Dynazty - Firesign

Dynazty Firesign cover
Dynazty
Firesign
AFM Records
2018
8
Dynazty have been around for almost a decade and with five past albums making up quite a solid catalog that seems to go from sleazy hard rock to straightforward power metal, that instead of staying stale and true to the classic forms of the genre, dares to take a few looks off center and take a chance or two, in incorporating influences that seem rather foreign to it, accumulating them quite successfully, without losing its edge or charm in the process…
 
Third in a line of bi-annual albums that are followed by decent runs through mainly the North of Europe, with the occasional foray into the South and beyond, they seem to carefully be building their brand.
 
The band was lucky to not lose frontman Nils Molin to Amaranthe, who he joined in order to substitute the departing Jake E. That boy is truly a diamond. A young, golden god, with a voice to match, superb presence, really… everything, the closest someone comes to have as impressive a delivery as Dio, without trying consciously to copy him, but at the same time, a bit more melodic and dangerous sounding, when he “goes” for it, he truly stands almost alone in the modern scene as a jaw dropping great performer.
 
“Breath with Me”, might begin with some faux, electro keys, but it soon goes into the typical melodic metal mode that the band is known for, with lush key flourishes and booming chugging rhythms and Molin delivering crazy wicked melodies on top of all that. The guitars remain mostly transparent, only really coming out for a brief, but to the point lead, for everything to come full circle and to a close.
 
“The Grey” is the bonafide single of the album. It riff owes a great deal to Shok Paris’s “Lost Queen” as does “Sakis Rouvas big hit ‘Antexa’”… and it opens with the line “something in the air, tells me to beware”... ehm which is you know lifted from Rainbow’s “Tarot Woman” (we do have to face that elephant in the room). Now these two facts alone could really have me crying about what foul rip-offs the band are on this occasion, but the chorus that follows that is superb and original and thus they do manage the remarkable task of writing something that while is a far cry from being truly original, is both super-catchy and feels like the spiritual offspring of its “parent” influences, with a bit of their own character injected into it and a great solo as well. It’s a hell of a charming bastard child if you will.
 
“In The Arms of the Devil” plays a bit like old school, harder edged Nightwish – you know it loves Gary Moore and has a cheery melody running through it – with Molin giving it the edgier character and darker tone… again superb solo and guitars in general by Rob Love Magnusson & Mike Lavér...
 
“My Darkest Hour” manages to out-pop, most metal bands that try to go pop, but just end up as lackluster versions of themselves… it’s anthemic, it has a nice keyboard flourish that’s a little reminiscent of Rammstein’s “My Heart Brennt” main idea in there, but it’s one thousand times better, with its nifty chorus just coming in and giving a much given crescendo of a release. And once more a sweet guitar solo. You know pinching just half an idea and incorporating it, along with 10 more great ideas, I can live with and this is what it is.
 
“Ascension” however, almost challenges my above view, with choosing to incorporate, a good fucking deal of The Kinks’ “I’m not like Everybody Else” in the verses… really? While the symphonic fanfares that blast around the verses, are brilliant and interesting and the orchestration is lush and layered, it really dwells on the original melodies for an uncomfortably long time. Whereas on other songs… I didn’t quite mind the “pinched” and pilfered part here or there, things here just seem a little lazy with an almost 50-50 mix, plus the soloing on this song while flashy and fine, feels a little like a perquisite, than an inspired addition.
 
“Firesign” had me a little disgusted at first, thinking that I was listening to Amaranthe – it’s intro could have easily belonged to them – heck a good deal of the song could have been, but then Nils takes it upon himself to throw every trick up his sleeve to make one like the song and you cannot, but end up liking it. The “very-modern” percussion, that’s could be the number one thing that annoyed me has some nifty ideas, to underscore each section and the whole thing, lights up like a Christmas tree in the end ! Eh, it passes the test.
 
“Closing Doors” is a lot more melodic and has some nice quasi symphonic background orchestrations and while for its first verse it’s quite mellow, Molin begins to up the ante for a transitional verse that leads to a glorious chorus. You know the drill… great lil solo and do it again. There are slight Dream Theater vocal cues, where he pulls off effortlessly some nice slides in and out of vintage Labrie territory, only to land on his feet and display his world class that will have him remembered as one of the best vocalists of rock in years to come.
 
“Follow Me” has a huge groove, being rhythmical and anthemic in equal parts, think of something akin to a football anthem or chant, gone seriously hard rock. More brilliant guitar soloing, gang vocals, the motherload.
 
“Let Me Dream Forever” is sympho-soft metal, with a typically uplifting chorus, but it’s probably caught between the crossfire of better and more immediate songs. It’s not filler, but it’s not some hidden gem either...
 
“Starfall” is probably relying too much in recycling the band’s MO, with probably second tier ideas, but its solo manages to pique interest and obviously Molin’s vocal performance it’s a highlight in itself.
 
Thankfully, “The Light Inside the Tunnel”, that closes the album, manages to tie all the loose ends in a melodic package that doesn’t bore, but charmingly drops the curtain keeping the anticipation high.
 
Dynazty have mastered well themselves, they’ve turned themselves probably to the best band they could ever be and all the while they also self-produce themselves, showing a very focused band that knows exactly what they’re doing. While certain songs on this album rely a little too much on “loans”, the overall result is very gratifying and leaves the promise that with a little good time management, not only they could be around for quite a while, but that the best is yet to come.
 
Will they be able to top “Renatus”? It remains to be seen, but until then, they’ll remain one of the few bands poised and full well worth of greatness in the melodic power metal edge of the spectrum.