Hot off the Press

Denied | Let Them Burn

by John Kindred
– Publisher —

Denied - Let It BurnFrom Sweden, Denied’s roots go back to 2003, when Andreas Carlsson founded the band. It’s taken a decade for the lineup to be solidified and an official album to be released. Pete Dolls took over the drum throne in 2005. In 2009, Johan Fahlberg (Jaded Heart) became the lead vocalist, former Opeth guitarist, Chris Vowden followed suit and joined the band in the Fall of the same year. And, finally, Fredrik Isaksson (Therion, Grave) became the bassist in the Summer of 2011. During that time, the band released two demo albums, Seven Times Your Sin in 2005 and New Army for the Old Revolution in 2008 and two demo EPs Chapter III in 2009 and Judas Kiss in 2012.

In the Fall of 2012, Denied signed a recording contract with U.S. label Sliptrick Records. With all the stars finally in alignment, the band’s debut album finally is upon us, titled Let It Burn, which was released in January 2013. Carlsson’s dream was to bring forth heavy and melodic music, and, with the combined effort of his band mates, Let It Burn is that and more.

Let It Burn features songs that are built with melodic vocals and lead guitar melodies as the focal point. Underneath under all that melody are arrangements that pull from heavy, thrash and power metal genres. Johan Fahlberg has a distinctive metal voice that is throaty-gritty and lands in a mid-range timbre. Even with the metal edge, plenty of melody flows from is vocal cords. The guitar work ranges from straight-up heavy metal to thrash metal rhythms, which leads to power metal with all the melody stacked upon each song. The solos are aggressive, speedy and fiery affairs that help build up the energy of each song.

The drums play appropriately as the songs dictate the need: From double bass runs that drive the music to single bass arrangements that allow the song to be spacious and breathe. Dolls has a solid handle on keeping the foundation from crumbling. Isaksson’s bass provides the low-end rumble that fattens the drums’ sonic domain and hammers away, while the guitars maintain the band’s heaviness.

There are 10 songs on Let It Burn, but the the variety of genres represented within the 37 minute is anything but boring. The first two songs, “Judas Kiss” and “Dead Messiah,” cater to the melodic, heavy metal genre. “Garden Of Stone” opens with an arpeggiated, electric-acoustic guitar sound that leads into a heavy melodic progression. While it has that ballad-like, opus-style approach, the music has a dramatic edginess and, again, melodic overtones fill the song. “Constant Rage” brings in the thrashy-rhythmic guitars and a prominent distorted bass. “Until The End Of Time” has a middle Eastern influence. “Lesses Sun” has a slower tempo and heavy deliberate rhythmic groove. “Seven Times Your Sin” swiftly moves back to an up-tempo shredder, featuring plenty of double bass kick drums. “Nothing is Sacred” and “The Black Room” continue to combine heavy metal riffs with thrash-oriented grooves. “In Hell,” the finale, kicks up the tempo and brings Let It Burn to a bombastic conclusion.

Denied certainly would like to have a few more “official” releases under the band’s belt, but Let It Burn is a scorching debut. And after almost 10 years, it is well worth the wait. It looks like Carlsson found the right group of guys, and, as a band, they certainly have the right chemistry.

Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal, Thrash Power, Power Metal

Andreas Carlsson – Vocals & Rhythm Guitar.
Chris Vowden – Lead Guitar
Fredde Isaksson – Bass
Johan Fahlberg – Vocals
Pete Dolls – Drums

Track Listing:
1. Judas Kiss
2. Dead Messiah
3. Garden Of Stone
4. Constant Rage
5. Until The End Of Time
6. Lesser Son
7. Seven Times Your Sin
8. Nothing Is Sacred
9. The Black Room
10. In Hell

Label: Sliptrick Records


Hardrock Haven rating: 9/10