For my friends and readers of this site there it’s nothing new that I’m a fan of Dynazty and has been so since the day one. But that doesn’t mean that their albums will automatically get eights, nines or tens every time they release a new album. Quite the contrary – my expectations on this band are always very high and has been so for years. Dynazty started out as a melodic Hard Rock band with influences from both Metal and Melodic Rock and since the Bring The Thunder debut in 2009 their albums have been better with each release. After the killer third album Sultans Of Sin (2012) the band decided that enough was enough and that their brand of Hard Rock had reached its peak and they would never get any bigger playing that kind of music and that a change was in order. Even tough the band had gone towards a more modern side of Metal the band never lost their identity – they still sounded like Dynazty, only an updated version.
The first album with their new style, Renatus (2014) took a few spins to get used to but when it stuck, it bloody well stuck. It also looked like their more modern-metal radio-friendly brand increased their audience and live, their new stuff worked amazingly well. Normally, I stand a bit non-impressed by all of those new Metal bands that radio is so keen on playing, only a few has slipped through my Hard Rock filter but Dynazty’s mix of their old Melodic Hard Rock and the modern stuff really hit home with me, something I was really glad for. The last album Titanic Mass (2016) is a damn masterpiece in my book, where all components came together brilliantly and for a band that had always relied a lot catchy refrain and big-ass melodies, that record was Melodic Metal heaven for me. Now it’s time for Dynazty to release the so important third album for the second time and this time, they couldn’t afford to fail even the slightest – this might just be their most important album of their entire career.
The album opens with first taster “Breathe With Me” and it’s clear that Dynazty have no intentions of letting anyone down. It’s fast, heavy, pompy and punchy with an almost symphonic vibe and a big sound scape. It comes with some big melodies which of some reminds me of Within Temptation albeit this is a more kicking song and the chorus is brilliantly catchy and hummable. New single “The grey” tags along and even though it’s a heavy song, the melodies brings on a musical-like touch and the insanely catchy chorus brings on some addictive Pop vibes. This is a perfect example of a band that can marry Pop melodies with lots of heaviness – awesome. “In The Arms Of A Devil” comes with a dark mood yet still in uptempo where Hard Rock meets classic Metal. It’s a powerful and pounding track that hits hard without losing the essential melodies that are Dynazty’s trademark. And the chorus hits right where it should with lots of hooks and catchiness. Killer!
“My Darkest Hour” is mid paced and very heavy with a sinister edge but still with a big, bombastic feel. It’s an angry track but it still hold a whole lot of hooks and every melody is memorable – great track. The darkness and heaviness continues with “Ascension”, a bouncy and heavy rocker that hits like a fist in the gut. The addictive and sticky melodies contrasts and so does the Celtic inspired guitar solo which brings a Gary Moore touch to the tune – and it works so well. The refrain is also spot-on and only adds to the song’s brilliance. The title-track and first single is a more straight-forward story, fat, stomping and kicking – very in-your-face. It holds a big groove and quite an aggressive touch, but the tune is also quite accessible with a modern radio-friendly twist that mostly shows in the keyboard department. Some might love it and some won’t but at the end of the day, I think it’s a great track, modern or not.
“Closing Doors” is more of a straight-forward Metal track that comes across as almost gothic in sound and where the melodies goes into a Pop mode. There’s also some really cool twin lead guitar playing and Nils Molin’s powerful vocals brings on a load of roughness to the almost AOR catchy refrain. A contender as a future single without a doubt. “Follow Me” is a full-on blasting Metal track, pissed off and ready to kick your ass hard. It’s heavy, ballsy and raging and the Power Metal – the American kind, not the European – influence lies all over the track. The tune isn’t that catchy and melody-driven as the rest of the tunes and therefore loses a bit of catchiness. It’s a good song but not as great as the previous ones. “Let Me Dream Forever” is Pop song in a Metal disguise – or is it the other way around? It’s on the softer side and the verses takes a step into balladry. Still, the refrain brings on some punchy rhythms and is full of hooks that makes it catchy as hell. Must be a single at some point. Great.
“Starfall” is tough, rough and ballsy, heavy yet melodic with a pumping rhythm and chugging guitars. This is where Hard Rock meets Metal and the modern sounds is at a minimum but it do burst out into a damn memorable refrain that keeps the catchiness this band is known for – a really good tune. Closer “The Light Inside The Tunnel” brings on a more Stadium Rock vibe that’s reminiscent of their earlier days. It’s a six-minute tune that comes across as quite epic and even though this can be labeled as Melodic Hard Rock it still holds some big keyboard work and some of the arrangements brings out some symphonic influences. The brilliantly catchy chorus holds melody lines of their modern sounds so the mix between the the past and the current sounds brings on an unpredictable and very cool contrast. If this wasn’t a six plus minute tune, I’d say this is a single-contender as well. A brilliant closer.
One thought that came to mind before listening to this record was whether singer Nils Molin’s new employment as a singer in Swedish modern Metal act Amaranthe had rubbed off on Dynazty’s sound. Since I’m not much of an Amaranthe fan, I had hoped not but the truth is, it has – even though not much very much. On this album, the use of modern sounding keyboards is pretty much everywhere and at times, they’re really (too) high in the mix. It’s almost like they need a full-time keyboard player in the band now. It doesn’t take away anything from the greatness of the songs here but I must admit I prefer when the keyboards play second fiddle in Dynazty’s sound. And that’s the only thing on this album that I’m not overly positive about. Style-wise, this album is a continuation of the previous two and they have lost nothing in the songwriting department. The quality of the song-writing, production and musicianship are so colossally high that it’s damn ridiculous that Dynazty aren’t already a major, headlining act. I still hold Titanic Mass as my favorite Dynazty record but it’s not by much. Firesign really should be Dynazty’s final breakthrough!
More Dynazty reviews:
1. Breathe With Me
2. The Grey
3. In The Arms Of A Devil
4. My Darkest Hour
7. Closing Doors
8. Follow Me
9. Let Me Dream Forever
11. The Light Inside The Tunnel