|Musical Style: Heavy Metal||Produced By: Alan Wallace & Andre Marcio|
|Record Label: Independent||Country Of Origin: Brazil|
|Year Released: 2010||Artist Website: Dynasty|
|Tracks: 10||Rating: 85%|
|Running Time: 44:33|
“Most underrated” is an expression commonly used by sportswriters, as in “They are one of the most underrated teams in football” or “He is one of the leagues most underrated quarterbacks”. But who’s in charge of deciding how and when something or someone is underrated? That’s not clear, but what is clear is that this description applies to Dynasty.
Hailing from Nova Lima Brazil, Dynasty was founded in 1996 by vocalist Nahor Andrade and - despite an ever revolving band line-up - recorded three demos over the next five years prior to signing with Avantage Records for the power and progressive metal of its 2004 full length debut Motus Perpetuus. Dynasty returned in 2010 with both a new album, independently releasing its sophomore effort Warriors Of The King, and a new musical direction: A more aggressive joining of classic and traditional metal.
So how is Dynasty underrated? Well, ever had the opportunity to hear the group? More than likely not - you could very well have a passing knowledge of Dynasty - but similar to much of the metal mass public it is most probable that they passed beneath the radar for you. That, however, is about to change due to the quality that is Warriors Of The King.
To offer more specifics, the album finds Dynasty taking a heavy NWOBHM influence and fusing it with occasional eighties metal touches and doom-like moments while staying true to the power metal roots of their past. Warriors Of The King, as a result, proves a far cry from the smoother and more polished sounds of Motus Perpetuus with its emphasis on bone crushing riffs, pummeling drums and driving vocals. Further setting Warriors Of The King apart is how Dynasty imbues its material with more than adequate hooks and melodies to stand the test of repeated play.
Interested in a technical slab of power based speed metal? Then look no further than “King Of Kings”, with its neo-classical lacings and front to back double bass proclivity. The aggression is maintained on “Faith”, highlighting a rumbling impetus and technical milieu, and “Life Is A Miracle”, a relentless slugger standing out with its subtle hook driven undercurrents.
Slowing the tempo but not quality is the driving heaviness of the albums monstrous title track and darker but every bit as weighty sounds to mauler “Brighter Than The Sun”. “Holy Fire” stands out with its relentless mindset and catchy chorus and “Master Of Disguise” a hulking sound approaching the doom-like.
Dynasty even delivers a very well done cover of the Holy Soldier classic “See No Evil” in which it bestows its trademark heaviness and muscle. See the track by track for more details.
The Angelic Warlord review of Motus Perpetuus (80%) summed things up best by stating “the challenge facing Dynasty is to continue to improve its songwriting skills to come up with even better material highlighting catchier choruses and more noteworthy melodies”. Dynasty, if anything, has rise to such challenge on Warriors Of The King by delivering the more consistent work with the all around stronger and longer term engaging material. Yes, you will find a couple above average to good songs in “Bloody War” and “Freak Show”, but in looking ahead I see myself listening to Warriors Of The King on the more consistent basis.
The change to traditional metal helps as well in that it is obvious Dynasty is in its natural element. Best embodying this is front man Nahor Andrade, who adds some lower register grit and backbone to his delivery- at least in comparison to the refined qualities he brought to Motus Perpetuus. Warriors Of The King, all in all, finds him hitting his stride by better complementing the heavier nature of its material while still knowing when to hint at the smoother touches of his past.
The entire band, as a matter of fact, shines in the musicianship department. Guitarists Cesar Martins and Tuta combine for a monstrous rhythm guitar sound (imagine Saint at its heaviest), while “Faith, “Life Is A Miracle” and “Rise Up” feature generous instrumental portions allowing the two to showcase their more above average lead guitar abilities.
Rhythm section of bassist Samuel Martins (check out his work on “Brighter Than The Sun”) and drummer Tiago Hadriez shine as well. Hadriez particularly stands out in that he approaches things from a technical (almost progressive) standpoint but not to the point of overplaying.
Production is good as it gets with thick and weighty guitars joined with battering drums in abundance. Of note, vocals received a complementary mix in that they are placed just right to allow them to be distinguished without being drowned out by the instrumentation.
Dynasty remains one of the pioneers in the Brazilian Christian metal scene in rankling alongside countrymen Shining Star, Destra, Eterna and Adiastasia. If you like said bands, then Dynasty should be of interest, albeit Warriors Of The Kin takes the heavier approach. Either way, the album comes highly recommended to aficionados of the classic and power metal genres. Dynasty underrated? I cannot help but see the group outgrowing such label and joining the category of best of the best.
