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Denied - "Let Them Burn" (CD)

Denied - "Let Them Burn" CD cover image

"Let Them Burn" 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

Reviewed by on February 1, 2013

"Denied is more in the Metal Church realm and the music on 'Let Them Burn' is more power and traditional than thrash."

Denied has been kicking around the metal scene for about ten years now and now seeks to start a new chapter with Jaded Heart vocalist Johan Fahlberg. Denied describes itself as thrash metal, but if the group resembles that genre on any level, it would be “old school thrash.” Back in the 80's, when thrash took roots, bands like Anvil, Metal Church, Metallica, Slayer, Exciter, and Venom brought it to prominence. Even then there was the slightly “chaotic” thrash (Venom), but it was deemed “speed metal” and by today’s standards it might be labeled “power metal.” Denied is more in the Metal Church realm and the music on “Let Them Burn” is more power and traditional than thrash. No beef from me, as whatever you want to call the band, Denied has put together a solid release of molten metal, although perhaps nothing groundbreaking.

It takes four tracks of speedy riffs (“Judas Kiss”), rocking traditional harmonies (“Dead Messiah”) and mid-paced power (“Garden of Stone”) before anything resembling thrash appears. “Constant Rage” stands out as a real burner with ripping darker riffs from the twin guitar attack of Andy Carlsson and Chris Vowden with Fahlberg showing a much grittier “Peavy Wagner/Rage” style at times. “Let Them Burn” will not likely change the face of metal, but Denied prefers its guitar heads dipped in Kurdt Vanderhoof’s well with a little later day Meliah Rage thrown in. At the same time, Fahlberg’s “jaded heart” shows through in tracks like “Nothing is Sacred” and “Until the End of Time.”

One word about Fahlberg that bears mentioning...though he is a very talented vocalist, he treads tediously in the upper mid range. Halfway through “Until the End of Time,” I was screaming for just one upper level shriek belted from the depths of hell. It would have put an exclamation point on the track just before the solo, but alas, it wasn’t to be. All it would have taken is a few rafter shaking screams scattered throughout to break up the monotony of holding those mid-notes a little too long. Clearly, he is capable.

Favorite tracks on “Let Them Burn” are the chunky riffs of “Nothing is Sacred” (with - you guessed it - a nicely well placed pause) and “The Black Room,” but the winner is the heavily Metal Church driven closer “In Hell.” Here, finally, at the end is where Fahlberg lets loose a couple of much needed wails after the chorus! It left me wondering where that was throughout the whole album and wanting to hear much more of it.

On the whole, Denied has put together a very enjoyable release with some great musicianship and catchy tunes. “Let Them Burn” offers no ground breaking new metal, but Denied prefers it that way. Fans of “original thrash,” power, and traditional metal should give this a whirl and you will find that the riffage will bind to your sense of metal pride.

Highs: Well played catchy compositions. Excellent guitar work.

Lows: Vocals tend to tread too long in mid-rage, save for "In Hell."

Bottom line: Denied "lets it burn" with a solid effort of power/traditional with thrashy elements.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)