Album Review: Dynazty – “Renatus”
Of all the world’s industrial accidents, one that never seems to get a mention is the thousand cubic tonnes of Aquanet that leaked into the Swedish water supply one fateful night in the early 90s, and since that day, the secret of the ooze has manifested itself in the form of teenage mutant ninja rockstars. Latest to scream freedom from Stockholm’s conveyor belt of cock-rock are Dynazty, a five piece plaster-cast of power metal plunder.
Formed seven years ago, probably under the tutelage of a 12-string guitar wielding sewer rat, Dynazty play “big arrangements built around soaring vocal melodies”. If mentally you’re joining the dots and thinking ‘this all sounds a bit battle metal’, go you, help yourself to any prize off the top shelf. It’s all very much as you’d expect, a cacophony of Nordic symphony meets the decadence of 80s arena rock, as if Ronnie James Dio indulged a tryst with a heavy-breasted Viking warrior priestess. Which to be fair probably did happen, it was the 80s after all.
The result then is Renatus (does anyone else keep seeing anus?), the band’s fourth LP, but the first with new bass player Jonathan Olsson. Fundamentally, it’s a record the world neither needs nor particularly wants, and yet when it arrives, all good genes, blue eyes and long blonde locks, pulling devil horns and screaming “Meeeeeeeh-Taaall!!!!!” it’s hard not to get a little caught up in the enthusiasm.
So why the sense of reticence? Well dear god, I’m going to attempt an analogy between scandipop flash metal and Hitler’s distorted interpretation of the übermensch. Didn’t see that coming in a 500 word glam-metal review did you? Now, very clearly, for the record, DYNAZTY = NOT NAZIS. I’m sure they’re all very nice boys, they seem very enthusiastic.
However, here’s the thing. Just as the national socialist party’s short-sighted plans for an Aryan super-race are ultimately invalidated by a lack of genetic diversity (not to mention all the other unpleasantness), so too does Renatus suffer from swimming in a limited gene pool. Yeah, all that just to make the point that all the songs sound the same.
The band themselves are hailing this record as a new beginning, a shift to a faster, heavier sound. In hindsight, perhaps it would have been wiser to find a halfway house, allowing a little variety in to juxtapose the high-energy onslaught and shrill vocals.
We could argue over the best song on the record, for my money The Divine Comedy just about trumps Run Amok for the gold, but in reality, it’s a clash of Top Gun vs Conan the Barbarian. All surface and no feeling, sadly Renatus is a procession of major chords, and minor interest.