Album Title: The Dark Delight
Label: AFM Records
Date of Release: 3 April 2020
I’m a sucker for a good melodic metal band, you all know that by now. So it should come as no surprise to read this, a review of the latest album from Dynazty. Longer-term readers will know that I reviewed the Swede’s last album, 2018’s ‘Firesign’, rather favourably. Therefore, when I heard that a new album was on it’s way, I was eager to see if it could push beyond the last record and become an essential release rather than just a very enjoyable one.
In terms of personnel, it is business as usual, meaning that vocalist Nils Molin, he of Amaranthe fame nowadays of course, is once again joined by guitarists Love Magnusson and Mike Lavér, bassist Jonathan Olsson, and drummer George Egg. As such, Dynazty have the perfect, solid platform from which to strike, not to mention well over a decade of experience under the Dynazty moniker to draw from.
The band are quoted as follows: “We pulled out all the stops, pulled no punches and held nothing back on this one, The Dark Delight is the complete vision of what this band has always wanted to be.”
My first thought when I read that quote is ‘haven’t they always tried their best?’ But in fairness, I don’t think that was what they were trying to say. But, with a statement like that, you’d definitely expect that ‘The Dark Delight’ would be the very best release of the Dynazty discography, a high water mark in their career. And, after some consideration on my part, I have to conclude that it is difficult to argue against this. At its core, it is a modern, melodic rock/metal album with a real hunger and urgency evident from the get-go. But it is also an album that offers a little extra in terms of experimentation, something that I wasn’t necessarily expecting if I’m honest.
As with previous records, in keeping with the Dynazty modus operandi, ‘The Dark Delight’ wastes no time in making an impression on the listener with a quick-fire clutch of songs that immediately hit the mark for those craving anthemic and memorable melodic metal.
Kicking things off is ‘Presence Of Mind’ and frankly, it is delicious. What becomes the chorus acts as an intro, albeit hushed and deliberately buried in the back of the mix. The riff that explodes is fat and ballsy, with a cocky swagger and groove, aided by some rumbling bass and solid drumming. The chorus takes the song to a whole new level, injecting the kind of hooks that’ll never leave. Trust me, I know. I’m not a fan of the spoken word diatribe in the latter stages but there’s no denying it fits the modern sheen of the track well. A solo and the ubiquitous key change for the final chorus provides a rousing finale which is rather irresistible and anthemic.
Aside from the missing female vocals of Elize Ryd, ‘Paradise Of The Architect’ is pure Amaranthe territory. I’m a fan of the fellow Swedes, so this is something of a compliment, although the worlds of Amaranthe and Dynazty do come very close to a full-on collision. This is especially evident within the unarguably bombastic, high-octane chorus, with its use of modern electronic sounds and synths aplenty. Similarities aside, it is otherwise impossible to find fault with a song that sounds so bang up-to-date, melodic and actually pretty damn heavy too.
By contrast, ‘The Black’ is classic old-school melodic hard rock in its construction, tone and delivery, particularly in the verses. But it then delivers a surprisingly symphonic-sounding chorus that hints at the likes of more recent Within Temptation for my money.
There’s a hint of modern-day In Flames in the riffing within ‘From Sound To Silence’, whilst ‘Hologram’ is the trademark ballad that has to feature on records within this genre – it’s the law…apparently. Here though, the inclusion is very welcome. Molin sounds fabulous and the chorus is unbelievably catchy, whilst the band have not completely abandoned their metal credentials, as the riffs after the chorus ably demonstrate.
The experimentation to which I alluded earlier can be heard as the album develops, within ‘The Man And The Elements’ and ‘The Road To Redemption’ specifically. The former offers a lead guitar lick that, bizarrely, sounds tailor-made for the bagpipes if that even makes sense. It has a certain Celtic lilt to it which, once you get used to it, is rather infectious. ‘The Road To Redemption’ is probably my least favourite song on the album but should be commended for the risks it takes. Listeners will either love or hate the country music overtones, via the tempo, acoustic guitar and, for me, the dreaded slide guitar technique that rears it head within the song.
Like ‘Firesign’ before it, there is a cogent argument to say that ‘The Dark Delight’ has been front-loaded with the best material and there’s a slight tailing-off towards the latter stages of the record. Mind you, with the title track closing the album in commanding fashion, via a sense of the dramatic and theatrical, not to mention an epic-sounding chorus, it would be harsh to say that the tail end of the album doesn’t have it strengths.
All things being equal, I have to conclude that ‘The Dark Delight’ is correctly-titled, as it is a delight to listen to. It isn’t the perfect release, but with every album, Dynazty seem to be getting a little closer to the holy grail. Put simply, don’t miss out on ‘The Dark Delight’ if modern melodic metal is your thing
The Score of Much Metal: 90%
Check out my reviews from 2020 right here:
Sutrah – Aletheia EP
Welicoruss – Siberian Heathen Horde
Myth Of I – Myth Of I
My Dying Bride – The Ghost Of Orion
Infirmum – Walls Of Sorrow
Inno – The Rain Under
Kvaen – The Funeral Pyre
Mindtech – Omnipresence
Dark Fortress – Spectres From The Old World
The Oneira – Injection
Night Crowned – Impius Viam
Dead Serenity – Beginnings EP
The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic
Deadrisen – Deadrisen
Blaze Of Perdition – The Harrowing Of Hearts
Godsticks – Inescapable
Isle Of The Cross – Excelsis
Demons & Wizards – III
Vredehammer – Viperous
H.E.A.T – H.E.A.T II
Psychotic Waltz – The God-Shaped Void
Into The Open – Destination Eternity
Lunarsea – Earthling/Terrestre
Pure Wrath – The Forlorn Soldier EP
Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering
Sepultura – Quadra
Dyscordia – Delete / Rewrite
Godthrymm – Reflections
On Thorns I Lay – Threnos
God Dethroned – Illuminati
Fragment Soul – A Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies
Mariana Semkina – Sleepwalking
Mini Album Reviews: Moloken, The Driftwood Sign & Midnight
Serenity – The Last Knight
Ihsahn – Telemark EP
Temperance – Viridian
Blasphemer – The Sixth Hour
Deathwhite – Grave Image
Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart
SWMM – Trail Of The Fallen
Into Pandemonium – Darkest Rise EP
Bonded – Rest In Violence
Serious Black – Suite 226
Darktribe – Voici L’Homme
Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga
A Life Divided – Echoes
Thoughts Factory – Elements
You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here: