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Detonation: Portals to Uphobia

One look at the cover artwork by Niklas Sundin on Detonation's second full-length release Portals to Uphobia left me instantly impressed, and I was wondering if the music on the CD would live up to the high standard that the art set. Well, I was a little worried after opening up the booklet, thinking that there would be some more glorious stuff on the inside, only to find no lyrics, no production notes, just a middle section with one photo of each band member, and a few other abstract illustrations...nothing comparable to what was on the CD booklet cover and tray card. So, how was the CD you ask, which is really what is important here anyway? Well, all I can say is if you liked their last album An Epic Defiance, you will not be dissapointed one bit with Portals to Uphobia, as it is another strong progressive death/thrash metal album filled with tasty musicianship and plenty of melody.

These Dutch lads certainly can play their instruments and play them well. I hate to start off a review talking about the lone instrumental, but "Lost Euphoria part III" is a great little melodic metal piece that it deserves mention. The guitar work of Mike Ferguson and Koen Romeijn weave plenty of crunchy riffs and melodic harmony leads around each other on this one, as they do on every song. The vocals of Romeijn are your typical melodic death metal style, and will appeal to folks who dig bands like In Flames, Soilwork, Shadows Fall, Dark Tranquility, and Arch Enemy. He's at his lethal best on the bludgeoning "The Source to Delve ", backed by pounding riffs and manic rhythms, as well as the melodic yet raging inferno of "Into Sulphur I Descend ". Perhaps the best track is the behemoth title track, which mixes blazing speed metal rhythms with complex guitar riffery. The unison guitar harmonies are just spectacular, and Romeijn really growls his heart out. The band slow things down a bit on the grinding and crunchy "Chaos Banished", featuring mammoth riffs and loads of melodic guitar fills.

The band overall combine the speedy elements of thrash with the intricate nature of prog-metal, yet their music is rooted in the Swedish melodic death metal scene. You'll find plenty to like on Portals to Uphobia, a strong release from a young band who are making their move up metal's long and tall ladder. My prediction- sleeper hit of 2005.

Track Listing

  1. Into Sulphur I Descend
  2. Portals to Uphobia
  3. Structural Deceit
  4. Chaos Banished
  5. End of Sight, End of Fears
  6. Lost Euphoria part III
  7. The Loss of Motion Control
  8. Solitude Reflected
  9. Beyond the Margin
  10. The Source to Delve

Added: October 15th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Detonation Website
Hits: 4579
Language: english

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