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3 Tracks of Glory - 70%

Zerberus, October 24th, 2011

The last decade symphonic and Gothic metal has prospered immensely with bands like Nightwish, Evanescence, Within Temptation, Epica, and Sirenia making their way to the scene. This wave of female-fronted, pseudo-Gothic bands have spawned hundreds of bands that try to copy their sound.

Denyall is a band that, at first glimpse, could just be another one of these bland diva bands. While their song titles certainly imply so, even at first listen it is clear that they're doing it somewhat differently. Bands like Within Temptation and Nightwish have a rather melancholic and melodramatic sound to them, but Denyall seems more haunting and full of despair. The cover features a black haired girl sitting in a corner of a bland room in what looks like a straitjacket.
What really makes Denyall stand out from the veritable hordes of diva bands is the utilizing of growls. The vocals can suddenly go from regular clean singing to growling, not unlike that of Battlelore, which is probably the band this also Finnish sextet has most in common with.
For a demo, the production is better than one would expect, and even though it contains just three songs for a total playtime of 11 minutes and 46 seconds, all these songs are very well-composed and nicely put together. The tracks all fit together perfectly without any major deviation from the overall style, yet it doesn't become stale or uncreative. They utilize a minimal amount of keyboards, thereby not falling into the pit of overly keyboard-dominated symphonic metal like so many others. The guitars actually play some memorable riffs once in a while, but still maintain a certain level of heaviness. The variation in the vocals is probably the band's main selling point for me though.

Denyall represents the fact that not all symphonic/Gothic bands are talentless hacks. This three song demo is filled with great song structures and well thought through tracks. Normally I wouldn't even consider listening to symphonic metal, especially not female-fronted ones. These bands tend to all sound the fucking same, but Denyall manages to steer away from the typical concepts of what is Gothic metal.

That being said the demo is a little short for my taste, and symphonic metal really isn't my type of thing. While Denyall's Dehumanized is somewhat different from most symphonic metal, it still is symphonic metal, which I feel is a tried-out genre.

Originally written for www.gouls-crypt.blogspot.com

Great follow-up demo - 92%

ruigeroeland, June 17th, 2008

Denyall released a promising two track demo last year. They took a year to work on new material, resulting in the release of their new demo “Dehumanized”, containing three tracks this time.

Stylistically not much has changed, meaning the band still plays Guitar-driven Gothic Metal in the Beauty and Beast style. Main difference is that there is a somewhat larger role for the keyboard, without overdoing it. The keyboard adds some extra atmosphere to the songs, but is not overwhelming the heavy riffing.

It certainly paid off that the band spend a year writing their three songs, because they managed to create three great tunes. The musicianship was already solid on the previous demo, and once again the band plays like they are veterans. Good job.

On the previous release I had some problems with the female vocals. They sounded somewhat thin so to speak. I am glad to report, that this problem is taking care off. The vocal performances of both the female singer and male growler are great. The clean vocals are mid to high pitched (not operatic) and have a great husky edge at times. The grunts are used sporadically, but pack a great punch when they are.

One of the best demos I have heard this year. I think the band has a good chance on a record deal based on this release.