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Denied - The Decade of Disruption Award winner

The Decade of Disruption
by Mark Machlay at 11 August 2020, 7:31 AM

Thrash/Heavy Metal band DENIED, formed in Upplands Vasby, Stockholm, Sweden in 2004 have released their electrifying new album “The Decade of Disruption” amid this unfortunate coronavirus pandemic only two years after their previous LP, 2018’s “Freedom of Speech”. Started by guitarist and main songwriter Andreas Carlsson, the band recorded their first demo “Seven Times Your Sin” in 2005 to local notoriety, followed two years later by second demo New Army For The Old Revolution” in 2008. They would perform live and gain acclaim for their live performances. Several years later, they released their full-length debut “Let Them Burn” in 2014 which propelled them onto the world stage and more great reviews. Through the years the lineup has been shaken up quite a bit but mainman Carlsson remains as well as Chris Vowden who played on several previous releases but missed their 2018 album. However, for drummer Marcus Kask and bassist Fredrik Thornblom of LIZARD EYE and somewhat veteran vocalist Soren Adamsen – most recently playing with CRYSTAL TEARS and ARTILLERY – this will mark the first record with the group.

They hit you hard and heavy and never give up this entire outing. Opener and single “Throwing Bones” is fast and aggressive, pummeling you with rapid-fire licks with Adamsen’s vocals perfectly suited going from gritty growls to soaring, frantic highs in its short 5 minutes and change runtime. From there, “The Beast” boasts bravado and power, the perfect thing to psyche you up and make you feel like you can conquer anything with its hooky refrain “This is why they call me ‘The Beast’, BEWARE!”. Continuing the intimidating trend, we get the slower, chuggier “Enter the Wolf” and power metal, melodic, “feel good” track “Hey Let’s Go” which feel a bit out of place but do a decent job of showing another side of the band. The latter honestly, reminds me of a knock-off of off similar songs that ALESTORM performs better, but subconsciously, I found myself banging my head to the beat so it held my attention well.

Where things get impressive is with the incredible “Walk You Through Darkness”. I really could not ignore the captivity and craft that went into the opening rhythmic chugging riffs. That led into heavily singable chorus and melodic guitar leads into a great epic guitar solo towards the end, managing to propel and keep the high energy throughout. I am a big proponent of proper placing of songs on a record to keep the energy moving and they did a great job placing this middle track to avoid a slump. “Freedom Reign” starts out as a stereotypical metal ballad snooze but explodes in the choruses with some wonderfully tasty fast lead guitar runs to connect the sections. Another great anthem follows in “We Play Rock ‘n’ Roll” with a suitable if not somewhat cliché chorus refrain. Unfortunately, slower “Undergang” takes us out and I would have preferred going out on a faster note but it makes up for it in its great production, heavy trudging and perfect flawless vocal lines from Adamsen.

Some would say this record was fairly cliché and possibly anachronistic. I would argue that with the uncertainly of the time, this is the perfect day and age for this record. I want to get lost in my music in stressful times and this band transported me back to the days when I was still discovering power metal with BLIND GUARDIAN – especially in the wonderful art by Alexander Lifbom – and the heavier side of metal with IN FLAMES. I went back and listened to their entire catalog through my Spotify subscription and all I could think was what an untapped gem DENIED is to the heavy metal world.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Throwing Bones
2. The Beast
3. Enter The Wolf
4. Hey Lets Go
5. Walk You Through Darkness
6. What If
7. Freedom Rain
8. We Play Rock N Roll
9. Undergang
Soren Adamsen – Vocals
Andreas Carlsson – Rhythm Guitar
Chris Vowden – Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Fredrik Thornblom – Bass Guitar
Markus Kask – Drums
Record Label: Sweea Records


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Edited 14 May 2021

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