Fortified with an arsenal of blazing guitar licks, the word prolific best describes musician, songwriter and producer, Brennan Dylan. His latest solo EP, Walking Through Fire, is a six-song instrumental journey delivered up and down the fretboard in fluid movements, calling to mind such legends as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck. But there is so more to say about the artist and his music.
In addition to his solo work, Dylan typically rips it up with Men Without Armies, a metal band he founded in 2013, which just released a new album, Strapped and Loaded. But the story about Brennan Dylan does not stop there, by any means.
An Inexhaustible Music Artist
Adding to his solo projects, Brennan Dylan and Men Without Armies were named Metal Group of the Year at the 2016 International Music and Entertainment Association Awards (IMEAs). Dylan also received a 2015 Canada Council for the Arts Music production grant and was named the 2010 Producers Choice Award – Rock Guitarist of the Year at the LA Music Awards. Whew! Told you he has boundless energy.
‘Walking Through Fire’
After listening to the EP, you’ll agree that Brennan Dylan clearly qualifies as a guitar hero. The first cut, “Drowning the Tide,” opens with a brief, yet melodic guitar solo, before breaking into his special brand of acrobatic fretwork, oozing with speed and string fed harmonics. That’s only the first song.
“Conquer The Emperor,” “Break Away” and the remaining three tracks are equally impressive. The last song on the EP, “Falling Through Skies,” dedicated to Dylan’s grandfather, has a spacey intro and is quickly becoming a personal axe-wielding favorite thanks to the six-string pyrotechnics.
‘Strapped And Loaded’
Available at Reverbnation, the new album from Men Without Armies, the group’s second, contains six original songs with vocals by Vibe Studio owner Johnny Burke. Sonically heavier than Walking Through Fire, fast tempos and impressive guitar work still rule the day, while Burke’s vocals bring an added dimension and appeal.
Occasionally compared to a Fates Warning-type of vibe, Dylan and the Men Without Armies skillfully crank out their own version of power metal on Strapped and Loaded, which the Canadian-born guitar whiz calls “Nashville metal,” a reference to his current home. For instance, the narrative of the 3:21 “The Gun Show” is politically topical, while over-amped guitar leads bolster the socially conscious message, proving to be musically effective.
Another standout is “Crash and Burn,” a contemporary metal rocker where Pantera meets Billy Gibbons by way of Dylan and the Men. The anthemic “A Day in the Life” (not to be confused with the Beatles’ gem of the same name) is an ominous 4:10 track that warns, “some will live, some will die.” Credit goes to Men Without Armies for a job well done, presenting politically important topics in the form of impressive modern metal.