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Album Reviews

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Deny the Fallen

Echo Chamber

Dunamis Records

The hype that has surrounded the new release from Heavy Metal Titans, Deny the Fallen has been a bit nerve-wracking, to say the least. The band’s sophomore effort, Echo Chamber, is the first of a trilogy of albums set to be released in the months to come. This is an incredibly good thing as there were initially only five original songs slated for this release making it an E.P. and not a full-length album. The addition of two cover songs and a short instrumental allowed for it to become an official L.P. Two of the songs had previously been released as singles and thus only three new songs are really offered here. This of course makes for a slightly disappointing acquisition, at least in my book, as I was hoping for more. Alas, I suppose the name of the game is to keep ‘em wanting more.  

Now, as for what we do find here in Echo Chamber, It is a fantastic collection of some of the best modern heavy metal writing that has been put out in recent years. In addition, the sound quality is, to put it bluntly, simply extraordinary.  So, the core of what we are talking about here is ultra-meaty guitar riffs, soaring vocals, and lyrical content that is truly gut-wrenching. The production value provided by Mr. Jonathan Johnson is eloquently superb and well-balanced to offer at once, a polished work of craftsmanship, yet still a bit raw and not overdone by any means. Surely it rivals anything currently being released into today’s mainstream market.  

Both vocalists Rey Parra and Johnson are veterans of the scene having cut their teeth in their younger years as members of the legendary Sacred Warrior. As a result, the perfection that is Echo Chamber warrants no argument.  Beginning with the title track, this album kicks into high gear right away. After just mere seconds of a teaser intro, the song plunges forward with a mega-crunchy riff, that is as tasty as they come. Rey Parra’s voice still holds up nicely after all these years and presents a melodic yet ultra-powerful presence that is sure to instantly get the chill factor going for any listener who deems themself a Metal aficionado. One potently executed tidbit is the drum break, which takes place at about the 3:35 mark and is thanks to Jon’s son and superb skin slammer Josh Johnson. This standout segment segues into what can only be described as one totally ripping solo provided once again courtesy of Mr. Jon Johnson. “Live Again” continues with a little bit nastier vibe due in part to the raspy vocals of Johnson whose tradeoffs with Parra accent the song with insane finesse. In what is probably my favorite cut off the album, “Eye of the Hurricane” contains exactly the right balance of groove Metal heaviness, and a monstrous sonic attitude ala the stylings of industry legends Sevendust. In a somewhat ominous preceding, “Point of No Return” tackles the senses in a cunning move of emotional zeal that will leave one's gut reeling for every subsequent spin. The lyrical champion in my book comes via the profound offering known as “If It Costs Me My Life.” The words state “All glory, honor, and praise, unto the lamb who was slain. We’ll send this song to the sky; I’ll praise if it costs me my life.” A powerful anthem that all Christians can embrace. 

Yes, Echo Chamber is definitely in the running for album of the year in my humble opinion, and I'm sure many others as well. That being said, they’ve got some pretty tough competition out there,  as there is already a slew of great releases to contend with, and the year is not yet over. Regardless of that outcome, you can rest assured that Deny the Fallen have once again outdone themselves setting the bar high by delivering a collection of tunes that are sure to satiate the appetite of any Metal enthusiast.  Echo Chamber is nothing short of a true masterpiece. 


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