Does DragonForce Speed Up Their Music? Our Opinion

Table of Contents

If you’re wondering if DragonForce speeds up their music, you’ve come to the right post!

The short answer is, no, I’d say it’s highly unlikely that they sped up their music.

I’ll unpack this more in the following sections.

DragonForce: Background

Power metal is a subgenre with a specific following, a niche if I dare to say it.

But even outside of metal, people know about DragonForce, mostly due to their now-classic “Through the Fire and Flames.”

The band has been around since 1999, releasing a total of eight studio albums.

They’re still going strong with guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman remaining as sole original members.

One particularly interesting thing about their music is the tempo that they can perform at.

That’s why some may even classify DragonForce as “speed metal.”

Be that as it may, technical proficiency is something people often associate with the band’s name.

However, this brought another question.

Does DragonForce speed up their music?

Plenty of guitar players have tried and failed to learn to perform some of the lead and even rhythm parts the same way they were recorded.

Maybe we could say the same thing about other instruments.

Let’s dig deeper into this and try and answer this question.

Back in 2005, DragonForce came into the spotlight with “Through the Fire and Flames” from the “Inhuman Rampage” album.

The song has a tempo of about 200 beats per minute for the most part.

All this comes with blasting drum beats and impeccable lead sections.

On the other hand, back in the day, the band’s live performances weren’t really up to the standards of their studio recordings.

So plenty of people asked the question.

Here’s one of the performances from 2006 which ended up on YouTube and people criticized them for.

Dragonforce Sweden Rock Festival 2006 [Part 3]

However, these days, things are much better.

After all, they’re aware that every single performance will end up on someone’s phone and ultimately someone’s YouTube channel.

Here’s what they sound like in 2023.

[4K] Dragonforce - Through The Fire and Flames Live | Full Song | Salt Lake City, March 19th, 2023

Here’s the Catch…

But did they actually speed up their music back in the day?

The process of speeding up music and videos is not that difficult to do.

And it was also possible back in the 2000s, although it was probably not as simple as today.

There is, however, one thing that you need to understand about studio recording.

Compared to live performances, most of the instruments are recorded one by one.

Additionally, you can also do as many takes as you want until you nail it perfectly.

Patch it all together and you’ll have the final version of the song.

Musicians, in this case, DragonForce, will record everything and then tweak it a little or just re-record and overdub some parts that aren’t 100% perfect.

Meanwhile, live shows and touring are incredibly difficult.

You perform almost every day in a different city and have to go on the stage and nail it on the first try.

Knowing that they were young back in the 2000s and far less experienced, things didn’t sound as well as they do on their current live shows.

So did they speed it up?

I’d say that it’s highly unlikely.

The main question that you should ask, however, is how much did they tweak all the stuff in the studio.

And that’s not easy to answer unless you were there to witness it.

You can’t know how many takes they actually did and what they patched together just from the recording.

Even speeding it up could pass and sound like a real thing to some extent.

However, this would mean that they wouldn’t be able to perform it at all live.

Why This Question Isn’t Easy to Answer

As you may know, the stuff used in the studio is incredibly advanced these days.

It was pretty advanced even back in the 2000s. 

So it’s not easy to answer with 100% certainty.

As I already mentioned above, there are a few other things to bear in mind aside from the speed.

There are so many things that you can tinker with in the studio.

And guess what?

I guarantee that all the bands and artists that you listen to do it.

There’s even a chance they re-record or process some of the live album recordings as well.

So, long story short, I highly doubt that DragonForce speeds things up in the studio.

But music production is complex and there are plenty of other things they might be doing.  


I hope this article has added to the discussion of whether DragonForce has sped up their music!

What do you think?

Let me know in the comments below.

And if you want to read more about the bands on this blog, then check out:

Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!

2 Responses

  1. Emil Frøsig says:

    The whole topic of Dragonforce speading up the solos is founded by people who has absolutely no idea of how music is recorded, or how it’s processed.

    If you record something at half or even 25% of the desired tempo and speed up the audio track, you’ll end up with a pretty wobbly and weird sounding recording.
    Unless of course you speed it up by recording in a slower speed, cut up every single note and move them closer together/to the grit. Which sounds more likely, but unnecessarily time consuming as well.

    I think the real question is how much EDITING does Dragonforce do to their tracks.
    They’ve improved dramatically since the Inhuman Rampage days, but the solos are still far from the standards of the albums.
    Even when watching Herman on Twitch or various “making of” videos of them recording solos, their playing is still notably less tight. Especially considering the amount of flawless pinch harmonics, technique uses (ei. Going from tapping to sweep picking instantly) and perfectly in sync dual leads.

    My take is;
    1) huge amounts of takes comped together. Some parts may even be recorded separately over and over. And the final take is a blend of several individual takes.
    2) once they’ve comped the full solo and are happy with it, they quantize the living hell out of it. Simply adjusting every single note be it moving it to the grit, replace dead notes, tuning bad bends, etc.
    3) I know it sound absurd, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had like an audio bank with “stock” takes to throw in to save time. Like “tapping in G major” or “Sweeping in Amaj7”.
    They constantly reuse licks, and in the case of shredding over 16th notes, much of it is just basic arppegioes. Who knows.

    These guys are obviously very good, but no one is THAT good for that amount of time, and their songs are very complicated lead wise. You just don’t do a few takes and call it good.
    Besides, the drums are heavily quantized and the vocals are very obviously pitch corrected, so why shouldn’t the guitars be edited to death as well?

    1. Hi Emil,

      That’s an interesting take. Thanks for sharing!

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