Bones turn to dust...
Genre: melodic black metal
Although this Danish black metal band have been around since the early 1990s - and thus one of the early bands in the second wave of black metal - "Death and the Beyond" is only their second full length album (they have, it should be noted, released a string of demos and EPs).
As black metal developed in a lot of different directions, Denial of God followed the more melodic path which manifests itself on this album in the form of a type of black metal that is rich in melody and borders on the epic.
In addition to more traditional black metal blasting-and-tremolo-picking, which is decidedly melodic, often with a lead guitar on top of the tremolo figure performing a memorable melodic lead (just check 'Behind the Coffin's Lid'), Denial of God draw a lot on both classic heavy metal and on doom metal, and this combination works quite well. At times, the melodies are almost folksy or uplifting, while melancholic at other times. Incorporating atmospheric and calm passages into their music, Denial of God also add a sense of dynamism to some of the tracks on the album.
While lacking the intensity of rawer black metal, "Death and the Beyond" teems with melody and dark atmosphere, reflecting very solid solid musicianship and a band who knows exactly what they are aiming for with their music and how to achieve it. The songs are fairly long and take their time. While a track like the heavy 'Funeral' is characterized by repetition of powerful figures, 'Bones Turn to Dust', 'Black Dethe', 'Spectral Lights', and 'Pendulum Swings' are epic, atmospheric and very compelling.
While those who prefer their black metal raw and dirty might not like this album, you should give Denial of God's "Death and the Beyond" a listen if you are into black metal which is melodic without being depressive and if you are not afraid of a slight gothic atmosphere.