CD Review

Detonation – “Portals of Uphobia”

By Marcus Pan

DetonationDetonation hail from the Netherlands; a thrash metal band with their latest release, Portals to Uphobia, out on The End records. It’s very technical, very well made and tight as all get out. The power the four members wield with their instruments is high grade and since cutting their teeth on their An Epic Defiance debut in 2002 they’ve showed a huge amount of growth in their sound and skills.

From the beginning, Into Sulphur I Descend is strong and head bangingly hard. Vocals have the black metal growl of most bands of the genre, but it links very well with surrounding instruments rather than going off on its own to shout things. Detonation’s members, Thomas Kalksma (drums), Koen Romeijn (guitars & vocals), Mike Ferguson (guitars) and Otto Schimmelpenninck (bass) link together in such a way, attitudes and egos in check, to provide an overall sound that complements everyone’s work as a cohesive whole. There’s a lot to be said about that sort of thing in this genre, while I see other “bands” being more a bunch of “musicians playing at once” rather than the wholeness that Detonation pulls off.

Album namesake Portals of Uphobia is just as strong and the group can play just as fast as any other thrashers, but without falling out of step and losing one another in the flow. Structural Deceit doesn’t stand out as one of the best thrash tracks I’ve heard, but does include some blisteringly good guitar solos, the strong and slower solos competing with the backing speed metal creating a very interesting sound design. The song’s post 3 minute breakdown is some of the best riffwork I’ve heard giving Structural Deceit a decidedly epic flavor.

I’m not sure whether it’s Koen or Mike doing guitar solos on Portals to Uphobia, but solo work on End of Sight, End of Fears is as good as any you’re likely to hear. Lost Euphoria Part III is thrilling with its Spanish influenced guitar opening and the epic style of the song moves into an awesome guitar on guitar riff vs solo work as the track plays out an instrumental flipping back and forth between the Spanish influence and modern metal style. Easily one of the best heavy metal instrumentals ever pressed.

Detonation were a surprising find for me and might score as the only The End release that will stay on my own shelf. Great work and great sound, tight and powerful and it will make you search your house and drag out all the Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, Metallica and Slayer tapes that made you the cynical bastard you are today just to keep the flow going.

Contact Information:
The End Records
Post: 331 Rio Grande #58, SLC, UT, 84101, USA
Phone: (801) 355-0963

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