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Dynahead - "Antigen" (CD)

Dynahead - "Antigen" CD cover image

"Antigen" track listing:

1. Clockwork 1 (5:19)
2. Layers of Days (4:50)
3. Virtual Twin (4:46)
4. Tactile Haven (6:50)
5. Join and Surrender (6:32)
6. Bloodish Eyes (3:00)
7. Depart Now (4:48)
8. Do You Feel Cleansed (3:59)
9. Vorsicht! (3:48)
10. The Starry Messenger (5:57)

Reviewed by on November 21, 2009

"Emotion pores from every chord guitarists Diogo and Pablo play, and Caio Duarte’s vocals scream 'this is how it’s done' in front of rampant riffs that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up."

It is funny bordering on annoying the amount of wannabe tinny sounding debut albums that pass through my ears in the search for the next great release, but Brazilian metal five-piece Dynahead take underground metal to new and dizzy heights. Brazil is widely known for its diverse collection of heavy metal bands stirring in the Brazilian underground. Since the 1980s, Brazil has been responsible for innovative thrash metal acts such as Sarcofago, Torture Squad, and Sepultura, and Dynahead may be the next band to follow in their brutal footsteps.

Since its release, "Antigen" has received an admirable amount of media attention, right from Brazil, through Europe and all the way to the USA, and it is instantly easy to see why. "Antigen" starts with "Clockwork," a track rife with crunching guitars, ingenious riffs, and strong vocals that stay in focus throughout the whole of the album. And right from track one, there’s a clear knowledge that listeners to "Antigen" are not going to get bored, from "Clockwork" to track ten, "The Starry Messenger." Four minutes into "Clockwork," I am genuinely excited to hear the next nine songs. Sure enough, "Clockwork" rolls perfectly into "Layers of Days," a song with a much angrier feel but keeping the same brutal pressure on your eardrums as its predecessor, and boy does that feel good.

The dynamic introduction of "Virtual Twin" is enough to send shivers down one's spine, and if I wasn’t before, then I really am listening now. Emotion pours from every chord guitarists Diogo and Pablo play, and Caio Duarte’s vocals scream "this is how it’s done" in front of rampant riffs that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Emotions continue to run high through "Tactile Heaven," "Join and Surrender," and "Bloodish Eyes," tracks that maintain a dark atmosphere and ferocious, endemic beats, as well as remaining superbly melodic. What impresses me is Caio’s desire to sing rather than screech menacingly down his microphone whilst maintaining a sense of threat and power. The drums in "Bloodish Eyes" are especially forceful, like the angrier brother of "Virtual Twin."

"Depart Now" introduces a much softer side to Dynahead, starting with piano before eerily poignant vocals come in backed with much quieter percussion. Even two minutes in, as both vocals and instruments burst into life, this track is a lot steadier, bringing raw emotion to the surface. "Do You Feel Cleansed?" and "Vorsicht" return "Antigen" to its best, with pummeling riffs and growling vocals before the album ends on a spectacular note with "The Starry Messenger," a thunderstorm of a song with a drum beat to knock your head off.

With diversity in every track and an outstanding, genuine rawness of emotion, Dynahead’s "Antigen" didn’t just secure my enjoyment of Brazilian metal - it secured my respect for it.

Highs: Every track on the album delivered something new and fresh, and the quality of production is excellent.

Lows: The end of the album. I could not find fault in any song.

Bottom line: An all-out unadulterated thrash metal fest.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)