Dynahead is a band that has inspired some buzz in progressive metal over the past few years. Not unlike their fellow Brazilians in Mindflow, they play music that takes in influences from all across the prog metal spectrum, most notably Dream Theater, and Opeth. Although it’s safe to say that this more eclectic approach is a more refreshing experience than hearing Dream Theater clone number 39652, Dynahead‘s stylistic choice- or lack thereof- remains their greatest weakness.

Nowadays, it’s virtually a pre-requisite to have tight performance skills in prog metal, otherwise a band is nary considered ‘worthy’ of being part of the genre. Suffice to say, Dynahead do not disappoint on this front, and while it’s basically taken for granted that bands of this nature have some degree of technical skill, Dynahead impress on all fronts, at least as far as their playing is concerned. The music is built around the rhythm guitars, which are most often heavy and a little thrash-oriented. Caio Duarte’s vocals seem a little stuck between sounding melodic and sounding gruff, but he is a very capable vocalist, effortlessly covering everything from power metal wails to death growls and the gaps in-between.

Dynahead is certainly an eclectic bunch, although their palette is confined mainly to the prog metal canon. Seasoned prog metallers will not have too difficult a time recognizing where many of Dynahead ‘s ideas are influenced from; Dream Theater, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, and even Meshuggah all play their parts at one point or another. This does lead to some very good musical ideas, and although Dynahead are covering four or five band’s worth of territory relative to style, their emulation is convincing. Therein is the greatest problem I can recognize with ‘Youniverse‘, Dynahead , and the modern progressive metal scene at large; although the band are certainly capable musically, there is virtually nothing in terms of originality to digest here.

Although one might argue that a band combining the sounds of other bands makes something ‘original’, or even that there’s no such thing as ‘originality’, I call bullshit when it becomes painfully clear who a band is being influenced by at a given point. Take the album’s highlight and closer ‘Onset’; it is difficult to hear it and not hear Opeth somewhere in the mix. The songwriting does a decent job of tying these disparate elements together, but the ideas and melodies are not excellent enough to have Dynahead  stand out in spite of their lacking originality. With that being said, Dynahead is not a band without a great deal of potential and talent; it will just need the dedication to finding a particular identity to make them climb up the next rung in prog metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Conor Fynes
May 3rd, 2012


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