Released: 2005, Osmose Productions
It’s no secret that melodic death metal is no longer the golden child of the metal world. Many fans have turned away from “melo-death” as wave after wave of faceless bands copied the template laid down by At the Gates, In Flames, and Dark Tranquillity. Still, that hasn’t stopped even more bands from cropping up and plying their totally average trade. Every once in a while though, a new diamond in the rough appears to remind everyone of why people went apeshit over this style in the first place, all those years ago.
One such band is the Netherlands’ Detonation. Founded during melo-death’s heyday (1997), the band didn’t truly make a mark until the release of their debut album, AN EPIC DEFIANCE, in 2002. Back now after an extended hiatus with a new album, Detonation easily prove that there is still some life left in their tired genre. Though PORTALS OF UPPHOBIA is unmistakably melodic death metal, containing all the well-known hallmarks of the genre, Detonation still manages to rise above the rabble. What’s their secret? What makes a song like “End of Sight, End of Fears” memorable, when so many other bands have attempted the same thing and failed? Allow me to tell you! Detonation manages to make the sound their own. There is no single moment on this disc where you can say “Oh, that riff/vocal/melody sounds like ‘X’”. Yes, the music is covering the same ground trod a thousand times before, but there is no direct copycatting going on here.
With PORTALS TO UPHOBIA, you get exactly what’s advertised. There are no frills, no genre-crossing to be “different”, just pure unadulterated melodic death. Don’t waste your money on tired retreads or “super” groups – support Detonation instead!