When it comes to power metal, Dragonforce has been a name that resonates with the thrilling strums of lightning-fast guitars. Fresh off the heels of inking a deal with Napalm Records, they are surging forward with a fresh single that herald the coming of a new album, a clarion call to their dedicated followers that the fire still burns fiercely within their creative world.
Dragonforce’s recent endeavor has taken their electrifying act on the road with a North American tour that’s an exhibition of power metal greatness. Joining them on this crusade are a trio of bands that each bring their own unique brand of metal magic: Amaranthe with their melodic blend, Nanowar Of Steel who infuse their sound with a cheeky sense of humor, and Edge of Paradise, whose own metal evolution continues to unfold with cinematic grandeur.
As Dragonforce sets out to conquer stages across the continent, they are not alone. Their tour companions are a showcase to the genre’s diverse appeal and the vibrant community it cultivates. Each act contributes their own page to this saga of metal, ensuring that fans across the spectrum have something to revel in.
The air in Baltimore was charged with anticipation as fans gathered at the Sound Stage, ready for an evening that promised a blend of the fierce and the whimsical, the intense and the irreverent. And I do mean, this show was packed. It was sold out with fans just inline for what must have felt like forever.
The Baltimore Sound Stage became a pulsating heart of metal, comedy, and camaraderie. Dragonforce, known for their blistering live performances, took the stage with the kind of vivacious energy that has become their hallmark. The crowd was treated to a spectacle that was as visually arresting as it was sonically impressive. And yes, tons of crowd surfing.
Adding to the night’s special aura was the revelation that guitarist Herman Li streamed the show on his Twitch channel, extending the reach of their music beyond the physical confines of the venue. This digital window allowed fans from across the globe to partake in the kinetic energy of a Dragonforce show, blurring the lines between an in-person and an online experience.
One of the best parts of the evening was the unveiling of ‘Power of the Triforce,’ a new track that, as its name suggests, drew inspiration from the iconic ‘Legend of Zelda’ series. Dragonforce has a knack for embedding the essence of popular culture into their sound, and this new single was no exception. It encapsulated the adventure and heroism of its video game muse, much to the delight of the audience.
Dragonforce’s live shows are renowned not just for their musical dexterity but for the sheer exuberance they bring to the stage. Their performance in Baltimore was an affirmation of their commitment to pushing the boundaries of the power metal genre, infusing every chord and chorus with their signature blend of skill and showmanship. The band’s “crazy antics” are as much a part of their identity as their fast-paced riffs and soaring vocals, ensuring that every performance is more than a concert.
Amaranthe took to the stage, elevating the energy before the headliner. Elize Ryd, Amaranthe’s dynamic frontwoman, has a charisma that’s nothing short of magnetic. With effortless grace, she captivated the crowd, an orchestra conductor of metal, with every member of the audience in sync with the beat of her command.
Amaranthe, riding high on the wings of their own creative surge, brought with them not just their well-loved anthems and they too have a brand new upcoming album. Their set was a blend of familiar and fresh, a combination that had the crowd oscillating between singing along and listening in awe.
When the metal world needs a reminder not to take itself too seriously, Nanowar of Steel strides confidently onto the stage. Their set in Baltimore was a masterclass in metal parody, seamlessly blending hearty laughter with the kind of heavy riffs that could anchor a ship in a storm. Their unique brand of comedy-metal is a spectacle—a reminder that the spirit of metal can both headbang and chuckle at itself.
The image of an IKEA table assembly becoming part of a live performance is something only Nanowar of Steel could conjure up. It’s absurd, it’s unexpected, and it’s brilliant—a physical metaphor for their approach to music: taking the seemingly mundane and constructing it into something extraordinary.
Nanowar of Steel’s latest album, ‘Dislike to False Metal,’ is a comedic odyssey through the metal landscape, poking fun at the gatekeepers and purists who often forget the joy at the heart of music. Each track is a clever jab, a nudge in the ribs of metal subgenres, delivered with a wink and a smile. Their set was a theatrical display of parody and homage, a tightrope walk between reverence and ribaldry that only Nanowar of Steel could navigate with such aplomb.
Edge of Paradise, having previously carved their name onto our ‘Best of the Year’ list, brought with them a sense of anticipation that had been building for quite some time. The desire to witness this Los Angeles-based band live had been a flickering flame for many, and finally, as they took to the stage in Baltimore, that flame roared to life.
Their performance was nothing short of awesome. The audience, some witnessing the band for the first time, were treated to a show that exemplified why this band has garnered such acclaim. The stage became a canvas for their music, each song painting strokes of intensity and passion. As Margarita Monet also does paint, in a literal sense as well! Her powerful vocals at the forefront, the band delivered a performance that was both grand in scale and intimate in its impact.
For me, the wait to see Edge of Paradise in the flesh was well worth it—their set was a showcase of hard-hitting riffs, atmospheric synths, and a stage presence that could only be described as commanding.
The tour that has been setting the power metal world in the U.S. alight shows no signs of dimming as it continues to blaze across North America. With a roster of dates that remain before the final curtain call in Los Angeles on November 19th, this is a caravan of musical might that continues to promise unforgettable nights in cities like Cleveland, Montreal, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City.
The lineup is a veritable smorgasbord of sound, a feast for those hungry for the diverse flavors of metal. It’s a rare treat to have such a collection of distinct voices and styles under one banner, delivering night after night of unparalleled performances. This tour is an embodiment of variety, each band bringing a different ingredient to the table, creating a recipe that is as surprising as it is satisfying.
To call this one of the ‘must not miss tours of the year’ might even seem like an understatement. It’s a powerhouse procession, a showcase of some of the best and brightest in their respective niches of metal. Whether it’s the speed and precision of Dragonforce, the melodic hooks of Amaranthe, the comedic metal mastery of Nanowar of Steel, or the epic aura of Edge of Paradise, there’s something for every connoisseur of the craft.
For those who have not yet had the chance to witness this tour, the time is now. The remaining dates are not just opportunities; they are invitations to be part of something special, a communal celebration of metal’s enduring spirit and its ability to bring together legions of fans in a shared experience of raw, live energy. Don’t just hear about it from others; be there to feel the pulse-pounding beats, the searing guitar solos, and the harmonious choruses that will echo in your memory.