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Denial Of God, my first and maybe my favorite black metal band finally released it's first full lenght album called "The Horrors Of Satan" in 2006. I've waited for years to listen to their first LP and I have to say, that the quality of their music is always evolving . What we heared on the previous albums is a musical growth, the band always makes their music more intresting, complex and atmospheric, a good thing for every band who wants to separate themselves from the rest.
Like always, this new DoG release has tons of tremolo picked guitar riffs and fast blast beats, it has beautiful melodies, acoustic parts and keyboard sections. Most of the tracks tend to start with an acoustic intro and with a spooky whisper overlayed and I have to say that this technique gets overused, but still, it remains interesting and doesen't get boring. Songwriting was not a problem on this album for the guitarist "Azter", the riffs are fitting very well on the songs. The songs are long and diverse and they also have very atmospheric or almost thrashy parts sometimes. They tend to use two guitars, one playing a low rhythm, tremolo picked and one playing very high leads or solos that are mainly played on the B string of the 6th string of the standard tuned guitar Azter uses.
A cool thing that can be heared on this album is the bass that is not very present on the most black metal releases, but on "The Horrors Of Satan", "The Unknown" DoG bassist is using a distortion pedal sometimes and made some intresting interludes and maybe creepier than with a normal, clean, bass sound. The bass is almost playing the same thing the rhythm guitar is playing, but thats not a problem 'cause that's what the bass is "designed" to do on a black metal album.
Ustumallagams' voice is diversed on this album. He uses for example low growls, harsh growling, moans and so on but also whispers on some intros to create an interesting atmosphere. (listen to: The Witch- Now A Restless Spirit). Despite the diversity of the vocals, it's easy to figure out the lyrics. Covered topics include witches and lycantrophy, but also satanism and other demonic stuff. Otherwise the dynamics aren’t bad with pace changes occurring fairly frequently. The album also has some easily memorable choruses that will definetly stay in your head for days. (for example: Cycle of the Wolf)
Overall, the album is a good work of danish black metal band Denial Of God, recommended to every one of us who likes melodic parts in black metal songs and also for people who want to start listening to black metal and don't like raw bands like Gorgoroth or Emperor, yet. Just find the track "The Curse of the Witch" or "The Book of Oiufael" on youtube and let the horror of satan begin.
Everyone thinks their kids are special. Rarely will you meet a monther who tells you how boring her child is. The members of this band have this proud mother syndrome that is manifest in deluded women the world over. If you have ever read a Denial of God interview and never listened to the music, you'd be under the impression that they're pretty unique, and judging by their angst teen responses to most questions, you'd think they've recorded something pretty special.
So, let's give you the music. This band claims major musical influence from bands like Infernal Majesty and Death SS. I understand this, because they seem somewhat obsessed with the horror image and they'd want to be as undeniably cool as Death SS, Genocide, etc. Unfortunately, the end product will make you cringe in the same way you do when you see a deluded white person dressed like a negro. Despite what they think, this band musically and structurally resemble Swedish black metal bands like Dark Funeral and Throne of Ahaz (though this band is far less interesting than the latter). They have covered Mayhem in the past, but don't let that fool you, Mayhem on 'De Mysteriis..' were structually brilliant and never resorted to retarded attempts at arena friendly breakdowns (the music and vocal phrasing at the 4 minute mark of 'Curse of the Witch' sounds like a black metal/rap hybrid).
As for Death SS influence, sure, the artwork looks like something Death SS might have used, and I'm sure the members of this band try and hold some underground credibility by displaying and making constant reference to interesting bands they'll never understand but collect fanatically. No Infernal Majesty influence here at all either, again, only in the image (or the image DoG were attempting, again, see aforementioned whigger reasoning).
Vocals here are standard black metal fare, not unlike what you'd hear on any generic black metal album, and the phrasing is boring to match. Riffs are lifted from thousands of black metal songs you've heard before, creating a collage of unoriginal black metal with silly breakdowns that interupt any semble at atmosphere this band edge towards. Drumming is virtually always Norsecore/Swedish in nature, not much else to write there. Lyrics could be lifted from any 80s metal band that had a horror theme, take your pick.
This band exemplify the problem with black metal - too many bold statements coming from sheep. This band are under the impression that they are worthy of being separated from other generic bands because of early formation, but Throne of Ahaz had a demo out in 1992 aswell. This band littered the place with singles and EPs but even those were too little, too late, because bands like Burzum and Mayhem deemed these bands irrelevant in the early 90s and bands like Portal (true horror masters, not cliche Misfits fanboys) are making this band irrelevant today. This band talk a lot, collect a lot of Misfits action figures, claim a lot of influence from far superior bands, but it's all style over substance. The only thing that seperates this band from Dark Funeral etc is the fact that those bands got rich playing boring music.
If you want the style of horror this band claim (and fail at), go and dig up some Paul Chain, Death SS, Ripper, Black Hole, etc. If you want an active band playing truly horrific music, check out Portal. If you want to hear good music, listen to the bands this band claims to be influenced by. If you want to listened to Danish bands playing good music, listened to Artillery, Mercyful Fate, Samhain/Desexult. The currently active Sadomator is FAR more interesting and convincing than Denial of God, and Sadomator never made any claim to be a cut above the rest. This album is heavy, literally, it's a double LP, and that's the only way it's heavy, and I'm even more pissed off that I lost so much postage money.
4/100 (the 4 points are awarded because I'm currently listening to Infernal Majesty and I'm in a good mood)
In 1994 Denial of God made the first song for the forthcoming album, The Horrors of Satan. The particular track, A Night in Transylvania, is still a part of the album when it was finally released 12 years later. During the years, Denial of God has released only some dozen of their own songs, in MCD- and 7”EP-formats. Despite the slow release and creation pace, The Horrors of Satan consists mainly of songs which were not released before. Well, excluding the single which was released shortly before the album. Two songs; The Witch – Now a Restless Spirit and The Curse of the Witch, have been released earlier but with different versions.
Denial of God has always called their music black horror metal, but only The Horrors of Satan do justice to this term properly. There are lots of horror atmosphere within the 56 minutes and nine songs. Earlier, shorter releases lacked these things quite badly. Especially the three short intros work well in this area. Also the longest track, 11 minute song The Iron Gibbet could be a good in creating atmosphere, but is simply too long and a bit dull, after all. Rest of the songs are simply excellent. The secret of quite long songs, from 6 to 13 minutes, is simple yet catchy riffs and compositions. Melodies and riffs remind both the heavy metal of the 80s, and black metal from the early 90s. Trademark of Denial of God has never been extraordinary skills or groundbreaking compositions. The Horrors of Satan shows, how simple pieces can be put together into solid and working piece of art.
One of the biggest surprises is the sound of the album. Clear sounds give boost especially to drum sounds, which work great. Also Azter’s guitar sound is excellent, and his brother, Ustumallagam, has the powerful vocal style like in earlier releases. The Horrors of Satan fulfils the long waiting of the Denial of God fans, and is absolutely great debut.