Release DetailsLABEL Osmose Productions
RELEASED ON 4/30/2007
posted on 8/2007 By:
As someone who works with detonating explosives on a regular basis, I feel a special connection to these Dutch thrashers. Even more so because their 2002 release An Epic Defiance was my album of the year. Two albums later, Detonation is still going strong, although their sound has morphed into something a little different and a little more their own. It is hard to pinpoint what exactly comprises this shift, the music style isn’t all that different, but the feelings evoked are slightly changed. The older work seemed like more of a rollercoaster ride, where Emission Phase is fairly even-keeled, not as climactic.
Earlier releases saw Detonation frequently compared to the Gothenburg masters of Dark Tranquillity, perhaps helped by their record label making the same connection. I agreed with them, but as they’ve grown, they’ve moved away from that purer melodic death sound into thrashier territory. There is a LOT of riffing going on here, and they don’t rely on a small set of riffs for each song like many of the more prominent melodic death acts. Their songwriting here is a more technical than the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus routine, and that variability results in songs that are less immediately pleasing, but you won’t be sick of the disc in a week.
Emission Phase is a concept album based on a nuclear holocaust and the aftermath, and since there is no cascading buildup to a fission blast, only the flash that portends death, it is vital to start off this story with a hard-hitting introduction. “Invoking the Impact” fits the bill with its blast-beaten choruses, especially with a deceptive clean riff that precedes it late in the song. “When Stone Turns to Ash” comes next and is the strongest song on the album. Much of the song is choppy, with underlying melodic work, although the stretch that starts at 2:00 stands out for the way they build up a riff up to where they are tremolo-picking it, then drop right down into a doomy clean passage. The remainder of the album is equally enjoyable, including a pair of short instrumentals and the final full song “Reborn from the Radiance”, which relies more heavily on the evocative lead work that sets Detonation apart.
Their third full album sees Detonation hitting their stride with a logical successor to Portals to Uphobia. While not perfect (Koen’s vocal shouting is too monotone, and I’d personally like to hear more of their melodic lead guitaring), Emission Phase is a very good release. For melodic, yet technical thrash, you can do no wrong by listening to Detonation.
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