Gonna do something a little different and step outside the box on this one. The prog box, that is. Don’t worry, this page is still prog. But thought I would highlight a non-prog band just to show that there is some other good music out there.
Dynazty is a melodic power metal band that hails from Sweden. And this album makes number 7 for them. So they’ve been around a while. They’ve always been that hard diving rock/metal band and on the last one, Firesign, they had more of a keyboard influence to it lending a bit of an Amaranthe sound at the time. This one is back to the “in your face” onslaught of guitars. There are still some keys, but they are dialed back a bit.
The band is: Jonathon Olsson (Lindemann and PAIN) on bass, Georg Harnsten Egg on drums, Love Magnusson and Mikael Laver on guitars (the latter of which has worked with Lindemann and Joe Lynn Turner), and finally Nils Molin from Amaranthe on vocals.
I must say, this album is full of hooks, huge choruses, and killer riffs. It’s been on constant play for me the past couple of weeks since I got it for review as I haven’t quite been able to stop listening (with the exception of checking all the new music that comes out on Fridays). One downside to this one, sadly, the album is really loud. Not so much that I can’t listen to the whole thing. But it is LOUD. I think it could stand to be dialed back a bit and some more separation in the mix. But as it stands, it’s a burner!
We kick things of with Presence of Mind (video below), that fades in with a bit of a subdued electronic sound with the chorus growing and then kicks into the riffs and builds through to one catchy as hell chorus.
Ground Zero… this fear of your presence of mind”
Kind of pertinent lyrics for today.
Up next is Paradise of the Architect which comes in with some complex, driving drums, chunky guitars and keys. The chorus here definitely has an Amaranthe air to it, though with male vocals. Some great soloing as well.
The Black has a driving drum beat at the start and calms a little for the verses and rips back open for the chorus that is so damn melodic, you will no doubt be singing along with it. But that can be said for most of these songs.
We then hit Sound to Silence, which begins with some more electronic elements, almost hinting at industrial, and then comes in with yet another rocker. Rockers are the name of the game with this album. And we are introduced to our first taste of growl like vocals on this album. They are more accents here, as the more clean and melodic vocals reign. There is one point toward the end where the riffage gets mean sounding and the growls come in but it is way too short. I think it could have given this song that extra kick to carry it on longer. Oh well… still a great track.
Hologram gives us the closest thing we are going to get to a ballad with them. Ok, more a power ballad. Starts off with piano and acoustic guitar and a calm vocal delivery for the verse with the full band coming in for the chorus and stays for the rest of the song. They do power ballads just the way I like them. With an emphasis on power! So this is one of my favorite songs on here.
Heartless Madness is an interesting beast. It comes in sounding like Sonata Arctica, circa The Days of Grays. the keys totally have the sound from that album. And the driving galloping beat and melody just so matches that style. So this is also another favorite of mine from this one. Check out the video below as well.
Another one of the singles released leading up to the new album is Waterfall (video below). The keys are present but again fairly well buried in the mix under the guitar, which, by the way, is another meaty chug. And, you guessed it, another catchy chorus that will having you singing along.
And the chorus speaks, once again, to our present time:
Rain a waterfall”
Got another pattern developing here. Soft keys intro quickly followed by the guitar crunch. Threading the Needle does let the keyboards shine through a little more during the verses. Almost a little breather before the full force of the chorus comes in with another galloping riff. I would like to note here that the drums are excellent on this album. Sometimes they stand out and make me notice them more that in other places. I found myself paying more attention to them on this one for some reason. Not sure why, but I enjoyed them.
The Man and the Elements kicks in with a nice, upbeat Celtic sounding guitar lead and the song gallops along with it nicely. Almost a jig. And yep… another catchy and melodic chorus. Man I’m loving this album. Again, the drums are standing out. This song really has me wanting to get up and Riverdance the hell out of it.
Apex gets us back to a hard driving rocker and lands us back squarely into Sonata Arctica territory… same era as before. And I LOVE that influence here. They do that sound justice and then some.
Man… I can’t believe we are almost to the end. The Road to Redemption starts off as another acoustic song before the band kicks in for a nice mid tempo rocker that almost has a country western feel to it… almost. But it is definitely rock. Make no mistake.
The Dark Delight closes the album, or at least my review copy. The CD had a bonus track that I didn’t have in my possession to review. Some lone reserved keys start us out and quickly once again the full band kicks in. The verses carry on with an air of tension that ebbs and flows but bursts into the chorus. Still with that tension holding on. This song has that epic sound you would expect of an album closer. And they do it so well.
As you can tell, and as I have said, I love this album. This is that kind of melodic metal that just makes me smile. I would be tempted to give it a perfect score but I have to subtract a point for that darn loudness. Sigh…
So, if like me, you haven’t fully painted yourself into the prog corner and can appreciate other genres, and like hard rock/metal, give it a go! But if you are a stickler for prog, stand by… we have another review coming to you soon!
13. The Shoulder Devil [bonus] (not on the review copy)