Detonation - Portals To Uphobia review


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Band: Detonation
Album: Portals To Uphobia
Release date: April 2005

01. Into Sulphur I Descend
02. Portals To Uphobia
03. Structural Deceit
04. Chaos Banished
05. End Of Sight, End Of Fears
06. Lost Euphoria part III
07. The Loss Of Motion Control
08. Solitude Reflected
09. Beyond The Margin
10. The Source To Delve

Dutch metallers Detonation's second album Portals To Uphobia see the band refine their blend of thrash and melodeath and bring it to maturity here. A solid effort from a band who find a way to carry the songs over the shortcomings that are contained on this album, Portals To Uphobia is a mixed affair.

The main strength Detonation have is their ability to flow seamlessly between thrashy verses to melodeath passages and choruses with ease, creating a hybrid that is both powerful and captivating. Some songs, such as "The Loss Of Motion Control", focus more on one style (itself a melodeath track) than the other, but it serves to give the album variety by shifting from one side to the other whilst at other times drifting between the two.

The album also utilizes acoustic intros that segue into tracks with great effect; "Solitude Reflected" builds into a hard-hitting song that will grab your attention until it lets you go. "Structural Deceit" is the highlight of this blending of styles, melding into a sound that is both natural and effective.

There are two major flaws with this album's production; firstly, there are so many parts scattered throughout this album that seem ready to leap out of the speakers to great effect, but hit a glass barrier in the production. You can see what the band intended to do, but you don't get to hear the payoff, leaving the parts a damp squib instead of a bang. The second issue is that the bass is turned down way too far, only a few notches above And Justice For All levels; the drum and guitars handle the low end, but it is a missing ingredient. The solo section of the title track creates a space where you can just about hear the bass; Schimmelpenninck is throwing out some good licks, but unless you strain your ears, you wouldn't be able to hear it. The irony is that when he is playing his least interesting parts, he is at his most audible.

Romeijn's vocals are passable for the most part, but do tend to wear after a while; he is a capable vocalist but he finds himself a comfort zone that he doesn't stray far from. The guitar work of Ferguson and Romeijn however pick up the slack and give the album its selling point; the instrumental "Lost Euphoria Part III" is the perfect showcase for their skills.

Portals To Uphobia is a strong attempt from Detonation, but one that does have its flaws. The band would evolve and kick off from here, but that's not to say this album doesn't warrant listening; just go into it knowing it's a work in progress.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 6

Written by omne metallum | 03.05.2020


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This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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