Denial of God – Death and the Beyond (Hells Headbangers Records)

Beyond the Realms of Death...
Release Date: 
17 Jul 2012 - 12:30pm

Formed over 20 years ago, it could be said that Denial of God was on the cusp of the the rising of the 2nd wave of Scandinavian black metal. But, for reasons that completely escape me, Denmark, their place of origin, never drew the same sort of attention that any band emanating  from Norway or Sweden, so they were forgotten in the dust of oblivion throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s for being in the wrong place. Of course, lack of success doesn’t mean that the band hasn’t created a cult fan base along the way. 

Perhaps this was because the band has been releasing a few EP’s instead of proper full lengths (the first one being Horrors of Satan released in 2006) and now Death and the Beyond.

Listening to their discography (including the EP’s) one can easily notice gems of the black metal style like the aforementioned Horrors of Satan, but the time has come to DOG to come out the catacombs of ostracism to the forefront of the black metal war, for Death and the Beyond is the quintessential meisterwerk of obscurity, gloom and woe. 

Containing songs that range from 6 to 15 minutes (with an average time of 9 minutes), the album features extremely long phrases that work like an earworm (as should every decent BM act), melodic passages with acoustic guitars, dramatic soloing, whispering vocalizations, eventual fast parts, all of which should be enough to maintain the listener’s attention for over 60 minutes of music. 

Behind the Coffins Lid, showcases the pure form, the “worked out” sound of DOG with a heavier production but the highlight is Black Deathe. Although a HUGE fan of raw forms of black metal, I must admit that nowadays the sound of the new bands are more black than metal itself, but Denial of God are no kids in the scene, and I must say it has been a while since I've heard an album this good in this style. 

There’s no place for backfiring here, everything is perfectly executed in an album where the paradoxical raw and melodic sounds merge harmoniously. Strangely enough it will appeal for fans of any black metal persuasion: from the most radical, to the muso who likes to appreciate his Black Metal while in solitude. 

This album is epic in form and result: the intro Spectral Lights paves the way to the heaviest Pendulum Swings, the last and longest song of Death and the Beyond with its endless variations, with a pounding drumming in the beginning, and fast black metal, then an extremely melancholic part which sounds like a terror movie soundtrack. It’s impressive how the ideas are fortunate and how the execution gives the impression that the sound was scanned directly from the composer’s mind into the CD. 

A rapid word about the artwork: SUPERB. (I said it was rapid)

After the last song, one realizes he's been on a true journey. Death and the Beyond is beyond any frontier, death, life, life after death, you name it, an album which will survive the test of time and will gain notoriety amongst the classics of style erasing over 20 years of injustice. 

 

 

Death and the Beyond is out now on Hells Headbangers Records.