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Kissin' Dynamite - "Megalomania" (CD)

Kissin' Dynamite - "Megalomania" CD cover image

"Megalomania" track listing:

1. DNA
2. Maniac Ball
3. VIP In Hell
4. Fireflies
5. Deadly
6. God In You
8. Legion of the Legendary
9. The Final Dance
10. Ticket To Paradise

Reviewed by on October 24, 2014

"...'Megalomania' sees them fully realized: tongue-in-cheek consummate professionals with legitimate skill and respect for the craft."

With their fourth record, the German hard rock/power metal youngsters in Kissin' Dynamite make a definitive statement, echoed by the lyrics to “Fireflies” -- "Hello world / This is me / On my way to far horizons / and I feel / There's a brand new star tonight." Indeed, they are a new star, outshining everybody their own age. “Steel of Swabia” unleashed them out into the heavy metal world, “Addicted to Metal” cemented them in the power metal public consciousness, “Money, Sex, and Power” made some stylistic adjustments to their aesthetic, and “Megalomania” sees them fully realized: tongue-in-cheek consummate professionals with legitimate skill and respect for the craft.

Kissin' Dynamite isn't a rehash of Motley Crue or a knockoff of Gamma Ray, despite whatever shallow critical opinions are floating around on the internet. These kids (and I mean that in the literal sense) weren't even alive in the 80s, although they did adopt some of the dress code and hairstyles for their last album. Their aesthetic is an eccentric mash-up of social satire (using excess and simple lyrics to criticize excess and simplicity) and genuine admiration for excessive cock-rock standards, but their sound has matured just as the boys have, barely in their twenties now.

Do they have money behind them? Very likely, as they're touted as the new hope for young hard rock/power metal and everything associated with them looks really professional. However, there's not an ounce of that typically corresponding in-authenticity that comes with money-driven bands. In fact, there's even a keen sensitivity to the vocals of the wonderfully dynamic "The Final Dance" that was lacking on previous releases.

There's no way that even one listen through “Megalomania” won't leave you repeating a chorus or headbanging to a very clever riff, like the opening of the infinitely-repeatable "DNA." Ande Braun and Jim Muller have really stepped up their guitar skills on this record, crafting not only memorable solos but emoting solos dripping with style and enthusiasm. Stand-out solos on "The Final Dance," "Maniac Ball," and "Fireflies" showcase nearly virtuosic skill and emotional translation. Even more noteworthy are Hannes Braun's vocals, which have naturally matured as he gradually found his style. It would be intensely difficult to NOT get the lines to "DNA" stuck in your head thanks to his penchant for effective melody choice.

There are some moments which hold the album back from exceeding 2010's :Addicted To Metal,” including some experimental synthesizers on "DNA," synthesized overdone horns on "Fireflies," and some bits of pretentious "tough" vocal delivery. Nevertheless, the band puts up a solid one-two punch of songs that deliver a technical knockout every time through. Moreover, the audio engineering quality and mix of the album is stellar. Kissin' Dynamite bring the goods like few new old-school power metal bands can with a refreshing penchant to go full cheeseball and do it right.

Highs: "Fireflies," "DNA," and "The Final Dance"

Lows: "Deadly" and "God In You"

Bottom line: The five-piece hard rock/power metal circus delivers with cunning style and cheese ball flair.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

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)