Brazilian export Dynahead brings to the world of metal a most unique bit of music with the release of their second album Youniverse. Mixing metal with a number of different genres is a daunting task but these guys pull it off and deliver one of the major surprise discs I have heard this year. Heaped into the field called progressive metal, this band attacks you with a diverse sound and amazing technical ability. This is one to sit back and experience as they take you through a wide array of styles and musical forms.
Kicking things off with the Eastern tinged "Ylem" this concept album grabs you with a ferocity that doesn't end till the last note is played. The clean and growling vocals of Caio Duarte are well above the norm and sandwiched between the dual guitars of Pablo Viilela and Diogo Mafra the effect is powerful and habit forming. Even during this opening tune as the band slides from crunching metal to an acoustic passage it is apparent that you are not going to be able to sit still for this journey. This is a real powerhouse that is relentless in it's intensity.
Even when they take you for a much more melodic ride as with the next song "Eventide" the band shows how it can shake you to the boots and then caress you with a softer side. They way they pull it off here makes for one of the highlights of the disc and a song that will be stuck in your head! It may be one of the shorter songs on the album but is pure dynamite.
Just as you think you have this band nailed down they throw you another curve with the jazz influenced "Inception". It is at times harsh and heavy yet then takes you into a tantalizing interlude that could have come off a George Benson disc before you hear the choral singers and full orchestration and an acoustic bit all within a six minute span. These guys are creative and unlike the other groups who have tried to make a go at this type of music. Dynahead got it right!
From there the band strokes, cajoles and blast you with a sonic smorgasbord that will give you both a physical and cerebral workout. Major metal moments blast you with "Unripe One", some very intense progressive music greets you with "Confinement In Black" and they even give you a soft break with the acoustic piece that opens "Circles" and also the tender piano work in "Redemption" before the chaotic chugging metal of "My Replicator".
This one is a major step in the right direction for the band and one that has and is finding continuous play in our household. It is a no brainer as Dynahead has easily produced one of the best albums I have heard this year and a terrific slice of what metal is all about. I cannot wait to hear where they take it to from this point. Watch out for these guys as they are a band that just needs a break, they already have the talent and the music to back it up.
4. Unripe One
5. Confinement In Black
7. My Replicator
8. Repentance Hour
9. Way Down Memory Lane