Denied – Humanarchy (Sweea Records)

Wednesday, 20th July 2022
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Certain artists elevate interest as a writer due to previous discography already making that indelible impression. Such is the case for Swedish thrash/heavy metal band Denied – receiving great marks for their last two albums for the site (Freedom of Speech in 2018 and The Decade of Disruption in 2020). Appearing again for this latest record Humanarchy, you’ll gain eight more tracks to process, devour, and appreciate – continuing to expand upon these musicians’ tremendous abilities as performers and as songwriters, channeling decades of seasoning into a potent powder keg of material.

The versatility within the pipes of Soren Adamsen provides Denied a wide array of options where to take certain tracks in conveying melodic parts against darker or heavier terrain. Check his fierce range and soaring highs during “Death by a 1000 Cuts”, the bass/clean guitar intro already setting up a hypnotic hook before the low chugging riffs work in tandem to create a song Savatage or Nevermore mavens treasure. The guitar work from Andreas Carlsson and Chris Vowden offers tremendous energy from clean to doom, power, and thrash molds – the hard-charging riffs throughout “Flesh Made God” taking things into Machine Head, Heathen, and Arch Enemy territory, drummer Markus Kask propping up the aggressive nature with killer fills and double bass mechanics. When the group chooses to be a bit moodier that’s when their epic doom nuances shine, a la Dio or Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath against classic Candlemass, making the seven-minute plus “Maintenance of Insanity” another standout. The dynamic low to high transformative vocals plus thoughtful, emotive lead break that includes neoclassical shred moments worthy of aural eargasms. Seeking out Unleashed guitarist Fredrik Folkare for producing (vocal production handled by Søren Andersen in Denmark) ensures a heavy, balanced affair – standing up against all comers new or old.

Denied continues to provide a case that classic heavy metal, doom, power, and thrash can converge together to entice all parties to enjoy Humanarchy. A logical follow-up to The Decade of Disruption, the pandemic hasn’t dulled the attacking nature and veteran musicianship at play.

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