Through the Fire and Flames

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"Through the Fire and Flames"
Single by DragonForce
from the album Inhuman Rampage
Released 3 August 2006
Format Compact disc
Recorded 2005
Genre Power metal, speed metal
Length 7:22 (Album version)
5:00 (Video edit)
Label Sanctuary/Roadrunner (UK)
Roadrunner/Universal (US)
Writer(s) Sam Totman and ZP Theart
Producer(s) Sam Totman, Herman Li, Vadim Pruzhanov
DragonForce singles chronology
"Fury of the Storm"
"Through the Fire and Flames"
"Operation Ground and Pound"

"Through the Fire and Flames" is a song by English power metal band DragonForce. The song is acclaimed as the most successful song by the band. The song is a single as well as the opening track from DragonForce's third album, Inhuman Rampage, and features rapid twin guitar solos by Herman Li and Sam Totman.

The song peaked at #86 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #61 on the Canadian Hot 100 in 2008.[1] It also enjoyed briefly renewed popularity in March 2015 when a cover version uploaded to YouTube went viral, sending the song to number 13 on the Rock Songs chart. It has sold 1.1 million copies in the United States alone and has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.[2][3]

"Through the Fire and Flames" has also appeared in several video games. It is considered one of the most difficult songs to appear in the Guitar Hero rhythm game series, first appearing as an unlockable bonus song in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, then again with full band support in the main setlist of Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. It is a playable song in Konami's band session arcade games GuitarFreaks and DrumMania V6, and part of the soundtrack for Brütal Legend. It is also one of the most popular songs used by Audiosurf players.[4] The song was also made available for download for Rock Band 3 on 29 March 2011 for both Basic rhythm, and PRO mode which can utilize real musical instruments. It is one of the most-viewed and shared official music videos on YouTube, with 82,807,601 views as of 8 February 2017.[5]

Composing and recording[edit]

This song is written in the key of C minor (but in standard E tuning), and just like most other DragonForce songs it is written in a fast tempo of 200 beats per minute with a common time signature (160bpm in the first half of the guitar solo). During the recording of the song, guitarist Herman Li broke one of his guitar strings.[6] Despite this, the band decided to keep this recording and left it on the final album version.[6]

Music video[edit]

The track was used in the first music video by DragonForce. For the video, a shortened version of the song was used, lasting only five minutes.

During the guitar solos, the camera focuses on Herman Li and Sam Totman, with an inset shot of whoever is currently playing. During Herman Li's solos, Totman stands to Herman's left drinking. At the start of the solo, a Pac-Man sound is played by Herman, after which the whammy bar that was used to make this sound is thrown in the air.

The music video circulated through YouTube and various music video channels, including MTV2, and was shown on monitor screens during the band's performances at Ozzfest 2006.

Compilation appearances[edit]

The song appears on two compilation albums: The short version of the song, misnamed as "Through the Fire and the Flames", appears on MTV2 Headbanger's Ball: The Revenge, released on 11 April 2006.[7] The full version of the song appears on Salvation, Vol. 1, released on 23 October 2007.[8]


Guitar Hero series[edit]

"Through the Fire and Flames" first appeared in the Guitar Hero series of rhythm video games as a playable bonus track in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. The song is unlocked and played automatically during the credits after the player finishes the game on any difficulty level. Several reviews at the time of the game's release listed the song as the most difficult in the Guitar Hero series,[9][10] a title supported by Guinness World Records.[11] The song was also listed as #4 on Game Informer's "Top Ten Villains of '07" list.[12] When challenging the song on the Expert difficulty level (the highest level in the game), the loading screen for the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of the game will display the message "Good Luck", while completing the song on Expert difficulty on the Xbox 360 earns "The Inhuman achievement,"[13] a reference to the title of the DragonForce album.

Following the inclusion of "Through the Fire and Flames" in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, sales of DragonForce CDs increased in one week by 126%.[14] Digital sales of the song, recorded by Nielsen SoundScan, increased from 2,000 per week to 10,000 per week almost immediately after the game's release, and almost reached 40,000 per week by the end of 2007.[15]

The song was also included in the main setlist of Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, which featured popular songs from previous games in the series, and updated them with support for the full band introduced by Guitar Hero World Tour and the "Expert+" introduced in Guitar Hero: Metallica.[16] The song was reintroduced in the revived version Guitar Hero Live in February 2016.[17]

Other appearances[edit]

"Through the Fire and Flames" has also appeared in the following media:


  1. ^ "DragonForce - Through The Fire And Flames - Music Charts". 2008-02-13. 
  2. ^ White, Emily (2015-03-13). "Brandi Carlile Scores Multiple Career Highs on Rock Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2015-03-13. 
  3. ^ "American certifications – DragonForce – Through the Fire and Flames". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2015-03-13. 
  4. ^ "Audiosurf". Audiosurf. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  5. ^ DragonForce - Through The Fire And Flames (Video), YouTube
  6. ^ a b Herman Li. DragonForce! (Flash). Online Video Channel. Event occurs at 2:45-3:02. Retrieved 2008-01-01. the end of the song we actually break the string. I broke the string and in the album we left it there 
  7. ^ "MTV2 Headbanger's Ball: The Revenge > Overview". Allmusic Guide. All Media Group. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  8. ^ "Salvation, Vol. 1 > Overview". Allmusic Guide. All Media Group. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  9. ^ Herman Li (2007-11-22). Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock — with Herman Li (YouTube video). Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  10. ^ Bracken, Mike (2008-01-22). "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock – Review". Retrieved 2008-02-21. Players with a genuine masochistic streak will have a great time trying to five star DragonForce's "Through the Fire and the Flames" on expert—and you thought "Free Bird" [the final encore in Guitar Hero II] was hard. 
  11. ^ Guinness World records 2008: Gamer's edition. London: Guinness World Records. 2008. ISBN 978-1-904994-21-3. OCLC 212382509. [page needed]
  12. ^ Game Informer Issue 177 - January 2007
  13. ^ "Guitar Hero III Achievement List". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  14. ^ Wells, Dominic (2007-12-08). "Games that rock". The Times. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  15. ^ Snider, Mike (2008-02-12). "Aerosmith plugs into Guitar Hero popularity". Retrieved 2008-02-19. Downloads of relative newcomer DragonForce's Through the Fire and Flames, selling fewer than 2,000 weekly, rose to more than 10,000 after GH III's release and approached 40,000 the week ending Dec. 30 
  16. ^ Brudvig, Erik (2008-03-04). "IGN: Guitar Hero Greatest Hits Revealed". Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  17. ^ Makuch, Eddie (3 February 2016). "Guitar Hero Live Adds One of the Most Difficult Songs in Franchise History". GameSpot. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  18. ^ "GuitarFreaksV6 & DrumManiaV6 official song list". Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  19. ^ "GuitarFreaksV6 & DrumManiaV6 official developer's blog comment on this song.". Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  20. ^ "Full Brütal Legend soundtrack released by EA Denmark". 2009-08-09. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  21. ^ Goad, Libe (2009-08-09). "GameDaily is the first to bring you the game's full setlist. These 100+ songs will make your head explode!". Game Daily. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  22. ^ "Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and Blood, Sweat & Tears Add Songs to Rock Band, Plus DragonForce's Rock Band Debut! // Blog // Rock Band®". Harmonix. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2011-03-25.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)