Track By Track
The album starts to seven of the best classic power metal tracks you will ever hear.
Riff driven monster “Faith” drives forward at a near speed metal clip. Resounding and heavy hitting its distance, the song churns out some darker overtones underpinning the low end and technical aspects for its chorus to establish a setting on the intense side of things. This one has Time’s End Saint written all over it. “Faith” is aptly entitled:
You can’t live without faith
Now it’s time
It’s time to change your life
Feel the fire
Burning inside of you
Yes, it’s divine
The Divine Fire of God
Maintaining the quality is “Life Is A Miracle”. This one starts calmly before also taking off at a relentless tempo, maintaining the fury its lengthy in delivering an engaging but aggressive chorus (ranking with the albums finest). Instrumentally, things slow to some tight guitar harmonies that give way to the same furious momentum.
“Warriors Of The King” tempers the pace in giving rise to a ton of muscle. What we have here is the heaviest of the heavies, with the song aligning a brazen chorus and snarling guitar driven verses with a full on momentum bordering on the prevailing. Spiritual warfare is the subject at hand:
We are the holy warriors
And our flag is the Lord’s
He is the King of Kings
This an eternal battle
We always need to be strong
To fight and win
The hands of God protect us
The Holy Bible is our sword
Eerie keyboards that give way to a drubbing riff get “Holy Fire” underway. The mid-paced heading is maintained here, with walls of guitars upholding the songs sledgehammer verses and understated catchiness its accessible chorus. The subsequent angst and attitude proves infectious.
“King Of Kings” proves an up-tempo slugger. The song brings some power metal touches (a neo-classical metal feel almost prevails in the process) and aligns them with the same forceful aggression characterizing much of the albums material. Particularly standing out is the drum solo at the start and worshipful lyrics:
Jesus is the King of Glory
He is the only Way
One day He paid the price for us
To Him be all the honor
The power and the praise
The nations will bow down
Before the Christ
“Brighter Than The Sun” upholds the consistency. Crunch heavy, weighty and tenacious as it gets, the song finds the band stretching from a musicianship standpoint with a towering bass line and a run of the albums best ripping guitar leads. Chorus is masterful in its caustic intensity.
“Master Of Disguise” represents the slowest of the first seven. The song gives rise to an ominous aura, almost doom-like with its plodding low end and trudging front to back riff mentality. A harshly done voice in the backdrop adds to the chilling scene. All in all, a warning is projected, both musically and lyrically:
Try to understand
What I have to say
The enemy has many faces
He’s the master of disguise
He lives behind a mask
He came to destroy
He came to arrest you
In the name of hell
The Holy Soldier cover “See No Evil” proves a curiosity. You would think a group taking a traditional metal stance would be inclined to cover something by Saint (anything off the groups first three albums would be right at home here) rather than an eighties melodic metal tune. Regardless, “See No Evil” works in that the Dynasty version hits harder with the more forthright chorus, weightier guitars and vocals delivering added bite. “See No Evil” delivers an anti-abortion message:
I float inside her womb
Oh Mother, I am coming soon
Suddenly, fear and dread
When Mother says she wants me dead
Oh, how could you do this to me?
God hears them cry
(Thou shall not kill)
We hear the lie
(Do what you will)
And we simply look the other way
See no evil...
The albums final two tracks might not be on the level of the first seven but are still good.
“Bloody War” is the more spirited of the two, standing out with its power metal style double bass and guitar harmonies approaching melodic metal in capacity. Nice combination of the heavier and smoother can be found as a result.
“Freak Show” takes the slower heading with pelting riffs and somber mentality driving things ahead as Andrade showcases a harsher side to his vocal delivery. Appropriately, the song opens and closes to a circus style melody.
Review by Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “Faith” (3:51), “Life Is A Miracle” (3:59), “Warriors Of The King” (5:17), “Holy Fire” (5:10), “King Of Kings” (3:47), “Brighter Than The Sun” (3:48), “Master Of Disguise”(3:45), “See No Evil” (5:10), “Bloody War” (4:28), “Freak Show” (5:13)
Nahor Andrade - Lead Vocals
Cesar Martins - Guitars
Tuta - Guitars
Samuel Martins - Bass
Tiago Hadriez - Drums