Someone once said that we spend so much time listening to the things we do know, what about all the music that we never hear. Whilst that may have been drunk ramblings passed around in conversation over a beer in the pub, there is truth to it. The last few years have seen Dethonator release a double bill of albums in two parts named ‘Race Against the Sun (Part One)’ and ‘…Part Two’, the first of which will be digested now.
With ‘Race Against…’, Dethonator have delivered an album of contemporary sounding heavy metal with its modern riffing and emphasising backing vocals which are very currently en vogue. Furthermore, the musicianship is very good here, particularly the guitars Henry Brooks who shows just how good he is at crafting beautiful guitar passages. Tracks such as ‘When Lucifer Fell’, ‘Ulflag’ and ‘The Hangman’ all contain elements of Iron Maiden and Metallica but without ever losing focus on their sound which is heavily rooted in the current trad metal sound and wouldn’t be out of place with Riot City, Saber and Enforcer.
However, there is a little bit of work to be done here as Dethonator find their own identity, but this doesn’t make ‘Race Against…’ any less appealing and what the listener gets is some decent heavy metal that is enjoyable and worth a listen.
What would you prefer your band do? Release two albums on the same day? Albums released in consecutive or every couple of years? or decade long waits? The answer is in truth, whatever suits best, if the content is good, the content is good. In 2019, Dethonator released their ‘Race Against the Sun (Part 1)’ album and approx. 12 months later, the band released ‘Race Against the Sun, Part 2’.
If any band could sound almost completely different in just 12 months, then it is Dethonator. ‘…Part 2’ is the sound of a band which has been re-energised. Does the listener need to listen to and digest ‘…Part 1’, the answer, no, not at all. Each album can be taken alone as a separate entity and ‘…Part 2’ contains a much warmer sound delivered through a better production as songs such as ‘Transylvanian Ways’, ‘Wreck in Whitby’ and ‘Blood of My Blood’ hum with the Gothic vampiric power of the Carpathian passes mixed with Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and would therefore appeal to any fan of Gothic literature as well as fans of Iron Maiden and Metallica.
With ‘…Part 2’, Dethonator have surpassed ‘…Part One’ with an album which could easily be the band’s best album. This is the sound of a band who have done away with the issues of ‘…(Part 1)’ by delivering an album which is very good and if you have to get one Dethonator album, make sure that it’s ‘…Part 2’ - Metal Digest
Release Date: November 27, 2020
FFO: Iron Maiden, Metallica, Grand Magus
Location: London, England
Originally forged in the East Midlands of England and now established in London, Dethonator have developed their own style and sound over almost two decades.
If Judas Priest define Heavy Metal, then Dethonator are Damascus Steel; metal forged true with layers of influence drawn from the varied styles explored by their peers and forebears.
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