Denial Fiend are back with another salvo of death and destruction in the form of their second full-length album Horror Holocaust, and I must say that lovers of massive thrash metal riffing are in for a treat here.
Most of the tracks are built around crushing riffs – many of which tap directly into the spirit and aggression of old school 80s and early 90s thrash metal – and, while aggression and old-fashioned thrash metal brutality characterize this album, Denial Fiend are not afraid to inject melody, groove, and strange chord harmonies into their music every now and then (just check out tracks like "After Pary Massacre", "Horror Holocaust" and the more experimental "Dunsmoor"), which works brilliantly in contrast with the aggressive and sometimes semi-technical riffage of tracks like "Flesh Coffin", "Corrupted Flesh", and "Stuck Pig/Bleeding Out"). While this is thrash metal, most of the tracks are kept at midtempo paces which obviously adds a lot of heaviness to the feel of the music as well, and there are also a couple of death metal elements every now and then. Compositionally, many of the tracks are straightforward, but still with a couple of changes in tempo and other strategically well placed surprises every now and then, and needless to say each song has as many cool riffs as possible stuffed into it without it never becoming over-the-top.
Denial Fiend comprises members who are involved in, or have been involved in, acts like Death, Obituary, Massacre, D.R.I. and The Accüsed, so we are certainly dealing with very experienced metal musicians here, and that certainly is reflected in the crushing riffage on this album and the solid drumming. Blaine Cook's hysterical vocals might be an acquired taste, but I think that his angry-smurf-on-steroids screams fit the aggressive thrash metal music very well – and his vocals add a punky edge to the music, too. I especially like the guitar solos, many of which have an almost rock music feel to them (there are some shred-and-kill solos, too, and they are also most welcome), and many of which are also quite melodic, which is refreshing in relation to the typical old school thrash metal shredding. The production is raw and in some respects retro, without being lo-fi in any way (it is actually quite well-defined and professional), and I like how the distorted bass is audible and kind of encapsulates the guitars, thus providing both bottom and edge.
Horror Holocaust by Denial Fiend is a very solid thrash metal release and, with its onslaught of chucking thrash metal riffs with added death metal influences and injections of melody and rock sensibility every now and then, it should appeal to fans of old school thrash metal.
1. Corrupted Flesh
2. Stuck Pig/Bleeding Out
3. After Party Massacre
4. Flesh Coffin
5. A Fiend Without A Face
6. Horror Holocaust
8. Hell Asylum