Finnish technical/progressive death metallers Denominate return with their full-length, Those Who Beheld the End, a more mature and higher quality sounding output than their previous release, 2014’s Realms of Confusion EP.
Each of the songs embodies characteristics that appeal to fans of various metal subgenres. For example, the lead track “In A Chasm Of Stone” sounds like it came from Florida circa 1993, rather than Finland. The title track takes on more of a progressive feel, and does a superb job of displaying the twin guitar talents of Kimmo Raappana and Eetu Pylkkänen.
“Penumbra” starts out with a catchy bass intro courtesy of Tuomas Pesälä that segues into some rapid drum fills and heavy blast beats from Joni Määttä. Denominate‘s technical abilities continue on “The Demented Scholar of Abatos,” in my opinion, the fullest and heaviest sounding of the album’s seven tracks. Fans of melodic death metal will find “Apeirophobia” much to their liking. Ville Männikkö‘s vocals are a key feature of the album. While he doesn’t sing in the same style on every song, he sounds natural performing growls on both ends of the scale.
Although “Penumbra” was the track that garnered multiple listens from me, the epic “Torments of Silence” is the crown jewel of the album. With a runtime of just over 11 minutes, “Torments” takes the listener on a journey, starting with acoustic guitars, then meandering through a valley of deathcore. After scaling up a mountain of savage technical riffs and thundering percussion, the return trip features a descent into a tidy melodic/progressive section before concluding with bits and pieces of old school death and groove metal.
The in-your-face approach as well as the varied metal influences on the album is what I like best. Some metal fans may have a problem with there being not enough of one style, but I wouldn’t let that detract from what Denominate have accomplished. They have improved since their debut, and they will only continue to get better.