Detonation - Emission Phase

  | CD

Detonation-Emission Phase Ten years on from having set out to grace our ears with their brand of melodic death metal Detonation sets loose the concept driven Emission Phase upon the world. Concept? I hear people ask. Yes, a concept album by a melodic death metal band. But not to spoil the fun of the upcoming song-by-song of this album I will not delve into the concept any further.

So, what does this third full-length of one of The Netherlands' most criminally underrated bands (somehow the only country where they have anything resembling a certain status is England) bring? First eye-catching difference with An Epic Defiance and Portals To Uphobia is the lack of Niklas Sundin's artwork. For me personally a minor setback since Niklas' work is esteemed by many and is a personal favourite of mine. But admittedly, Eliran Kantor does capture the gloom and doom of the concept well. The difference in the artist employed is the first sign of changes to Detonation's sound and music.

Emission Phase is also their first album which is not produced by Hans Pieters. Jochem Jacobs (Textures) and Bouke Visser have done a great job in this area, a heavy yet clear organic sound accentuating the finer details in the music. Jochem Jacobs and Bouke Visser are rapidly becoming household names in the echelons of Dutch producers having also produced Cypher's Darkday Carnival debut and the upcoming debut of Magnacult.

So, what can the listener expect? People familiar with Detonation know that they have never made a secret of their Dark Tranquillity influences. Those are still there but not as omnipresent as before. Detonation is increasingly growing into a sound of their own. The guitar duo, of Koen Romeijn and Mike Ferguson, has always been a great asset to their sound but now they truly have come of age and have really outdone themselves. More varied and inventive riffs, solos and duelling guitars than before. Putting accents in just the right places, thereby imprinting songs into your head for days to come. But with only great guitar work you are still left with a half-baked product. The rhythm section consisting of Thomas Kalksma (drums) and Otto Schimmelpennick (bass) have also shifted up a gear, coming across as more varied and inventive than before, thus providing a solid foundation on which to build.

Where I could somehow just about understand people saying that An Epic Defiance and Portals To Uphobia were a bit monotonous for their liking, such a thing cannot be said about Emission Phase. Twelve varied tracks full of breaks, grooves, intelligible grunts, some clean vocals, brilliant guitar work, driving bass and drums, and all this more technical than ever before. The build up of Emission Phase is also exactly spot on. It flows so organically with Fallout being the perfect ending of the album music wise.
Had Detonation been a Swedish band they would long ago have been heralded as the next big thing in the melodic death metal realm.

Hopefully Emission Phase will finally bring along the recognition Detonation deserves. Forget about the latest Dark Tranquillity, pick up Emission Phase instead. Or, still better yet, pick up both and see who will win that battle hands down. Yes, that's how good Emission Phase is.

What a year for Dutch metal this is shaping up to be, already having seen the releases of Within Temptation and After Forever for the melodic symphonic fans and Non-Divine for the melodic metal fans and after Cypher's promising debut now the new Detonation and in May the debuts by Magnacult and Obsidian for the fans of extreme metal. So what better day than to put the review of what should be one of The Netherland's extreme metal prides on-line than on April 30 (for the uninitiated, April 30 is Queen's Day here in The Netherlands).

In conclusion: Emission Phase is Detonation's most mature, proficient and varied album to date leaving me behind in awe. Weird things will have happened in the eight months to come if Emission Phase hasn't made it into my end of year list for 2007.

[ Discography ] 
Label: Osmose | Item Code: Various | Country: Holland | Year: 2007 | Genre: Death Metal

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