ALBUM REVIEW: Dynamotive – D_Drive

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Japanese progressive rockers D_DRIVE are truly one of a kind in this industry. Hailing from Osaka, this fantastic instrumental four-piece have been around for quite some time, forming back in 2009. However, D_DRIVE are back with a vengeance only three years since the release of their fourth studio album Maximum Impact. Their highly anticipated fifth full-length effort Dynamotive is 10 tracks of pure greatness; showing the world that the country can also produce fantastic rock artists.

D_DRIVE have tapped into a wide range of inspirations for the creation of Dynamotive, from hit TV shows to the pandemic, as well as the infamous World Trade Center tragedy of 2001. The band have already released brand new single I Remember The Town to build up anticipation for the release.

The first track on Dynamotive is Red Light, Green Light, which is an undoubtable ode to the hugely popular Netflix show Squid Game. From the initial note, you can hear footstep type sounds and what seems to be the notorious creepy doll in the show moving around waiting to kill the unknown players of the game. After some time, the track moves away from this though, showcasing D_DRIVE‘s remarkable talent. The riffs are just to die for throughout, progressing just at the right moment. Right from the offset, Begin Again kicks things off with a ferocious almost metal sounding guitar riff which just gets more and more exciting as the track goes on. The song is clearly inspired by a variety of eras in music, as it starts off with a more modern metal style riff before evolving into something that you would expect to hear from bands like IRON MAIDEN.

As we lean into I Remember The Town, we are absolutely astounded by the funky, memorable guitar riff at the start of the track. It progresses so effortlessly into more of a classic rock type melody, which is certain to keep us on our toes. Nearing the end, there is an almost anthemic segment which will inevitably get you moving.

Get Away starts off with a killer riff, which just works impeccably with the fantastic drumming by Chiiko. Overall, the song just doesn’t disappoint, introducing us to some seriously memorable melodies which are are simply unforgettable. Be Yourself starts off slower in comparison, with a gentle, rhythmic guitar solo paving the way. This well and truly sets the tone for the rest of the song, which is an unexpected yet vital change in this album. Runaway Boy creates a real sense of excitement and anticipation for what’s to come. The energy is paramount throughout this release, easily becoming one of the best tracks on the album.

Thumbs Up is most definitely the most energetic song on Dynamotive, featuring impressive time signatures and melodies which are sure to get stuck in your head. At this point, it is evidently clear that D_DRIVE are one of the most talented instrumental bands heard in a long time. Wings is up next; it contains a very memorable hook right at the beginning and keeps us thoroughly engaged for the rest of the track. U_Me is another slow starter which is pretty emotional in its delivery. However, it quickly moves on into something truly sensational, really setting the bar high for the rest of the album. The final track on Dynamotive is Breakout, in which drummer Chiiko‘s exceptional talent shines through. It is such an insane closer to this album and really makes the record complete.

From the quality of this release, you can most definitely tell that D_DRIVE have been around for quite some time. After 14 years in the industry, this sensational Japanese instrumental rock band have made a style that is their own – just phenomenal. It is safe to say that D_DRIVE are sure to go to even greater heights in this industry and we can’t wait to hear what they create next.

Rating: 7/10

Dynamotive - D_Drive

Dynamotive is set for release on August 26th via Marshall Records.

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