Dungeon – Resurrection

August 7, 2013 in Artist Rewind, Reviews by blackwindmetal

Dungeon - ResurrectionDungeon – Resurrection (1999)

Reviewed by Daniel Millard

From this side of the 00’s decade, it seems like Dungeon/Lord has been around forever, but every band has a debut. While these represent growing pains and bundles of fairly raw ideas for many, Australia’s indomitable foursome slammed down what was, in many ways, a blueprint to which they remained largely faithful over the following years (Until the breakup and subsequent release of The Final Chapter by Lord Tim and Tim Yatras), and in some ways even until this day.

At this early point in Dungeon’s career, the songs are largely short and compact. From the quick, smoking punches like the sharp jab of “No Way Out” and “Fight” to the finesse of brainworms like “Paradise” and “Wake Up”, no song on the album clears five and a half minutes save only closer “The Legend Of Huma”. This means that by and large, Resurrection is a very easily digestible work, and lends itself as readily to one sitting as it does being broken up into pieces for one-shot listens or playlists.

One trait of Dungeon’s work that is made abundantly clear as soon as the opening notes of the title track spill out is that, though often playing up-speed and very catchy power metal, Dungeon is firmly grounded in 80’s tradition. Though stylistically this is difficult to call anything other than pure power metal, it hearkens back to the early heavy- and NWOBHM-influenced forms of the genre, and one might even say that they (Dungeon) helped bring the 90’s power metal revival to the southern hemisphere.

Songs here are among the band’s most basic, but don’t let that fool you for an instant. Even at their weakest, Dungeon slays. There are no particularly soft tracks here, and though some might point the finger at the cheery, melodic “Paradise” as being a little out of place, it’s always been a favorite of mine. I used to think of the final quarter of the album (“I Am Death”, “Judgment Day”, and “The Legend Of Huma”) as a significant tapering off, but I believe instead that, at least with the last two tracks, the approach just isn’t as fresh after hearing earlier tunes. The latter song still drags a bit, and neither of the final tracks excite me as much as most of the rest of the album.

Most bands would count themselves extremely fortunate to have a debut this fiery and capable. It’s no surprise that this album got the re-issue treatment, and this version of the album (which I have upgraded to) is essential. Dungeon’s debut is one of the most explosive I’ve ever heard from the 90’s, and is a testament to the band’s consistency and songwriting talent, even in their early days.

4.0 // 5