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Denial Fiend

They Rise

Review by Mike Korn

Ever read horror comics when you were kid? Hell, do you still read them? I'm talking about stuff like those gruesome EC Comics full of rotting zombies and crazed cannibals. Or how about the shocking "adult" horror of the old Eerie or Creepy magazines, which usually functioned as a gateway to other "adult" publications?

If you recall those mags with a grin on your face, chances are Denial Fiend is the metal band for you. One look at the grisly Tim Vigil cover art reveals where these guys’ blackened hearts lie. The band has come up with the aural equivalent to Tales From the Crypt or Creepy...something bloody, sleazy and all-around fun!

Featuring veteran members of such bands as Massacre, Death and Nasty Savage, Denial Fiend specializes in catchy, easy to get into death metal with a heavy dose of influence from the Misfits. Speaking of which, members of the Misfits Fiend Club who aren't afraid of deep vocals and lots of distortion should really enjoy Denial Fiend. Those seeking ultra-brutal technical death metal  should pass over They Rise but if you're looking for morbid tunes that stick in your brain like a knife between a coed's ribs, then break out your shovel and get ready to open this foul grave!

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
They Rise
The festivities get under way with what sounds like a bunch of grumpy mush-mouthed zombies on the warpath. This sets the graveyard tone of the disc to a bloody T, and then powerful riffs blast in with the gruff vocals of Kam Lee yelling "They rise!". Lee is a terrific frontman. He has the gruff and guttural sound death metal fans demand, yet his words are clear and distinct. This cut is a powerful introduction to Denial Fiend's catchy style and it lurches around almost cheerfully.
Return of the Cursed Blijnd Dead
This fast and thrashing number is inspired by the "Blind Dead" films of Amando de Ossorio. Take it from me, no fan of true horror can miss those flicks. The lengthy song title is barked out with authority and imprints itself on your mind...catchy is not the word.
This is another fast number and the Misfits influence is really strong here. The band uses a lot of shouted "go! go!" yells in their music like the legendary horror punks and here they use maybe a little too much. If you substitute Danzig or Michale Graves’ vocals for Lee's, this could easily be a Misfits cut.
Cover Me In Blood

This simple track oozes the insidious catchiness that typified the early death metal scene before "technicality" became more important than feeling. It's a medium paced stomper that opens up with some really cool doomy type riffing towards the end.

Ripped Inside Out
This one has a nervous, choppy feeling to it. A perfect melding of death metal heaviness and punk simplicity, this features some of the best lead guitar work and meatiest rhythms of the whole disc.
Here's a blast from way in the past...a recording of a song from the band Mantas, which later became Death. This probably dates back to no later than 1984. It's primitive, mostly down-tempo death metal with a variety of sick vocal styles. There's one riff that very obviously turned up in Kam Lee's later band Massacre, specifically the song "From Beyond.” Lyrics are inspired by "Evil Dead": "Through the words of the Necronomicon we shall return/And the Earth shall forever burn!"
Son of the Creature From the Black Lagoon
The Creature was always one of my favorite monsters. The finny freak always had an eye for the ladies, too. Imagine if he wound up going all the way with one of his female captives, who then had a half-human hybrid that committed his own reign of terror. That's the theme of this tune, which is my favorite on the whole disc. This track covers a whole lot of territory, from thrash to doom to incredibly catchy groove to even a bit of swamp boogie. It's got more hooks than the Creature has scales!
Frankenstein Conquers the World
A fast and crushing blast of punk-laced death metal, this is sure to start a pit live. Dedicated to the crazy Japanese monster movie that had Frankenstein growing 100 feet tall, it sports great lines like "I wanna be a Frankenstein Monster/Just like Boris Karloff said/I wanna be a Frankenstein Monster/Hate the living, love the dead!" This is the closest you'll ever hear to a death metal Misfits.
Let the Blood Flow
The whirring whine of a chainsaw signals bad things are ahead. Maybe the simplest and most purely catchy tune on show, this is centered on a choppy mid-paced feel. As before, the repetition of the song title becomes a kind of mantra that implants itself in your brain, in a similar fashion to Six Feet Under.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
You should check out the 70's fright flick of the same name that inspired this one...a macabre and much different take on the killer zombie flick. The music itself is not particularly special here and again there's a bit too much of the "go!go!" chants.
Day of the Undead

This moody slow paced ode is mostly in death/doom metal style. There's a few burst of speed and again some more "go!go!" stuff, but for the most part it drips along like slime from the walls of an ancient tomb. One thing I could do without is the incredibly done-to-death "Night of the Living Dead" style narration that’s been featured a million times know, the "recent dead have return to life and are attacking the living" shtick. The track is not bad at all, but I would have probably ended the album with "Son of the Creature From the Black Lagoon.”

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