Released: 2013, Sliptrick Records
Sweden’s Denied is an underground but emerging band that has the awesome Johan Fahlberg as their singer, the man who has fronted the German melodic metal band, Jaded Heart. Ex Opeth guitarist, Chris Vowden is also among the members of the band. LET THEM BURN is the band’s third album since forming in Stockholm back in 2003 and a real treat. Denied play a style of melodic metal that alternates between tough and thrashy riffs, to more melodic mid-paced aggression. Fahlberg or maybe band founder Andreas Carlsson even throws in the occasional growl for good measure.
LET THEM BURN contains 10 compact tracks, with 7 of the 10 being less than four minutes. The guitars are mostly detuned, a fairly common tone in metal and the rhythms alternate between mid-paced and faster chugs, with glimpses of power metal melodies mixed in to the overall sound. The drumming is top notch, Pete Dolls really helping to hammer these songs home. Rising above it all is Fahlberg, who can be gritty and mid-ranged but also capable of hitting high notes, as “Seven Times Your Sin” demonstrates and “In Hell”. There are many good tunes on here, and the ballad “Garden of Stone” is one of the bright spots where the power metal elements are most noticeable while the ballad manages to have an undercurrent of darkness and avoids being sappy. “Until The End” is the tune that rides the mid-pace tempo with some great vocals from Fahlberg, varied guitar passages and a resolving melodic solo. For those looking more for the thrash inflected parts, “Constant Rage” delivers on that front.
Reference points for the band’s sound would be a combination of Vicious Rumors, Nocturnal Rites, and a dash of Primal Fear, not exactly new or innovative but performed with conviction. The production is also more than decent, and while many of the songs are re-workings of previous releases, having Fahlberg sing those makes all the difference. The band’s real strength is evident around chorus time, where they are able to deliver memorable and strong passages. The only minor weaknesses are a few occasional bland riffs but they are few and far between and more than balanced by the inspired and fiery melodies and guitar solos. Denied is probably on to bigger and better things, now that they have a talented lineup in place and fans of the previously mentioned bands should find Denied an enjoyable addition to their music listening.