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01. Into Sulphur I Descend
02. Portals To Uphobia MP3
03. STructural Deceit
04. Chaos Banished
05. End Of Sight, End Of Tears
06. Lost Euphoria Part III (Instrumental)
07. The Loss Of Motion Control
08. Solitude Reflected
09. Beyond The Margin
10. The Source To Delve
As the European thrash metal scene and its entire history of bands have been now completely raped of the style they pioneered from the early-to-mid nineties, it has sadly become easier to ignore quality acts emerging from the original hotbed, while fashionable and overly-enthusiastic American rip-offs like Bleeding Through, Atreyu, It Dies Today, and Avenged Sevenfold steal the spotlight due to their engineered instant marketability. Netherlands-based Detonation are one such quality act that need to be heard by fans of the skillful and tastefully-layered European style that mistakenly gave birth to the new American wave of embarrassing, overly-tattooed, and musically-unsatisfying copycats.
A late 2005 release on France's Osmose Recordings (Dark Tranquillity, Angelcorpse, Enslaved, Immortal, Ritual Carnage) finally reaching this continent via recent distribution deal with The End Records, Detonation's Portals To Uphobia, their sophomore album, is a stunning masterpiece amazingly reminiscent of the undaunted European era that exists no more. Proof of this include recent albums from In Flames and Soilwork; attempts at stylistic progression and American appeal which seem to have only resulted in label issues (In Flames leaving Nuclear Blast for Ferret), and member loss (Soilwork's main songwriter Peter Wichers recently departing their ranks to run his own studio).
These bands were once Sweden's most productive and promising acts, penning what seemed like album after album of confident, melodic metal in which guitars would flawlessly dance back and forth, and philosophical lyrics would encourage listener reflection. The fact that the newer American bands create such substandard products in both musical and lyrical respects, and the hilarious rate at which the stuff is consumed by its fans of the same country, is merely a reflection of the general lack of intellect and open-mindedness in America when compared to that of Europe and its people. Deny this and you fit into the stereotype perfectly.
As very few of the originals still create epic compositions that are worthy of praise (exceptions being pioneers Dark Tranquillity and Dismember), the floodgates have opened for newer acts like Detonation to carry the torch. By the looks of the high-profile sites on which Portals To Uphobia have been positively reviewed since its release, The End Records have done a good job of finally getting the album into the hands of visible metal press outlets. However, as has been observed steadily in the past regarding musical hotbeds, it seems as though Europe is out and America in as the scene which young, metal-hungry fans go to searching for their metal. Point being, Detonation's potential for growth may be limited by virtue of a lacking trend current carrying them along.
While their 2003 debut album, An Epic Defiance, Detonation delivered an eager slab of melodic thrash metal with some death metal influences at certain points, but with Portals To Uphobia, a definite style has been achieved, due in no small part to the band's song structures. Intros, pre-choruses, bridges, and a seemingly endless flow of solos peppered throughout display a band with creativity abounding to the highest degree. Romeijn and Ferguson's rapid-fire picking are interrupted by slower, more breathable open-chord passages, forming an interconnected and highly-dynamic reincarnation of mid-nineties Swedish metal at its finest. To give the music the respect it deserves in Detonation's case, my refrain from dissecting each song will be compensated for by offering a resemblance to albums which it is on par with: Dark Tranquillity's The Gallery, The Mind's I, At The Gates' Slaughter Of The Soul, and In Flames' Whoracle. This alone should set off the reader to locate a copy of Portals To Uphobia, proof that European thrash metal classics are still being produced long after the hotbed has regrettably shifted continents.
Bottom Line: If you like your melodic guitars uninterrupted, then Detonation's Portals To Uphobia belongs in your collection. If you like multi-part riffs layered over blast beats, thrash beats, and a wide-array of fills, then Detonation's Portals To Uphobia will satisfy your musical needs left unfulfilled by In Flames and Soilwork's recent albums. For technical death metal, turn to Neuraxis and Psycroptic. For the sorely-missed mid-nineties Swedish metal that we all still love, turn to Detonation's Portals To Uphobia.
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