Album Title: Final Advent
Label: AFM Records
Date of Release: 26 August 2022
Who doesn’t enjoy a good old slab of modern melodic metal every now and again? I sure do, and so, with the sun beating down, and a glass of something cold in hand, it feels like the perfect time to sink my teeth into the new record from one of the bands that is quickly becoming one of the most highly prized within the genre, Dynazty.
The Swedish quintet return after the pandemic with ‘Final Advent’, their eighth full-length release to date, and they seem energised and full of passion to be bringing us some new material after such a barren couple of years. With no changes in the line-up, it means that the quintet remains comprised of vocalist Nils Molin, guitarists Love Magnusson and Mikael Lavér, bassist Jonathan Olsson, and drummer Georg Härnsten Egg. This continued stability for the band has allowed them to really focus on what they wanted to achieve. And, according to vocalist Nils Molin, the aim was clear: “no fillers. All Killers.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
I’ll admit to being caught a little off guard a couple of years ago when I reviewed Dynazty’s last release, ‘The Dark Delight’. I hadn’t been their biggest fan until that point and only checked it out due to a sense of duty more than anything else. This time round, having been impressed by previous endeavours, I came to ‘Final Advent’ with higher expectations. And those that know me will know that with a stunning front cover like the one that adorns this album (Gustavo Sazes), I was rooting for the band even more.
By and large, Dynazty have succeeded too. For forty or so minutes, they plunder the melodic metal genre for all it’s worth, delivering big choruses, hooks, and riffs aplenty that will have the afficionados of the genre purring contentedly.
As with the previous album, ‘Final Advent’ is front-loaded with their best material and as such, it’s a powerful opening statement via a trio of tracks that punch hard. ‘Power Of Will’ kicks things off nicely with a big, barnstorming sound; modern-sounding pop-like electronics, meaty riff, a powerful rhythm section, and Molin’s arresting vocals, albeit initially heavy effect-laden to accompany the ultra-slick beginning. The chorus is a strong, energetic one, with an equally strong hook at its core, as well as layers of vocals and symphonics to add drama.
Next up is ‘Yours’, and it’s a brave move because this is more of a ballad, so to put it up as the second song could have been a mistake. However, it is an absolute belter of a song, possibly my favourite on the album. Molin puts in one hell of a performance behind the mic, full of power and soaring passion. Ballads tend to live or die through their choruses, and on ‘Yours’, it’s as big as they come. I also love the changes of pace and intensity throughout, as well as the ubiquitous key change towards the end for added anthemic quality.
Full-on melodic metal power is restored with ‘Advent’ which offers something a little different in the verses, which are attitude-laden and more mainstream sounding, with a hard rock twang if I’m not mistaken. The solos are a little more flamboyant and extended too, something that I’ll rarely complain about, especially when they err on the more melodic and soulful end of the spectrum.
Predominantly self-produced, Dynazty should take a bow because the record sounds really impressive too, with plenty of separation between the instruments, and a clear but gutsy overall end product.
It seems a little redundant to go through the remainder of the songs on ‘Final Advent’ in as much detail because, with the modus operandi established, the Swedes ensure that they spend most of their time and effort continuing along a similar trajectory. Along the way, we get some further cracking songs like ‘All The Devils Are Here’, which delivers a delightfully melodic and up-beat chorus and swift lead solo. It is here that I hear some similarities with their compatriots Amaranthe, albeit not with the same triple vocal attack. Mind you, Molin is a more than adequate frontman, as he demonstrates on this album once again.
Another track worthy of some attention though, is ‘The White’. Not only does it possess a chorus that will grow on you whether or not you want it to, I also like the fact that there’s room for some bass flamboyance that lends the song a vague prog feel, whilst reminding me of Andreas Blomqvist from Seventh Wonder. Plus, the light and shade, accented in the latter stages by Latin-sounding acoustic guitars helps to build the drama nicely within a song that is remarkably only 3:49 long.
I can’t quite put my finger on why, but as the album enters its final phase though, I do find that my attention wanes just a little bit more than I would like. For me, melodic metal works best if the hooks and the choruses are as huge as possible. And that doesn’t quite feel like that’s the case here towards the end if I’m honest. I wanted just that little bit more to help Dynazty drive home the stake and make this their unequivocal masterpiece, alongside a statement to the rest of the melodic metal community that they are the force to be reckoned with. They get close, of that there’s no doubt, but being the hard to please, picky so-and-so that I am, I just wanted a little more in the closing stages.
Regardless of these small misgivings, I have no doubt that ardent fans of the genre will lap up ‘Final Advent’ and will salivate at the prospect of hearing this new material in the live arena. Hell, I might just pop along too, if the Swedes find themselves on the shores of Blighty before too long.
The Score of Much Metal: 88%