24 Jun 2012

Denial of God - Death and the Beyond [Full length] (2012, Hells Headbangers)

Black metal is often, if not mostly, affiliated with satanism and anti-christianity, so believe me when I say I was surprised to find that Denial of God, despite their ungodly name, has very little focus on those subjects.
Denial of God is a Danish band that is locally well known. They've released one album and a slew of EPs prior to Death and the Beyond, but I never really got around to checking them out. For those unfamiliar with the Danish trio, they have surprisingly little in common with your typical, garden variety black metal band. They seem to be more inspired by King Diamon and Mercyful Fate than other bands in the genre, and their sound and structure certainly aren't as chaotic and tremolo-based as many others, and lyrically "Death and the Beyond" leans alot less on the typical satanic material as I had expected, especially because their previous album had satanic themes.

Death and the Beyond boasts a wide variety of material. Starting out with the mood-setting piano-piece Veni Spiritus and ending with the 15 minute black metal epic Pendulum Swings the 45 minutes in between features everything from the melancholically uplifting and almost ballad-like Behind the Coffin's Lid to more traditional black metal tracks like Black Dethe and The Cursed Chamber.
Of Denial of God's second album can generally be said that it relies heavily on holding single notes rather than shredding away at 200 BPMs aswell as atmospheres that can mostly be described as cemetary or crypt-like. Their focus on sombre melodies like in the tracks Funeral and Bones Turn to Dust makes for a truly alternate take on Scandinavian black metal in 2012.

In regards to musicianship it goes without saying that Denial of God may not be the most technical band around, but their particular style of black metal suits a more simple songwriting much better. Death and the Beyond is a simple and effective album and is easily one of the better black metal releases I've heard this year so far. Ustumallagam's sepulchral vocals in conjuction with the despairing guitars of Azter and the great drumtracks of Galheim makes up a recipe for brilliant and different black metal. What can I say, finally a black metal band that doesn't just ape everything their Norwegian counterparts do. 9/10 guitars.

1. Veni Spiritus
2. Funeral
3. Behind the Coffin's Lid
4. The Cursed Chamber
5. Bones turn to Dust
6. Black Dethe
7. Spectral Lights
8. Pendulum Swings

DENIAL OF GOD official site
Hells Headbangers official site