Review Summary: Death Metal for the Solid State crowd
Out of the many albums to be released in 2010, one of my most anticipated, between Underoath and Conducting From the Grave, was As They Sleep’s second album, entitled Dynasty
. Recently signed to Solid State Records, this Michigan band impressed me with their technical skills and style on the songs released before the album came out, but does the album as a whole live up to my expectations?
The answer is, yes it does. With every listen, Dynasty
is moving up on my favorite albums of the year. With frantic drumming, riff happy guitars, and a diverse vocalist, this band is quite talented. From the Black Dahlia-esque opener "Oracle of the Dead", to the melodic closer "The Unseen", As They Sleep puts together an album chalk full of solid Death Metal. The guitarists throw out riff after riff, with power chords thrown in there for good measure. Songs like "The Third Reich", and "The Offering" show off the talent and tastefulness that is displayed. They have speed, but can slow it down if need be, like in the instrumental "Ritual", and for a bit in "Attila". The drums are downright nasty on Dynasty
. With lots of rapid double kick, nice fills, and a good variety of rhythms, the drumming is one of the highlights of As They Sleeps repertoire of talents. Check out the drumming on "The Darkest Ages" for a nice example. The highlight of the album though, is the vocals. With high shrieks, low growls and gutturals, the vocal variety is very good on Dynasty
, and helps the album to flow more easily.
Speaking of flow, that is probably the biggest drawback to Dynasty
. The pace is going at a million miles an hour, and the only time this calms down is during the aforementioned "Ritual" and "Attila", otherwise the listener is in for a cannon of an album. The songs have good variety though, and if rapid-fire Death Metal is your style, then you will enjoy this album.
Overall, As They Sleep has released a very solid Death Metal album. Encasing melody and brutality within the same set of songs, the band puts out a very talented and engaging album, sure to please fans of bands such as The Black Dahlia Murder, or other related acts. I highly recommend Dynasty
, and it will become a staple of my collection for quite some time.