London based metal superstars DRAGONFORCE are a band the vital statistics of which are well known by now. Album sales figures in the millions, the Grammy nod, the sold-out world tours, the lightspeed guitar work and that Guitar Hero tie-in. What is spoken about less is the band behind the reputation. The stories of on-tour merriment are famous, but less so the enthusiasm and dedication of the musicians responsible for the heavy metal major league outfit.
You may know about Herman Li and Sam Totman's numerous awards for their virtuoso skill on the guitar, but you may know less about why they came to do what they do. The two guitarists fell in love with touring, and with performing their music live, while playing in their previous band that turned them onto the path they now stride so confidently.
Similarly overlooked is the musical advancement DRAGONFORCE represent. In a musical realm where bands of a similar generation are either happy to ape the classic acts or utilise extensive keyboard and string arrangements to move the style onwards, DRAGONFORCE are progressive. The increased heaviness and pace they have injected has made them a fresh voice in the world of metal, and one the fans have responded to as a result.
The self-direction and innovative methods of how the band has gone about things does not stop with the musical direction, production and the early internet self-promotion. Both Herman and Sam have designed and built their own signature models of guitar to help them best display their exceptional talents to the fullest possible extent, as they have with the racks they use on tour. But perhaps most significantly, they remain masters of their own musical direction.
DRAGONFORCE 's fifth studio album “The Power Within” is a ten track monster, the first with new singer Marc Hudson in the fold and “they've carried it off with their usual cocky assurance” – Metal Hammer