REVIEW: Dynazty – Final Advent

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From humble beginnings as a hard rock band with a feel-good vibe to their music, to a melodic metal unit with excellent songwriting and thought-provoking lyrics, DYNAZTY’s journey in the limelight is one to behold and take inspiration from. It can be compared to a caterpillar that has finally metamorphosed into a dazzling butterfly that is ready to stretch its wings and conquer the skies. This year, the Swedish 5-piece grace us with their eighth studio album in their 15-year long career, the intense and aptly titled “Final Advent,” out on August 26, 2022, via AFM Records.

It is fair to consider 2014’s “Renatus” as the starting point of their transformation, with all the subsequent albums as stepping stones to get to this point – the unveiling of “Final Advent” and the consolidation of their sonic identity. In the conclusion to my review of their previous album, 2020’s splendid “The Dark Delight,” I stated that DYNAZTY have hit their full potential and this album proves me right, as they have not only found their stride, but walk tall, proud, and imposing with “Final Advent.” As frontman Nils Molin stated in the press release, this album represents “the ultimate form, the ultimate version of Dynazty” which pretty much means that everything is cranked up to eleven – the melodies, the robust rhythmic backbone, the grooves, the guitar parts, the bass lines, the dense drumming, and last but certainly not least, the vocals.

Building on the strong foundations of “The Dark Delight” and packing a lot of punch in just a little over 40 minutes of playtime, this new album is laser-focused, mature, complex, and utterly irresistible in the way the music flows together, but also in how individual and memorable each of the ten songs are. Bookending “Final Advent,” “Power of Will” and “Power of Now” are light and breezy numbers with uplifting lyrics, melodic guitars, and sparse keys that emanate positive vibes, thus putting the listeners in a good mood. In between these two tracks is a real treasure trove of everything the band has to offer at this point in their career, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that DYNAZTY is indeed one of the best melodic metal bands currently in the metal scene. Nils Molin put his gorgeous voice and impressive range to good work, with grand and emotional power ballad “Yours” and melody-drenched cautionary tale “Natural Born Killer” being some of his best performances not only in the studio but also on stage.

While “The Dark Delight” showcased a variety of different soundscapes, “Final Advent” showcases a variety of moods that stem from more or less the same source. From the lightheartedness of “Power of Will” through the darker tones of “Advent” and “Heart of Darkness,” to the high energy rocker “Instinct” and the melodic mid-tempo beauty of “All the Devils Are Here,” all the way to the adventurous musicality of album highlight “Achilles Heel” and the progressive musings of “The White,” everything is incredibly close-knit and delivered with intensity, passion, and a high degree of technicality. The way they seamlessly transition from an electric guitar solo to an acoustic/flamenco guitar moment in “The White,” or how they incorporate an accordion section that leads into a fantastic guitar solo on “Instinct,” or the way in which they utilize sweeping orchestrations to enhance the grooves on “Achilles Heel” is the definite mark of accomplished songwriters, as these moments don’t really stand out unless you are really paying attention to the music. The ample use of keys only augments the already strong rhythm section, adding an extra layer of texture to the music, as in the intro to “Natural Born Killer,” or in the mid-section of stunning “Heart of Darkness,” or throughout “Power of Now.”      

Elsewhere on the album, Jonathan Olsson’s bass is busy and rumbling in the background, but on such tracks as “The White,” “Instinct,” or “Achilles Heel” it takes a more central role, beautifully supporting the vocal melodies. Georg Härnsten Egg’s drums impress with a natural sound that makes the songs feel bigger and more powerful. Take, for example, the pacey drumming in “Power of Now,” or the solid foundation of thundering drums on “Heart of Darkness” and “Advent,” or the tension-rising drums in “All the Devils Are Here” as a display of his dexterity behind the drum kit. Guitar-wise, the solos, and riffs that Love Magnusson and Mike Lavér trade on this album are outstanding, each better than the last, but there are a few moments that really stand out for me, such as the solos in “Yours” and “Power of Now,” or the opening riffs of “Instinct” and “The White.” Vocally, from the raw and powerful delivery of “Instinct” and “Advent,” to the bombastic vocals on “Achilles Heel,” to the delicate yet strong performance on “Heart of Darkness” and “The White,” to the anthemic delivery on sibling songs “Power of Will” and “Power of Now,” Nils Molin’s versatility does not just match the efforts of his bandmates, but his singing is the proverbial icing on this delicious cake. All this awesomeness is topped off by the mixing and mastering value of Jacob Hansen‘s magic touch, which gives a natural grandeur and subtle richness to the album.  

Ambitions run high on “Final Advent,” but so do the musical vision and crystal-clear clarity that not only shaped its creation but now define its fruition. The end result is a collection of ten first-rate songs that expose a band whose prime creative skills are only matched by their prolific talents and high-caliber technical abilities to deliver their music with razor-sharp focus and unflinching determination. This, in turn, leads to an album that is an absolute joy to listen to. It always amazes me how DYNAZTY can take a genre of metal and then refine it to its very essence. We saw this with hard rocker “Sultans of Sin” (2012), power metal delight “Titanic Mass” (2016), minimalist “Firesign” (2018), and now again with “Final Advent,” since melodic/modern metal hardly ever sounded as larger-than-life yet grounded and forthright as it does on this magnum opus. At this point, were we expecting anything less than near perfection from these Swedes? I should think not.  

Written by Andrea Crow

Tracklist

  • Power of Will
  • Advent
  • Natural Born Killer
  • Yours
  • All The Devils Are Here
  • The White
  • Instinct
  • Heart of Darkness
  • Achilles Heel
  • Power of Now

Lineup

Nils Molin – vocals, 

Love Magnusson – guitar

Mike Lavér – guitars, 

Jonathan Olsson – bass 

Georg Härnsten Egg – drums

Label

AFM Records

Links

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