Dynazty – Sultans of Sin

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Review by Brian McGowan

These guys could be contenders. Superb third album from Sweden’s (where else) vastly underrated Melodic Rock practitioners, Dynazty, whose name is usually drowned out by the deafening applause for the more fashionable HEAT.

Lets name drop for a moment or two so you get the picture the lazy way. A lot of the songs have a distinctly familiar air, sounding like they’ve been assembled from old Blue Murder, Kiss, ’Crue and Whitesnake albums, with a few new components, courtesy of the Backyard Babies and Laney’s Legion, levered into the mix. That’s not the point. Yet it is entirely the point. Using cutting edge studio sonics and inventive arrangements, Producer Peter Tagtgren has boldly integrated classic eighties’ AOR structures into a contemporary environment. There’s barely a hint of irony or parody to ’Sultans Of Sin’.

Arguably then, it explores no new territory and aims at no new targets, but it’s jam packed with immediate, stampeding rock songs that positively pulse with memorable melodies and sharp hooks, brimful of velvet swathed riffs and keyboard fills and frills. The band’s much maligned step into Eurovision is largely forgiven by the song in question – ‘Land Of Broken Dreams’ – where the chorus is a heartstopping hook, hotwired into a melodic rock wall of sound, showering sparks of glittery glam that illuminate the post grunge darkness.

But there are many outstandingly good tracks here. ‘Raise Your Hands’ is full throated melodic rock; with gang vocals, guitars and heavily textured rhythms racing to crescendo, in declamatory, stadium filling style.

The unashamedly overblown ‘Falling’ is a starry eyed ballad with an impeccably imperious chorus’

And on ‘More Than A Man’, where HEAT would now opt for clean and crisp whitebread rock with a disappointingly low common denominator, Dynazty ratchet up the tension. Guitars bite and sting and the music gets a bit of dirt under its fingernails. The inspired Injection of a spine tingling, symphonic rock middle section would have been enough to elevate the track to album standout, but the addition of an emotive key change as we again scale the skyscraping hook on the coda, truly transforms this track from great to awesome.

Elsewhere, the balladic, chest beating ‘Back Again’, co-written by Nicke Borg, marries a muscular melody to the flinty edge of defiance that defines the music of his band, the Backyard Babies, and the magnificently apposite closing and title track, ‘Sultans Of Sin’ is a metallised rock monster, with the lyrics at last planting tongue firmly into cheek, but with a straight face, of course.

‘Sultans Of Sin’, the album, skilfully plunders the past, but is relentlessly forward looking. While it may not be genuinely groundbreaking, it is fresh and invigorating and not to be missed.

Rated 8 out of 10