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My problem with Dionysus has always been the mind-numbing simplicity with which they approached their song writing. This album is more tolerable in that sense.
But it's not spectacular.
Dionysus play a style of power metal that is actually probably a little bit more like Finnish than Swedish power metal. Not incredibly fast or heavy, with subtle elements (mostly in the guitars) of 80's metal, with moments of cheesy keyboards.
Most of the songs consist of mid-paced power metal riffs of fairly good quality. There's still a number of those slow, meloncoly parts where the guitar drops out temporarily. Songs like Queen of Madness, The World and Tides Will Turn are some of the darker and heavier songs this band has done (which isn't saying much). There's a couple good solos on some tracks, but they're mostly scale-runners which do nothing really.
Bands like this must make up for their lack of sheer energy and astounding musicianship that most first and even second tier bands have, with at least having memorable riffs, or catchy, sing-along songs. But Dionysus is hit and miss in this aspect as well. I believe a problem may arise from their vocalist. Relatively strong on his Swedish accent, and though obviously talented as a singer, just not powerful enough to make any songs' choruses explode with energy or life. He stays within a safe range, and doesn't wail or screech. Most of the songs don't have enough energy to accomodate for it anyway.
It's not all bad though. The song The World is a nicely done song, with a very catchy chorus and a nice solo. Tides will Turn is a stern sounding song with some balls, some keyboards helping out but not interfering in the background, a slightly spiced up structure with a very unique, dark bridge and bass parts that spring up occasionally.
I'm just barely giving this album a passing grade. Though it's a tough choice to make. It lacks the pure energy of bands like Wizard, the technical flair of bands like Angra or Hibria, the balls of Gamma Ray and the simple undeniable hook-filled choruses of Nocturnal Rites.
I suppose the thing that tips the scale is that they certainly seem to be heading in a better direction, and as strange a thing as it may be - because the bass is pronounced, and the bassist does fills. That is very rare especially in power metal, except for exceptional bands like I mentioned - Angra and Hibria.
So, if you're really a die hard power metal fan, pick it up. Otherwise, forget about it.