Review – Dendera “Pillars of Creation”
It’s been an eventful couple of months for Hampshire-based hard rock band, Dendera. They stepped up a stage from last year for a dark performance at Southampton Uni’s esteemed Takedown Festival in March; then they found themselves a man down as Tony Fuller, axe-man extraordinaire, left the band this month.
However, one good thing to come out of 2015 despite Tony’s departure, was a new album, “Pillars of Creation”, which the outgoing guitarist featured on before he left. Anyone who may have written Dendera off as an Iron Maiden sound-a-like band can firmly shove their opinion where the sun doesn’t shine, for this new album is 100% Dendera – unique and heavy as hell. It’s clichéd to say a band have matured, but with this album, Dendera really have stepped things up a gear or two. Always cohesive as musicians, this is a tight, polished diamond of a record that will hopefully silence the critics once and for all.
“Pillars of Creation” is only eight tracks long, however each song is loaded with killer riffs, sweet vocals and 100% pure musicianship. It’s clear that Dendera aren’t messing about with this record; they mean business and this could be the one that gets them the breakthrough that they deserve.
First track ‘Claim Our Throne’ could be a tongue in cheek homage to the place they’re hoping to take on the rock scene with this album. Starting off with an intro that could have come straight from a Machine Head album, ‘Claim Our Throne’ is a bang up to date metal track that also screams overtones of more traditional metal … it’s a bruising, belter of a track. I particularly like the backing vocals, which bring a new dimension to Ashley’s voice.
Second offering, ‘Bloodlust’ is brutal; a romp through some awesome guitar work with some dark vocals and superb drumming. It’s more recognisable as Dendera, in my humble opinion, but that makes it even more exciting to listen to because it shows how much they’ve evolved since ‘The Killing Floor’.
Ever since I heard third track ‘In High Tide’ live back at the Joiners last year, I loved it. It chugs along with some classic Ashley vocals thrown in, but the riff reminds me vaguely of 80’s Megadeth. Anyway, it’s one of my favourite tracks and well worth repeated listening.
‘Disillusioned’ starts with a charming vocal, “Broken and bound by the pain that consumes you, eaten alive by the lies and deceit …”; you just know that this is going to be an epic track and it doesn’t disappoint. Almost melodic in places (oh, how we hate that word, right?), this is a classic track with some awesome musical work.
Track number five, ‘The Daylight Ending’ is an aural delight that will make your ears bleed if it’s turned up high enough and there is more of the same with ‘The Chosen One’, which will be a firm hit with the stoner rockers out there who prefer a slightly slower pace. Still epic, nonetheless.
Penultimate track ‘Unholy’ is the undoubted winner for cranking it all the way up to 11 … it whips along at a mad pace and with lyrics such as “All shall perish for my wrath” and “Unholy, my anger, I’ll take a chance upon the other side”, it’s a vitriolic, spitting creation that will go down well at your next party, when you want to upset the neighbours …
Final track, ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ ends the album exactly as it started. Explosive, with crashing, manic riffs, thoughtful lyrics and some serious changes of pace, it’s an epic track that quite rightly finishes off one of the best local band records I’ve heard for some time.
With an album launch party planned for Thursday 18th June at the Garage in London, it’s clear that Dendera are fully prepared to come back stronger following Tony’s departure, and you better watch out if you’re not expecting them to melt your face off. If you miss this one, you truly will miss out. See you at the front!
Tickets can be bought here – http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/checkout/event.php?eventId=AJI1806X&camefrom=TW_TICKETMASTER_TMLISTINGS
Pre-order Pillars of Creation –
Track Listing: –
Claim Our Throne
In High Tide
The Daylight Ending
The Chosen One
Edge of Tomorrow