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Denial Of God: Death And The Beyond

Nearly two decades on from their formation, Denial Of God release only their second full length album and while it may have taken six years for Death And The Beyond to surface, the time would appear to have been very well spent. A number of demo recordings, EPs and split releases have featured this long standing Danish trio, however the threesome have certainly put all of their focus into an album that is not only a surprisingly considered black metal outing, but an intricate and daring conceptual piece. Based round the concept of being buried alive in a coffin, waiting desperately for death and seemingly flitting between the world of the living and the after-life, Death And The Beyond takes standard black metal themes and motifs, slows them down, speeds them up and generally warps them into a compelling and convincing album that darts deftly into your subconscious with ease.

On first encounter, extreme metal devotees may find "Funeral", or "Behind The Coffin's Lid" to be too restrained, or straight forward even. However run through the eight songs - running at 62 minutes - a few times and the dark, threatening nature of these songs is revealed. An unusually coherent vocal approach is taken, meaning that the concept is, even without a lyric sheet, understandable and hugely enthralling, with the despair of the tale and the situation they depict coming through strongly in both words and music. That's not to suggest that this is a blunt album that doesn't make a sharp, incisive mark through the intensity of its music, not at all. More that Denial Of God are clever enough to vary the pace of their attack and end up with a far more enduring slab of extreme in the process.

Closing track "Pendulum Swings", which runs at fifteen minutes, sums the album up perfectly, with repetitive riffs being broken up by busy drum work and intricate guitar parts and atmospheric effects that help reinforce the story's force. All the while the song builds and builds, but not through pace, more through its sheer unnerving dankness and desperation. It really is the sort of track that envelopes you and draws you into the world Denial Of God are creating, something that not all black metal truly achieves.

Not quite ground breaking, Death And The Beyond cleverly stretches boundaries without compromising the overall effect and complete believability it possesses. Making for undoubtedly one of the best extreme metal albums of any variety I've heard this year.

Track Listing
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

Added: October 13th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Denial Of God MySpace Page
Hits: 2185
Language: english

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