Thursday, January 28, 2016

DENIGRATE: ”Hollowpoint”

Rating: RRR
Label: Denigrate 2015
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

”Hollowpoint” is Denigrate’s second album, released 12 years after the band’s debut ”Dismal Euphoria”. Finnish readers might know that the band scored a big hit with their cover of 70’ies hit ”Mombasa” back in 2002, and I believe ”Dismal Euphoria” did pretty well thanks to that. I have a vague memory of listening to the debut back in the day, but apart from that hit song, I can’t remember anything specific about it. Just that the overall vibe was dark and gloomy… very Finnish indeed.

I was kind of expecting this to be more of the same, so I was pretty surprised when the opening track ”Engraved & Hellhound” leaped out of the speakers. Uptempo, sharp riffs, aggressive yet melodic… Okay, you’ve got my attention, what else have you got?

”Am I Facin’ Hell” is perhaps a bit closer to my expectations, a somewhat HIM-esque track with a strong chorus. Good… as is ”Erased Pages”, a midtempo song with Pekka Heino (Brother Firetribe, Leverage) sharing vocals with the band’s singer Micko Hell. Very melodic and again a good chorus. Interestingly, Pekka is only credited for ”backing vocals” in the liner notes. With ”Death Reflection” the band slow it down more but still keep it melodic.

”My Corrupted Soul” features very aggressive, shouty vocals but also some highly harmonious, melodic parts, not one of my favorites but still rather interesting. Hauntingly beautiful piano intro leads into ”Liar” on which Micko Hell shows that he’s a very versatile singer. The song reminds me of Amorphis for some reason, even though I haven’t really listened to them that much.

”Taken Away” is kind of what I expected this album to sound like: slow, dark and slightly depressing. The intro sounds very ”Twin Peaks”-like… could that grunting diabolic voice be ”Bob”? The  faster ”Into Demise” combines gloomy verses with an edgy chorus, but the overall vibe is again a bit depressing. The last track ”Meitä Ei Enää Ole” takes the depression to the next level though. Growling, heavy guitars, melancholic melodies and on top of it all, spoken word or rather poetry reciting in Finnish and in English. The whispered words towards the end of the album are really the final nails in the coffin. This must be the gloomiest song I’ve heard in a while.. The ultimate Finnish Depression Metal song? Forget about EDM, give me FDM anyday!

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