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Saturday, August 16, 2014

CD-Review: Kissin' Dynamite - "Megalomania"

When it comes to German Metal/Hard Rock acts, Kissin' Dynamite are handled as the big hope in this genre since their very first album, so it's unbelievable that these guys release already their fourth album in September. "Megalomania" is the follow-up to the great "Money, Sex & Power" and has big shoes to fill. The title promises a monster of an album, but what has it really to offer?

Kissin' Dynamite are one of those bands who reinvent themselves with each new album. Not one single record sounds like the previous one, which is pretty cool because the whole thing feels always fresh. On their first album "Steel Of Swabia" they came along with a fresh Melodic Metal sound, the follow up "Addicted To Metal" sounded a bit more like typical Teutonic Metal and finally "Money, Sex & Power" was a pure Glam/Sleaze/Hard Rock album. So, what can fans expect from "Megalomania"? I'd say a return to the Melodic Metal sound, but much more mature in sound and presentation and a darker approach. Those elements are completed with some excursions in Hard Rock and Power Metal. Yes, on "Megalomania" Kissin' Dynamite add Power Metal to their musical spectrum.

So musically, it's again very different - what stays the same are the stupid lyrics. I really hoped that KD would improve their skills on songwriting when it comes to lyrics. The previous record had many shameful moments like "I'm an ego-shooter" or "Sex is war", wich were just embarrassing. Yeah and the first line we get to hear on "Megalomania" is "I'm a bad, bad, boy and I go for your toys ...". Oh my god, I really don't expect lyrical draft in this genre, but such things are just stupid and without any sense. KD are not a parody act like Steel Panther where this stupid stuff goes hand in hand with their crazy image. Speaking about this it always feels like KD would work so hard to pay attention to their "bad boy image" and I really don't like such a fake attitude. Be natural, guys! You don't need to be the biggest bad guys of the world - not even in Heavy Metal. Let the music do the talking, because here Kissin' Dynamite show what they got.

The opener "DNA" is a typical in-your-face Rocker with lots of catchiness and big choirs in the chorus. The band is experimenting with some synthie sounds here that fit the song very well. 
The following "Maniac Ball" is a little bit weaker to me. The whole song sounds a bit darker and has lots of change of pace in it - and this is the problem I have with this song. To me the slow bridge before the chorus kicks in slows things down too much. But all in all another solid one.
Next song "VIP In Hell" is the first track with much speed and double-bass in it. This one is the heaviest KD song I heard so far, but the chorus is again very catch and traditional.
When I listened to "Fireflies" I thought this is a Freedom Call song. Just listen to the fanfares all over this song - the similarities are obvious, but it's still a good song - one of the slower ones.

With "Deadly" the first pure Hard Rocker kicks in and this one screams "HIT". It's a shame that this tune is the shortest track on the album. The following "God In You" sounds very strange at the beginning. It features again this darker approach, but luckily after the first chorus the song becomes more drive and kicks much ass. Next in line is "Running Free" and this one is a pure gem! This could have been easily on "Money, Sex & Power" with its feel-good-attitude and a chorus to sing-along for weeks. An absolute highlight! After this traditional stuff, something more experimental follows. "Legion Of The Legendary" sounds like an Industiral Metal song which isn't really my cup of tea, so for me the weakest song on this album and to be honest it doesn't fit to Kissin' Dynamite.
The second ballad on "Megalomania" is called "The Final Dance", which is again a really good power ballad with a stunning guitar solo. The last song "Ticket To Paradiese" features again many synthie effects and a harder edge, the chorus is again pure melodic bliss. A great track to end this album.

At first I didn't want to analyze this album track by track, but then I thought it is the best thing I can do to show you the big variety "Megalomania" has to offer, which is pretty cool. What is typical for KD are the screaming guitars and excellent solos by Ande Braun and Jim Müller (who do both an excellent job here) and of course the unique voice of singer Hannes Braun. Yeah when it comes to vocals I just can say it again: please, please be natural. I love Hannes' voice and singing-style when he is doing this with his "normal sound" without a fake attitude, but there are some moments on "Megalomania" where he wants to sound so evil and this is a bit annoying. It stands for the whole bad boy image the band wants to symbolize, but I already discussed this above. It's just my personal feeling.

But enough with the talking now - finally "Megalomania" is a really strong album and their heaviest to date. You'll find again great musicianship, lots of catchy songs and a powerful kick-ass production on this record, but also some experiments here and there, stupid lyrics and this "wannabe" attitude. At the end of the day the positive aspects are more important to me and I think Kissin' Dynamite just want to spread some fun and yes I also had fun listening to this album, but in my opinion "Money, Sex and Power" is the better record. So each fan of Melodic Metal and Hard Rock should give this album a listen and for Kissin' Dynamite fans it is essential in any case.



01. DNA *
02. Maniac Ball
03. VIP In Hell
04. Fireflies
05. Deadly *
06. God In You
07. Running Free *
08. Legion Of The Legendary
09. The Final Dance
10. Ticket To Paradiese *

* best tracks

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