1. Power Within 2. Against The Wind 3. The Art Of War 4. The Hunger 5. Surface Tension 6. Tarranno Del Mar 7. One Step Beyond 8. Under The Cross 9. Epilogue
Australia's power metal scene has seemed to have lost it's frontrunner. Pegazus, the country's leading provider of fast fantasy has been missing in action for a number of years. Their replacement or place holder has been slowly reaching global recognition through their efforts on three recordings, "Resurrection", "Demolition", and "A Rise To Power". Now the unit has released their finest album to date, one that should see the band firmly plant both feet on solid ground.
With "One Step Beyond", Dungeon take a giant step forward, creating a memorable album built more on hooks and melody rather than speedy power metal drills. In fact Dungeon have almost gone a full 180, certainly keeping their original sound intact but really going for a more simplistic approach at a heavy metal sound. With the group's last record, "A Rise To Power", the band certainly injected a good sense of melody into their craft. With chorus parts that almost reflected the sounds of 70s acts like Queen and Styx and a fast, charging speed metal sound, Dungeon seemed at times to be too dynamic, a bit too fancy if you will. By all means the album was extremely enjoyable, fast becoming one of my favorites on the entire Limb label. But with "One Step Beyond" the group really try to change directions, possibly going more elementary this time around on a quest to become more mature. It is funny how that thought works, becoming elementary to become more mature. That is exactly how I see this album though.
With songs like "The Art Of War" and "Power Within", Dungeon go at the listener straight ahead, really going right into the battle with an easy, fluid movement. Both tracks are heavy and hard hitting, but they drop the tempo a bit and really drive home the same vibe as groups like Seven Witches and Iced Earth. In fact "The Art Of War" could have easily been influenced by Iced Earth's work on "Dark Saga". At times the band do a good dose of highway racing, burning down the blacktop with epic, speedy numbers like "Tarranno Del Mar", a Running Wild type of song. Hard, melodic rock also works it's way into this version of Dungeon. Following in the same footsteps as Edguy, Pink Cream 69, and Masterplan comes rock oriented tracks like "The Hunger" and "Against The Wind". Favorite cuts for me are "Against The Wind", "Power Within", and "Tarranno Del Mar".
"One Step Beyond" is indeed that. Dungeon have built on the experience of recording and releasing three epic records and have gone further with this new release. By simply slowing their pace and concentrating more on hooks and melody the band has improved by leaps and bounds. Lord Tim and company can take this type of album and slowly build on it's fundamentals through time. This is really just the start.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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