Monday, October 20, 2014

Death Denied: Transfuse the Booze (2014)

Intravenous Polish Brewtality

I’ve mentioned this time and again, but it’s worth mentioning again: My early 20’s found me in love with Black Label Society and the southern metal version of Corrosion of Conformity. Poland’s Death Denied are once again taking me back to that time, with their first full-length album.

When I reviewed EP Appetite for Booze, I thought it sounded more like COC, and now I think it sounds more BLS. That’s not a huge shift, exactly, but who would want it to be? The opening riff of “River of Booze” is solid Zakk Wylde-esque material. “The Morning After” (which has an excellent BLS riff) also makes use of a trick Wylde often does on the whammy bar (hey, I’m no guitarist, but I’m pretty sure that’s how it’s done). These guys are strong, determined, merciless, forever.

It’s not exactly a turn-of-the-millenium BLS album. The acoustic “Moonshine Healing” would fit perfectly on Sonic Brew, but the guitar effect from “Mould” is something COC used. That’s a key difference! Not really. Hey, they did use an organ on “Engines of Eternity.” But judging by the lyrics I picked up, even they are almost a caricature of Wylde’s own alcohol-obsessed words.

The playing is (as you might expect) not nearly on the same level as early BLS, manifesting in a severe shortage of pinch harmonics and shred. And while there are some extremely solid riffs here, a few of them venture into the more milquetoast later (post-Hellride) style. But really, after a few brews it doesn’t matter, and we’re all along for the fun.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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