Sunday, December 1, 2013

Stark Denial - War EP - Album Review

Year: 2013

Stark Denial’s debut is a record that has been much awaited by hordes of Black Metal fans in India. This band who has been active in the scene since 2006, is one of the integral forces behind the Black Metal Krieg fest. After three years, and two editions of the gig, the third edition of Black Metal Krieg will also serve as the album release show for Stark Denial. Now, the question on everybody’s mind is, is the debut worth the long wait? Or does the expectations created by the wait itself, bog down the quality of this release?

The debut EP is titled ‘War’ and as the name suggests, it is an EP whose theme is that of bloody battles. The four tracks on this record, deals with the various stages associated with the phenomenon of war. This concept is portrayed musically in the form of some abrasive and dark black metal tunes.

The EP kick starts with an intro track that sounds like a massive legion marching into battle, destroying and crushing anything and everything that stands in its path. Following the intro is the track, ‘Gates of War’, which is a slow to mid paced track filled with a chilling atmosphere. The frantic tremolo parts in this track create a tense atmosphere which would very much be the case before the start of the battle. Following this the listener is greeted by ‘Wrath’, which starts out on a slow atmospheric note, but eventually grows into a eclectic tune with fast and treble high guitar riffs complemented by a steady double bass action from the drummer.

The final part of the war saga is ‘Conquering Thy Enemies Throne’, which is the culmination of the act. The song contains some very well written riffs that sound very dark while carrying just the right amount of melody in it. At the end of the record is Stark Denial’s tribute to the Swedish black metal giants, Marduk, where they cover famous track ‘Panzer Division Marduk’. It is a near perfect cover of the original and serves as a really good tribute for Marduk.

Performance wise, there is nothing lacking in this EP. The high treble guitar work and the low bass, form a complete package with neat deliveries on both ends of the spectrum. The drumming is as tight as it can get, as the drummer keeps dishing out a steady dosage of blast beats and fills. The vocals by Kunal Gonsalves sound bone chillingly sick.  He brings out the theme in each track with the help of the dark atmosphere that enshrouds the whole EP.

The production is that of a typical black metal style. The mixing deserves praise for keeping all elements in the music at an audible level while also giving the required amount of importance to the chilling atmosphere. Overall, ‘War’ is an EP that is sure to fill the appetite of all black metal heathens who have been waiting for this record to see the light of day.

Rating: 88%

Stark Denial is organizing and playing at Black Metal Krieg 3 on December 8th, 2013.


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