Truer Living With a Youthful Aggression

Well thank the goat and Odin that I wasn’t asked to review the 80’s TV soap of the same name. Dynasty are a West Coast outfit playing the musical style often referred to as ‘hardcore’. Admittedly, I’m about as familiar with metal-infused hardcore as I am with 80’s TV soaps, although I know enough about the sound to recognize that this band are taking their influences from some of the genre’s heavyweights. Aggressive and straightforward, Dynasty‘s ‘Truer Living With A Youthful Vengeance‘ follows in the footsteps of Terror and Madball fairly enough, but- especially for an outsider of the style- the band don’t bring enough of themselves to the table for me to offer the warmest recommendation.

Much like their influences, Dynasty fall squarely in between the worlds of heavy metal and hardcore punk music. In its brief twenty two minute stretch, the album enjoys equal helpings of the take-no-shit attitude that defines punk music, as well as the more articulate riffing better associated with the metal sphere. The riffs here emphasize aggression and energy over melody, with the occasional band-based groove getting thrown in when it suits the mood. For an outsider, I find myself thinking of Dynasty‘s sound as what a thrash band would sound like without any lead guitars or ego. Although ‘Truer Living‘ is given a crisp production, the instrumentation feels fairly bland, with the potential saving grace falling to the drumwork, which thankfully rises above the ‘aim-for-par’ approach that the guitars and bass take. The drums highlight both the slower and moshier gears.

The vocals are definitely what drives Dynasty‘s sound, both in terms of the delivery and lyrical work. Without spoiling too much, Dynasty‘s vocals take the same gruff, street-chant style that one could come to expect from this style, not deep or garbled enough to be considered a growl, but making a total emphasis on aggression over melody. Although light on unique identity, Dynasty‘s vocal offering delivers a functional display of anger, and the liberal use of gang-chants are used well enough in most of the choruses. Lyrically, the band openly voices their Christian beliefs, which will undoubtedly have some of the ‘real’ metalheads among us against them without a second thought. My personal thoughts on religion aside, it does take a set of balls to for a metal-related band to identify with something that the metal community gets pretty militant against. Meaning aside however, Dynasty‘s lyrical work is straightforward and free of any bells or whistles, much like the music. Although Dynasty makes use of simple rhyme schemes to get their pro-faith message across, much of the vocals fall on the gang-chanting of didactic statements. Whether they’re exercising the importance of truth or declaring that they believe in Jesus, Dynasty don’t have enough meat to the lyrics to get me excited or angered, one way or another.

Although the album is only as long as a Saturday morning cartoon, this does work in Dynasty‘s favour. Although they manage to get a healthy sense of aggression across, they suffer from a weary lack of range or innovation in their music. I am hearing the sincerity of their rage, but sincerity alone is not quite enough in this case to make me feel it.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Conor Fynes
April 25th, 2012


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