The last time I was invited to have a chat with the cops was at a DragonForce show, where my "leaning-plus-smoking" combo had pegged me as "suspicious." Really, I think the po-po were just trying to get the goods on the concert happening inside -- wandering in and out was an atypical array of nerd rats, studded-leather metal fans and American Apparel-ed, irony-seeking college kids.

Uniting these disparate nations was the epic, cartoonish, high-speed power metal of DragonForce (or "D Force" if you're one of the aforementioned irony-seeking college kids). There are so many intense factors at play with DragonForce that I can't really think about them without feeling like I was just pumped full of meth or adolescent hormones -- it just doesn't process. Their live show is the most extreme and technically awesome I've witnessed -- Herman Li, the ocean of hair that serves as lead guitar, solo shreds like a motherfucker, behind his head, on the moon, etc., all with the biggest metal grin. Singer ZP Theart feels the inspirational, fantasy lyrics.

DragonForce are raking in the DragonDollars in classic niche-market style -- they're a massive, massive worldwide phenomenon, but are barely known outside of metal circles, which is crazy. These guys must immediately become the house band for the UN. They're not only an international group of players, their lyrics are a testament to the righteousness of humanity. My favorite line from "Fury of the Storm" says it all. "With the power of the universe we stand strong together / Through the force of power, it will soon reach the hour / For victory we ride, Fury of the storm."

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Kate Carraway