glory"||5:06|
|12.||"You're Not Alone"||Totman||4:38|
|14.||"Summer's End" (Japanese bonus track)||Leclercq||Leclercq||5:28|
|15.||"Fight to Be Free" (Shadow Warriors cover)||Totman||Totman||4:45|
|16.||"Galactic Astro Domination"||Instrumental||Totman, Herman Li||1:32|
- 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"
- Matt Heafy – guest vocals on "Defenders", "No More" and "The Game"
- Clive Nolan – backing vocals
- Emily Ovenden – backing vocals
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||48|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||46|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||128|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||91|
|Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)||34|
|French Albums (SNEP)||154|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||20|
|Japanese Albums (Oricon)||14|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||44|
|US Billboard 200||62|
|US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)||7|
|US Independent Albums (Billboard)||9|
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- "Austriancharts.at – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload" (in German). Hung Medien.
- "Ultratop.be – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
- "Ultratop.be – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload" (in French). Hung Medien.
- "Dragonforce: Maximum Overload" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
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- "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
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- "Swisscharts.com – Dragonforce – Maximum Overload". Hung Medien.
- "DragonForce Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "DragonForce Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "DragonForce Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 September 2017.