Dynazty - The Dark Delight

Dynazty The Dark Delight cover
The Dark Delight
AFM Records
Dynazty have been slowly growing even though having come out with some pretty seminal albums in the past, especially the latter part of the last decade. Despite being pretty busy with Amaranthe, frontman and all around cool guy Nils Molin seems able to dedicate enough time to his original band. It’s nice to see that he’s not forgetting where he’s coming from.
I am not sure whether it’s something intentional but ever since Nils joining of Amaranthe, Dynazty have been pushing keyboard to the fore a lot more than usual. That tendency was pretty obvious in the band’s AFM debut “Firesign” and it seems to be here to stay on this new album as well. I don’t mind it, but I also I wouldn’t mind it seeing it slightly trimmed back.
Things seem to follow up pretty much from where “Firesign” left, as “The Dark Delight” opens with the monumental “Presence of Mind”, a single that repeated listens ear wormed into my heart, despite me having some initial trepidation about it. It does sound like a safe mid-tempo Dynazty song… with a little more oomph all around and the modern over-compressed production keeping the needle in the red all the time. Not that I mind or that any of it is a bad thing, necessarily.
“Paradise of the Architect” made me wonder if it was inspired by a walk in Generalife, a sight in Spain. Who knows? It’s an even more in your face tune with nice dynamics. The melodies tend to reference older D songs here and there, but since it all works so nicely, it’s not such a big issue.
“The Black” opens with a cadence Gotthard, might be missing from some drawer, but thankfully moves into its own territory like, really soon. It sounds like it could have been in “Firesign”, with its gorgeous melodies/harmonies bringing to mind “The Grey”, which really made me wonder if the band has gotten a paint company sponsoring them nowadays! What’s next, “The Blue” and “The Pink”? Actually the latter, might be interesting… hehe.
“From Sound to Silence” had me a little worried about it being too by the numbers, but it actually has such a great melody and the chorus is right on the money. Its growly part, over a Kreatoresque riff, made me question if Amaranthe’s been subconsciously rubbing off on Nils, but I can’t really say that this twist feels entirely out of place.
“Hologram” begins like a ballad (and I felt the album could really use a slower tune) that takes a couple of cues from Amaranthe’s mo, but quickly finds it’s one and only voice and ends up sounding truly spectacular.
“Heartless Madness” is faux 80s pop metal bliss… pretty much in the vein of the material that Beast In Black and their ilk (Amberian Dawn, Battle Beast etc.) churn out like crazy, but done orders of magnitude better. Its first pumping, shanty like chorus with keys all over it, is bizarrely infectious and I had the kind of shit-faced grin of a glutton kid, that just had eaten too much chocolate, most if not all of the time. There’s about forty seconds of soloing and not only does it not sound wanky, but it totally feels necessary. Bravo, well done! But dear D’ please use this “style” sparingly… Can’t lose Dynazty to the discoball too, or I’ll need to dig up my “Discodeath” 7" and my spiked wristband from where ever they might be! Hehe.
“Waterfall” is a mid-slow paced song with slight symphonic tendencies, but it manages somehow to incorporate a rather infectious, dance-able beat. That’s a bloody paradox and not even the “Human” one. Molin with his huge vocal melodies, single handedly keeps the song from joining the whole “cheerleader metal” sub-genre (that I just invented), but at this point, I am really hoping for some sort of deus ex-machina and it comes in the form of a pretty industrial riff and a whole lot of wailing, so the redeeming qualities of the song are far from few.
The opening of “Threading the Needle” had me colored less than impressed, thinking that it was a weird title, but I couldn’t have been more wrong if I had dismissed as a dud as it’s one of the better songs on the album. A big sounding mid-tempo number with some really inspired melodies, proves that Dynazty are quite able to experiment within the confines of their own sound, avoiding to “compose” themselves into a corner. Even when they over do things, they overdo them with impeccable style.
“The Man and the Elements” has something rather Celtic about it and I can’t exactly put my finger on it. It might be the bagpipe like aural overtones, or the overall arrangement, or maybe both, but breaking away from the “template” a bit, feels like a breath of fresh air. While it’s familiar enough, it’s got a new and interesting twist. And how can I hate anyone quoting “Earth Wind and Fire” in the lyrics…
I was sort of expecting a huge “rocker” with “Apex” and it arrives eventually. It’s heavy but contrasted by some overtly melodic verse and the lyrics sound pretty profound, addressing the “social” disease… dare I say the best song on the album – but with fierce competition for that spot.
“The Road to Redemption” is the more melodic moment, I was eagerly waiting for quite some time, but didn’t quite transpire earlier. It manages to incorporate familiar Dynazty tropes, sound all bluesy at times and even has a balls out screaming metal moment for good measure, all in less than four minutes space.
The album comes to a close with the eponymous “The Dark Delight”… a dark, riffy and melodic piece that is this album’s “Grey” if only heavier and more substantial.

The mysteriously titled “The Devil Shoulder” (bonus track on digi) starts with some pretty dramatic keys/guitars and Molin sounds as commanding as ever, possibly sounding a little even edgier on this one. It’s pretty cool and the instrumentation makes it sound really dynamic, going against the grain of most bonuses, by most bands - being either acoustic repsises of dubious quality or unfinished, half baked ideas.
Dynazty walks a dangerously thin line between greatness and the 2 “N’s” (record labels) I usually dread band’s joining for fear they might end up selling out. Although early on the album sounded to me like a worthy “Firesign” sequel, the band’s personality shines through and it allows them through some transitional, lighter and more colorful tunes to deliver the goods most emphatically, with the last five songs of the album sounding as good as ever, if not better than ever. While it doesn’t exceed previously conquered highs for the band, “The Dark Delight”, manages to exist on the threshold of greatness... In Nils and Dynazty we trust.