Dynazty – Final Advent

Final Advent Album Cover Art

Dynazty – Final Advent
AFM Records
Release Date: 26/08/22
Running Time: 41:53
Review by Simon Black
9/10

This Swedish five piece have been steadily growing in stature for a while now, certainly in leaps and bounds since settling on the current incarnation and sound. Which, incidentally sits firmly in the Melodic Metal arena, having well and truly ditched their more Power Metal roots since the arrival of powerhouse vocalist Nils Molin – who has moved them firmly from the ‘good’ to the ‘great’ category. My first exposure to them was 2020’s “The Dark Delight”, which frankly blew me away. Although I have subsequently worked backwards through their catalogue to see what other gems I could unearth, this album, released slap in the middle of the first lockdown cycle remains a many miles above sea level watermark that’s going to be hard to top, and an album that’s had a lot of airplay from me over the last two years. 

So expectations were rather high for this their eight studio album (their third with Molin)…

Now the single ‘Advent’ has been out for a while, but I rarely indulge in these exercises in commercial warm-up, as frankly with two hundred odd albums to review a year plus the return of live shows, I simply need to sleep occasionally. Added to which I do actually like to come to an album cold – and as the band actually intended me to hear it, rather than from what a label’s A&R team think might briefly snatch the attention-deficit audiences of the streaming age for thirty seconds before they are distracted by the next shiny thing, like my dog on a walk when a squirrel crosses our path.

So, the first thing that struck me when listening to this, was that this beast was nowhere near as immediately catchy and attention grabbing as their last outing, so let’s hope the A&R guys, gals and all shades in between earned their money this time out. OK, it’s full of catchy Melodic hooks, but it’s going to take a few listens to get to appreciate it and that’s not because it’s not as good as its predecessor, merely that there’s some subtlety and depth to unpick here, that is going to reward the repeat listener. Fortunately, we get these things to review a while in advance of release and this one I had managed to download onto my phone to keep my company on a recent three week USA road trip, so it had the advantage of a few spins before I put fingers to keyboard (and a big “fuck you” to Vodafone for providing me with such a shit roaming service over there that I couldn’t stream a sausage, so it’s a good job I pulled this one down in advance).

Opening with the bouncing, basic ‘Power of Will’, I was initially a little disappointed, as the melodies and vocal lines a somewhat simplistically tethered together, with none of the technical punch that this band usually deliver with their eyes closed. But move on to ‘Yours’ and it all comes flooding back, with a Power ballad of such epic proportions instrumentally, topped off by Molin’s soaring, heart-wrenching and astonishing vocal prowess. 

And just like that I am back in my happy spot.

The aforementioned ‘Advent’ delivers the suckerpunch – a hyper catchy floor-filler, which delivers that Dynazty sweet spot, where the Melodic and catchy counterpoint perfectly to some of the tightest and technically fluid instrumentalists in the genre. Love Magnusson and Mikael Lavér weave beautifully (so I have no idea who takes the solos each time), but this song also utilises the punchy time changes, beat pauses and staccato studio effects that made their last outing so enjoyable. The next few tracks keep the flow going nicely, but when you get to ‘Instinct’ just beyond the halfway point, once again I know I’m listening to a classic, full of technical snappiness in its almost Industrial introduction and bridging riffs, with vocal and chorus lines to die for. Dynazty are at their best when this kind of studio wizardry is embedded into the arrangements, but a check online reveals that this is not an impediment to their live shows any more than it was to Def Leppard when they first started touring “Hysteria” with way more primitive equipment that we have access to today.

The almost Symphonic ‘Heart of Darkness’ weighs in heavier than a two-ton heavy thing and shows that Dynazty are more than capable of delivering more paced and thoughtful pieces alongside the four minute tub-thumpers (not that I didn’t know that, but you might not!). ‘The Power of Now’ closes and gives the players a chance to show off their formidable prowess in a largely instrumental piece, but one that holds the attention well. If I have a criticism it’s that in terms of running order these last two should have been switched, as ‘Heart of Darkness’ feels more like the epic kind of closer this record needs. It’s an album that feels like it’s flip-flopping between the more technical and the more accessible, but with time you get to appreciate the change of pace and even flow, as ten tracks of virtuosity would wear thin after a while, and it remains that rarity in today’s market – a cohesive studio album best listened to uninterrupted, although it took a few repeat plays for me to appreciate that.

Is it as good as ‘The Dark Delight’? Perhaps not, but it continues to grow on me, and even the less distinctively Dynazty pizazz tracks peppering the album work fine in the context of the album, despite my preference for the more technically powered material where the playing, the production and the arrangements flow together in a technical cocktail of Melodic Metal at the top of its game. As I said, beating your own high watermark is not easy, but this is only an inch or two shy of that… 

‘Natural Born Killer’ Official Music Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Power Of Will
02. Advent
03. Natural Born Killer
04. Yours
05. All The Devils Are Here
06. The White
07. Instinct
08. Heart Of Darkness
09. Achilles Heel
10. Power Of Now

LINE-UP:
Nils Molin – Vocals
Love Magnusson – Guitar
Mikael Lavér – Guitar
Jonathan Olsson – Bass 
Georg Härnsten Egg – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Leave a Reply