Dendera – Pillars Of Creation

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/Label: Metalbox Recordings
Distributor/Label URL: http://metalboxrecordings.com/
Released: 2015
Buy Album: http://metalboxrecordings.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=59
Band Website: http://www.dendera.co.uk/

DenderaBand Line-Up:

Stephen Main – Guitars
Ashley Edison – Vocals
Bradley Edison – Bass
Andy Finch – Drums
David Stanton – Guitars

Tracklisting:

1. Claim Out Throne
2. Bloodlust
3. In High Tide
4. Disillusioned
5. The Daylight Ending
6. The Chosen One
7. Unholy
8. Edge Of Tomorrow

Review:

Stubbornly refusing to growl, trigger a breakdown or write any songs shorter than four minutes, the spirit of traditional heavy metal is alive in Portsmouth five-piece Dendera. Their first album ‘The Killing Floor’ was eight bruising tracks of driving rhythms, squealing solos and this follow up doesn’t deviate from the formula even slightly. But like all good sequels, it’s bigger and better in every respect. Their playing has improved, the songs are superior and ‘Pillars Of Creation’ is hard to fault.

The opening duo of ‘Claim Our Throne’ and ‘Bloodlust’ state their intentions quite clearly. The former is a soaring, anthemic introduction while the latter comes across like a power metal Lamb Of God. It’s a riff-heavy slab of macho posturing and if you’re not convinced by the time it fades out, then you’ll never get into Odin’s Hall. ‘The Daylight Ending’ is another highlight, a melodic powerhouse with a chorus that’ll have fans of Accept frothing at the mouth, while ‘Disillusioned’ is a mosh-inducing slam dancer. They’re also a lot easier to get into than most underground metal and it’s refreshing to hear a band that could play the big venues just as well as small clubs with no stage barriers.

The best thing about Dendera though is that all five guys have clearly put the hours in, practicing until their fingers bled and callouses covered their hands. The guitar work of Stephen Main and Tony Fuller will make you want to pick up a tennis racket and dance around your living room with it. Fuller has sadly left the band since this album was recorded, but he leaves his mark with a few well executed solos and leaves a big space for new boy David Stanton to fill.

Perhaps the most note-worthy weapon they have in their arsenal is the voice box of singer Ashley Edison. Taking inspiration from the likes of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, he has a formidable set of pipes and if this heavy metal lark fails to take off, could always make a living shattering icebergs and clearing a path through the north Atlantic for fishing trawlers.

In fact, the only real weak point is ‘Unholy,’ the one song that doesn’t match up to its fellows but this is easily forgiven when the album closes with ‘Edge Of Tomorrow.’ This one is a huge song, nearly nine minutes long and sees all five guys playing to within an inch of their lives. Epic in scope and with some truly thunderous musicianship, it brings ‘Pillars Of Creation’ to a finale as earth-shaking as the meteorites on the cover art. But even in their most grandiose moments, Dendera are just five musicians playing kick ass old school metal. If you’ve enjoyed the rebirth of Accept or still shed tears over the loss of Ronnie James Dio you need to pick this one up pronto!

Review by Tim Bolitho-Jones
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