Spain's power metal outfit Cain's Dinasty is back with their sophomore release that picks up where their debut Legacy of Blood left off. This time they take the foundation laid with their first disc and build a tasty melodic metal treat with Madmen, Witches and Vampires. Although this offering is not nearly as dark as it's predecessor, it still takes you into a world where things go bump in the night. The screaming lungs of Ruben Picazo soar with the grandeur that is needed for this kind of epic metal but he also uses a sinister growling death metal style for effect when there is a need for emphasis. The other major change from the first disc is the new guitarist J.J. Ruiz who contributes some searing six string virtuosity that is light years ahead of what we got with the band's first offering.
The album opens with the anthem like speedy power metal burner "Breaking The Bloodlines". Instantly it becomes apparent that this band that has learned from it's past and taken a huge leap forward. The dynamics of this song defies you sit still. Prepare for a workout as this high octane piece is just the beginning!
From there the band takes you on another rocket ride with a heavier overtone on the powerful "After Death Still You Play With Me". If you imagine Avantasia dwelling in the darkness where Cain's Dinasty resides you will get the picture of what these guys offer. They do not let up as "Waiting For Death" continues to capture both the epic and the melodic while still remaining very heavy. It is easy to find yourself lost in a world where blood is the food source and the warrior woman who graces the cover really is fighting off a horde of hungry zombies.
The band takes a very dramatic stance with the very powerful "Clarimonda" which is a soaring epic vampire tale that captures the Gothic feel of the story in a most dynamic way. Along with "My Last Sunrise" these two are the highlights on an album filled with them. You will be hard pressed to get these melodies out of your head once Cain's Dinasty implants them there. This is the kind of music that makes this genre tick and here is a band that carries the torch held high and are looking to take their place among the elite in the business.
A lot of times a singer with a heavy accent is a distraction to the music but here Picazo's unique type of delivery seems to blend in extremely well. His accent gives this disc a European flavor that helps to paint an overall picture of the dark world they bring to life. He actually reminds me of Martin Steene from the Danish band Iron Fire. Say what you will Ruben pulls this off in such a way that you cannot imagine anyone else fronting this music. It is unique, dynamic and a sound which helps set this band apart from the pack.
This is easily one of the disc that will be on my best of list for 2011. It is rich, lush and packs a wallop! It is a totally entertaining album from start to finish. Of course, when you reach the end there is really no option but to hit the repeat button!
1. Breaking The Bloodlines
2. After Death Still You Play With Me
3. Waiting For Death
4. Devil May Cry
6. My Last Sunrise
7. Miss Terror
8. Bring Me Your Blood
9. A Void In My Heart
10. Fuck You Forever