Release DetailsLABEL The End
RELEASED ON 10/11/2005
Portals To Uphobia
posted on 10/2005 By:
In what is shaping up to be a formidable year for melodic death metal, it’s only fitting that one of the brightest hopes for the genre releases an album. In 2003, Detonation took home the championship in the battle for my favorite album of the year. An Epic Defiance was a refreshing blend of early Dark Tranquillity and perhaps early Katatonia, resulting in a melodic death masterpiece with epic and doomy undercurrents. This new offering is more of the same.
The differences between Portals to Uphobia and An Epic Defiance are subtle but apparent if your ears are open. You can certainly tell that this is the same band, but this new work demands a closer listen to dig out all of the hooks. The obvious (and superb) melodies of past songs like “The Collision of Despair” and “The Last of My Commands” have been supplanted by developing riff sequences like those in “End of Sight, End of Fears”. Their two guitarists, Koen Romeijn and Mike Ferguson, still shred as necessary, between bouts of harmonized leads and dark, thrashy barrages. Koen’s Stanne-esque scream is the perfect complement to the band’s musical output, and the crisp and clear production is the perfect complement to both he and the guitarists. High notes ring through loud and clear, the acoustic guitar twangs and reverbs, while the low end rumbles.
Examples of well-done metal are legion on Portals to Uphobia so I will pick songs at random to highlight. “Solitude Reflected” begins with a dour acoustic introduction, giving way to Detonation’s trademark style of thrashy and doomy melodies with little transition. High-speed riffs typically end in unexpected flourishes. “Structural Deceit” is pure Opeth for the first forty seconds…the way Opeth sounded 7-8 years ago, then shows some occasional influence from Akerfeldt and Co. later on. Unrelenting drumming pins down much of the song, lending a sense of urgency.
Long story short, Detonation smokes, especially if you like your melodic death bleak, with a hint of gloom. Their sound is both intense and thoughtful, blending the loud and abrasive with the soft and mellow very adeptly. In the past two years their metal has become slightly more refined and mature, which I didn’t think was necessarily needed. Although Portals of Uphobia won’t top my year-end list as its predecessor had, it very well may crack the top ten, and for that reason, I give it a solid endorsement. Keep up the great work over in Holland.
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