Valley of the Damned

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Valley of the Damned
DragonForce-ValleyOfTheDamned-AlbumCover.jpg
Studio album by DragonForce
Released 25 February 2003
Recorded May – October 2002
Genre
Length 51:54
57:44 (2010 re-release)
Label
Producer
DragonForce chronology
Valley of the Damned
(2003)
Sonic Firestorm
(2004)Sonic Firestorm2004

Valley of the Damned is the debut studio album by British power metal band DragonForce. In 2000, while the band was still known as DragonHeart, a demo of the same name was recorded and sent to Noise Records, subsequently gaining the band a deal with the label. It was then re-recorded in late 2002 and released as a full-length studio album on 25 February 2003, following the band's obtainance of the deal with Noise and change in name to DragonForce. The album was set to be remastered and released with a bonus DVD on 24 September 2007,[1] but was subsequently delayed and eventually released on 22 February 2010, along with the re-release of the band's second album, Sonic Firestorm.

Production[edit]

The initial demo was recorded on 8 – 12 October and then mixed on 20 November 2000 at Thin Ice Studios with Karl Groom engineering. The rerecording for the album in 2002 mostly took place at Thin Ice Studios in Surrey, by Karl Groom, and at Lamer Luser Studios in London, by Herman Li, from May – October 2002. It was then mixed by Karl Groom, Herman Li and Sam Totman at Thin Ice Studios and mastered at Aubitt Studio by Rob Aubrey and Herman Li.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars link

The Allmusic review by James Christopher Monger awarded the album 4 stars stating "The debut album from U.K. power metal giants Dragonforce is a polarizing affair. Valley of the Damned could be construed as a bloated, Spinal Tap-style tribute to early-'80s fantasy-metal, and in many ways it is; however, it's so well played and so joyously executed that it could very well reignite the entire genre... From the epic title track to the fist-pumping closer, "Heart of a Dragon," the guitar pyrotechnics of Herman Li and Sam Totman light up the sky like a third world war, bending riffs into melodic submission while never overplaying. Vocalist ZP Theart has no qualms about emulating heroes like Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and Michael Kiske (Helloween), but his lupine howls have a character all their own... Valley of the Damned may not be groundbreaking or cathartic, and lyrics like "In the land of desire with your heart filled with fire you live for the right to be free/We will sail on forevermore to the land of the evening star" may cross the line into heavy metal parody, but it's undeniably entertaining, expertly played, and endlessly fun."[2]

When asked about his thoughts of the album in a 2015 interview, Herman Li said:[3]

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Invocation of the Apocalyptic Evil" (Instrumental)   Vadim Pruzhanov 0:13
2. "Valley of the Damned" Totman 7:11
3. "Black Fire" (contains a sample of Kazunaka Yamane's theme from Double Dragon)
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 5:47
4. "Black Winter Night"
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 6:30
5. "Starfire"
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 5:53
6. "Disciples of Babylon" Theart Herman Li 7:16
7. "Revelations"
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 6:52
8. "Evening Star"
  • Li
  • Theart
Li 6:39
9. "Heart of a Dragon"
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 5:23

2010 Remastered release[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Invocation of the Apocalyptic Evil" (Instrumental)   Pruzhanov 0:14
2. "Valley of the Damned"
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 7:12
3. "Black Fire" (contains a sample of Kazunaka Yamane's theme from Double Dragon)
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 5:47
4. "Black Winter Night"
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 6:30
5. "Starfire"
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 5:53
6. "Disciples of Babylon" Theart Li 7:16
7. "Revelations"
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 6:52
8. "Evening Star"
  • Li
  • Theart
Li 6:39
9. "Heart of a Dragon"
  • Totman
  • Theart
Totman 5:24
10. "Where Dragons Rule"
  • Williams
  • Theart
  • Totman
  • Williams
5:52

Bonus DVD[edit]

The bonus DVD includes interviews with the band members and producer on the making of the album, professionally-filmed footage from their first Japanese tour, two commentaries (one from Herman Li and Vadim Pruzhanov, and one from ZP Theart and Karl Groom), backstage footage from a live performance in Japan, and footage from the recording and mixing sessions for the album in Denmark.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "allmusic – Valley of the Damned: Bonus DVD – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  2. ^ a b Monger, J.C. Allmusic Review accessed 14 April 2011
  3. ^ Müller-Hansen, Niclas (29 March 2015). "DRAGONFORCE: Intervju med Herman Li". Rocksverige (in English and Swedish). Retrieved 9 April 2015. 

External links[edit]