Monday, March 11, 2013

Denouncement Pyre: Almighty Arcanum (2013)

Australia Will Destroy You and Everyone You Love

Review by Metallattorney. He is the law.

Those who have been following me for awhile probably know that I am a big fan of the Australian extreme metal scene. You know the one, the bestial thrash/black/death mix that come to be referred to as the "war metal" scene. That scene had started to lose its lustre over the last several years but there are signs that there may be a revitalization at work lately. Groups like Denouncement Pyre, Vomitor, Black Jesus, and Mongrel's Cross have all emerged in a major way over the last few years. Though Denouncement Pyre and Vomitor have been around for quite awhile, Denouncement Pyre since 2003 and Vomitor since 1999, they have really gotten notice recently. These are likely the bands that are leading the Australian extreme metal scene for years to come.

If anything, this sophomore full-length from the Aussie crushers is an improvement over their debut release. This is mostly due to the improvement in the production quality. Their last album was murky, and while it sounded good for the type of chaotic metal that was on that disc, it is nice to hear that they have cleaned things up a little bit without going too far and sounding sterile. This is just about right where it should be for a raw black/death/thrash metal album.

The title track is a true barnburner, kicking things off with a thrash metal riff that would make even the members of Destroyer 666 stand up and take notice. Much of the rest of the album also goes for the dirty, hell-raising blackened thrash that D666 perfected on Cold Steel. That is one of my favorite albums of all time, so I am definitely intrigued by this release. There are some truly impressive moments on this album. The closing moments to "The Deceiver" had me tapping my foot and banging my head. But Denouncement Pyre also know how to slow things down to make the faster moments seem even faster. The interlude track "Drakon: All is One" is a perfect example. It is an instrumental track that acts as a bridge between two very fast songs but it builds atmosphere incredibly well at the same time.

Atmosphere is one thing that Denouncement Pyre excels at. Every track on this release has such a dark and evil vibe to it. It is something that is strived for on a lot of albums but few are able to make it connect as well as Denoucement Pyre. This is another place that the improvement in production values has really helped the band. Instead of sounding like a muddled mess, the atmospheric moments shine through cleanly and crisply.

Denouncement Pyre released a hell of a good debut album a few years ago, but they have topped it with this release. This is incredible.

I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Hells Headbangers

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