Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

44 guests

Welcome to our newest member, patrickbarnes

Seven Steps of Denial - From Ashes

Seven Steps of Denial
From Ashes
by Ofer Mashiach at 28 August 2016, 9:00 PM

Dutch Heavy Metal saw its inception in late 1970's and early 1980's with iconic pioneering bands such as PICTURE, MARTYR and ANGUS. The sound of these bands was strongly influenced by their peers across the English Channel, first adopting the rather airy sound of NWOBHM, but has gradually evolved into beefier and somewhat epic sound of Scandinavian Heavy Metal. The latter approach is reminiscent in "From Ashes", the debut full-length by Hoofddorp's SEVEN STEPS OF DENIAL. They formed in 2009 and, having released two EP's, they eventually unleashed unto the world, a 65-minute slab of relentless Heavy Metal.

It should be told right from the start, they don't reinvent the wheel by any means, and their modern take on their predecessors' legacy is apparent, but they still manage to sound fresh. The rhythm section sounds tight throughout and the riffs are quite effective, although not particularly innovative. First time through the album I had the feeling that nothing special was going on in here, but the second time through, it started to grow on me and eventually amounted to an overall enjoyable listen.

Our journey begins with "Depleted Soul", the longest of the 14 tracks that comprise the album. It gets you in the mood for what comes next with a strong riff. The guitar tone in the pre-chorus lead is melodic and somewhat gloomy. The bass could be more audible but it is there alright. The soloing here is a bit repetitive and unimaginative, which characterizes the entire album. One big complaint is the vocals; Marcel's range is pretty limited, and whatever angst and "attitude" thrown in can't change the rather lackadaisical and uninspired delivery. "Contractor" continues where the previous track left and follows similar patterns. "Sub-zero" starts off with a nice, dramatic lead, followed by galloping riffs, and the drumming is enthusiastic and sets the pace. "One-Eyed Ruler" is a bit filler and not so memorable, while "Die Before Darkness" is more varied, although slower, with quiet verses and loud choruses. Things start to get better in "Last Days", a slow, chugging, double-based anthem that reminds of OVERKILL's "In Union We Stand". The solo is also better compared to the rest of the album but could be longer. The three following tracks, "The Pursuit", "Origin" and "What Doesn't Kill", were initially featured in the band's 2012 release, "The Pursuit", and although pre-dating the rest of the album by two years, never seem out of place.

Track 10 is where the plot thickens. "Destruction of Paradise" is arguably the best track in this album; it opens with an interesting riff and polyrhythmic percussion with odd time notations that would make CONFESSOR's Steve Shelton proud, and this is where SSOD really shine and show their true potential. The eruptive solo is also significantly better. "Always There" starts with clean and tasteful singing (best vocal performance in this album, hands down) but overall lacks originality, though the palm-muted riff towards the end makes it a bit more interesting. The three final tracks, "Gemini", "Call to Arms" and "Broken Promise", is where I started to feel the album was too long; nothing to write home about, not to say boring.

The lyrical themes are all too shabby. The overall songwriting lacks true substance, being a patchwork of clichéd, repetitive descriptions of broken hearts and painful solitude. The attempt to appear sophisticated is smothered by quirky English that makes it look, well, a bit silly. The overall production is fairly decent and the album manages to tickle my metal bones, which makes it good enough at least as background music in my car stereo.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Depleted Soul
2. Contractor
3. Sub-zero
4. One-Eyed Ruler
5. Die Before Darkness
6. Last Days
7. The Pursuit
8. Origin
9. What Doesn't Kill
10. Destruction of Paradise
11. Always There
12. Gemini
13. Call to Arms
14. Broken Promise
Marcel Paardekooper – Vocals
Dennis Mes – Guitars
Edwin de Boer – Guitars
Yick Jun Fung – Bass
Laurens Justin Kreeft – Drums
Record Label: Independent


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green