Denial Fiend - Horror Holocaust
Ibex Moon Records
8 songs (29:46)
Release year: 2011
Denial Fiend,
Reviewed by Charles
Denial Fiend’s Horror Holocaust has a collective CV worthy of note, featuring such high-profile death metal or crossover musicians as Terry Butler (Death, Obituary, Six Feet Under), Sam Williams (Massacre) and Rob Rampy (D.R.I.), as well as one track (Hell Asylum) which features lead contributions by Ralph Santolla, James Murphy, and Steve Swanson. It used to be fronted by Kam Lee, but he’s left and been replaced by Blaine Cook, formerly of crossover legends The Accused. It’s the last-mentioned in particular which means that we have to apply the dread euphemism “acquired taste” to the album. For those who have not heard his work, Cook’s vocals are a novelty, characterised by cartoonish exaggerated yelping, squealing, and snorting. As an extreme metal fan, the reader will no doubt be familiar with the moment when a non-metal friend walks in to a room in which you are playing Anal Vomit or somesuch, and imitates the vocals, inevitably resulting in uproarious hilarity. Cook sounds a bit like that person.

So make of that what you will, but instrumentally Horror Holocaust is pretty good. It has bucketsful of energy; a fast, often catchy album which balances a gory death metal sound with the vigorous riffing of crossover thrash. Tracks like Stuck Pig/Bleeding Out or Flesh Coffin switch capably between pit-igniting riffs that would fit neatly on a Municipal Waste record, and segues into gravelly death metal grooves. This formula generally sums the album up, excepting weird interlude Dunsmoor, but it is effective and produces some high entertainment. In particular listen to the powerful thrash of opener Corrupted Flesh, the warped rock and roll solo licks of the title track, or the excess-laden jamming of the aforementioned Hell Asylum.

Throughout, the vocals give this an unhinged character, which some will like and others won’t. It does, at the very least, give it a sense of diversity. Cook often sounds like little more than a squawking loon, but at other points sounds a lot like Jerry A of Poison Idea, giving the band’s music a bit more of a hardcore punk feel. They will, of course, be the deal breaker here for many listeners, but if you can’t get round them then you will probably miss out on some quality crossover riffing. If you actually like Cook’s “singing”, then you probably want to hear this.

Killing Songs :
Corrupted Flesh, Hell Asylum, Horror Holocaust
Charles quoted 72 / 100
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