Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Ah, the need for speed. I remember when I first heard early speed metal like Kreator and Destruction around 84-85 and I thought it was oh so fast. I remember first being exposed to Napalm Death and Bolt Thrower in the late 80's. I liked all of those bands, but faster does not always mean better. It's like driving a car, there has to be some control in there to balance the speed. Not everyone seems to feel that way though. Which leads to our contest today. We have....


Dragonforce-Ultra Beatdown


The Great Kat-Worship me or die

The Great Kat claimed to be "the worlds fastest guitarist" and she went from playing the violin to playing the guitar, singing and cutting her debut in less than two years. It's a shame she didn't take time to practice writing or developing some style during that time. When I first heard her album in 1988 I thought it was fast. That opinion has changed over the years. Dragonforce had a more gradual rise, but the approach is about as questionable. Instead of playing haphazard semi-speed metal, they opted for taking power metal and stepping it up to an even faster pace. Unfortunately they don't add much to that sound except speed. It's not a combination that is pleasant to the ears. Well, lets blow the dust off the cases and have at these speedy stinkbombs.


The great Kat vs. ZP Theart. The Great Kat is about as good a singer as she is a songwriter. Which means she is abysmal. There are growls, shrieks and numerous other unpleasant noises thrown in. It sounds like some teenager got a hold of a tape recorder and told her friends "check this out, I can be a cool metal singer". Theart has a range of some sort, it's just unfortunate that he spends too many occasions sounding like he has someones knee firmly slammed against his crotch. Both try to be extreme singers and both end up being extremely horrendous. Theart actually hits some notes though so...

Point to Dragonforce


The Great Kat is up against Herman Li and Sam Totman. The Great Kat plays mainly choppy chunks during the bulk of the song and then hits these shrill bursts of fast flying noise the rest of the time. Fast she may be, but it's not heavy, appealing or memorable. Despite her boasts, her guitar parts are really rather weak. If guitars could sound like they were on helium than that would be Dragonforce. Their guitars are like typical power metal only sped up and slightly higher in pitch. Which means they add nothing to their genre, but take away much of the force and fire that could have been there. The only thing that helps Dragonforce is some degree of continuity.

Point to Dragonforce

Rhythm section

That's right there were actually more people in the Great Kat's band than just her. We have Kat's rhythm section of Tom Von Doom on bass and Adam Killa on drums taking on bassist Frederic Leclercq and drummer Dave Mackintosh. I don't really hear the bass on Kat's album (yes, I am tired of calling her "great" at this point). I did hear the drums though and they sound like an old type writer clicking away. Their is no depth, rhythm or much else to the drum parts. The Dragonforce guys fare better. I hear the bass on occasion and it's nothing spectacular, but it has an adequate tone. The drums are the best thing about Dragonforce if there is such a thing. Of course they are too fast at times and do not always add anything, but they never become as ridiculous as the guitar. Plus they have a solid sound for the most part.

Point to Dragonforce


Kat's album came when thrash was huge and I think she was aimed at that crowd, but her music is so scattered that it's not really thrash. I am not sure if it's really music either. Now her sound isn't entirely original, but at the time it came out it was at least slightly original as a gimmick or a joke band which is more of what she is. Dragonforce despite all their hype still sound like someone took albums from Helloween, Gamma Ray and Hammerfall, stuck them in blender and mixed them all together. Then they poured out the remains and sped it up even more. The results are as messy as that description. For production I would say that Kat's album has alright production for the time. I don't think richer production would have enhanced the raw sewage that's there. In fact the raw edges work a little. Dragonforce have high production values, but that just makes their candy coated garbage sound even more glossy.

Point to Kat

Who rocks more

Perhaps which album gave me less of a headache would be a better description. I am going to with Kat here. Neither of these turd platters rock much. However there is a roughness to Kat's disc that has a grain of something that's worth hearing once. Probably only once, but that's more than I can say for Dragonforce. I finished Dragonforce's album and came out all disoriented like I had been riding some cheap, spinning carnival ride for an hour. It wasn't much though. My ears hurt, my head hurt and I realized that speed could be an awful thing in the wrong hands and Dragonforce continue to prove that point.

Point to Kat

Dragonforce squeeze it out 3-2. Although I think this is only the second time in Lesser of two evils that a band has lost the "who rocks more" category and still held on to win the battle. I felt that I had been doing too many of these match-ups on just glam bands so I purposefully picked other styles this time. Unfortunately I paid for that idea as I had to listen to their ranting nonsense. Dragonforce do deserve to be called Dragonfarce because that is what they are. The Great Kat is a joke too and doesn't deserve to be called great or even mediocre, but no one really pretends otherwise with her. Still both these discs should be locked away in a vault and not see the light of day for some time. If you missed the hair bands then never fear because a second Lesser of two evils is coming soon. Very soon actually as I will have another Lesser of two evils out this week.

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Blogger DPTH International said...

As usual, always a fun read. I have been listening to The Great Kat some lately simply because of the metal interpretations of classical music. I'm a sucker for that.

I've enjoyed DragonForce's early work, but I have to admit, the novelty is wearing off and any (if any) substance is all but gone.

10:15 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Both are awful, but I find Dragonforce more annoying, because a lot of people are fooled by them. The Not-So-Great Kat was always kind of a joke that just wasn't that funny, but Dragonforce fans think the band's technical skill excuses them from other more important virtues like songwriting and soul.

12:55 PM  
Blogger John said...

Dragonforce are one of my metal arch enemies not just because of their ridiculously annoying and unoriginal sound, but because of what they represent. They seem to be at the forefront of the "it's cool to like metal if you're being ironic" trend that's big in a ton of little 15 year olds I'm seeing around. I see all these kids who are getting into the most ridiculous power metal bands they can, the more over the top (and devoid of real songwriting talent) the better. Some say it's ruining the name of metal, but that will never happen as long as the true metaheads keep the faith. Let the douchebags have the crappy bands, we'll listen to the real stuff. Good post.

6:43 AM  

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