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When it comes to speedy, scathing, straightforward black metal, Denouncement Pyre hit all the sweet spots. They strive for a piece of Lucifer on World Cremation (Hells Headbangers, 2010), but they don't need Latin song titles or occult ephemera. Their weapons are far more simple and direct. Guitars are chainsaws hurled into Sunday Mass; vocals drip with Bible-shredding bile.

World Cremation is as cold and black as the abyss on its cover. The ragged thrash that Australian bands excel at occasionally rears its head, but for the most part it's all buzzing six-strings and nonexistent bass - more "thrashened" black metal than blackened thrash. Denouncement Pyre succeed as preservationists of both feral Australian metal and black metal as a whole.

"A Banner Drenched in Blood"

Of course, all the blasphemy and blastbeats in the post-Transilvanian Hunger world cannot make compelling black metal on their own. If you don’t reinvent the wheel, you had better at least grease it with good songs. Denouncement Pyre know this. Strip away World Cremation's avalanche of treble, and you've got good old-fashioned, kick-ass heavy metal. The band embraces black metal's framework but not its monochromatic tendencies. Tracks are distinctive, rife with variation, dynamics, and hooks. Crushing power chords are as important as blistering, tremolo-picked lines. Riffs bang heads, raise fists and also beers; solos are of the chaotic King/Hanneman variety. Drums clatter away like distant thunder, setting the pace for a race with the devil.

Denouncement Pyre paint with a broad palette, but like the previously discussed Maax and Darkthrone, World Cremation is not about originality or innovation. It's about a high level of craftsmanship within an established form.

"Coven of Diabolical Prophecies"

— Josh Haun

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Amazon (CD)
Amazon (MP3)
MetalHit (MP3, $4.99)
Hells Headbangers (CD)

Hells Headbangers (Gatefold LP)

Hells Headbangers (LP + shirt combo)