There are albums that are dark and just are completely abyssal, and then there are the albums that are dark and have a tangible darkness to them and yet somehow there is a tinge of hope. With Denigrate and their new release Hollowpoint, the latter is true. After some years of being inactive and yet still working on material, Finnish metal group Denigrate is back. As mentioned Hollowpoint is their new release, and within this release you get nine tracks that are darker and even more melancholy than anything they have done up to this point.
After striking the first chord of the opener Engraved and Hellbound you quickly become surrounded in melancholic riffs and dark imagery. Without using massive amounts of synths, Denigrate just uses what they have at their disposal to create these dark soundscapes and bleak imagery. As you find yourself wandering around the darker recesses of your mind you end up finding slivers of hope here and there which Denigrate plants within you just so you aren’t completely shrouded in grief and misery.
These Finnish metallers are a smooth combination of good hard rocking and headbanging metal, and softer atmospheric pieces that really paint these pictures of isolation. Throughout the album, Denigrate seems to harbor a lot of aggression within all of the solemnity and melancholic atmospheres. Denigrate is a dangerous double edged sword because once the sadness and blackened clouds subside, the anger and aggression shines through and hits you like a freight train.
No matter what feeling that you are getting when listening, it is a fact that it all hits you like a ton of bricks. You can’t run away from all of the feeling that was put into this effort as it is certainly palpable. The lyrics, the melodies, the riffs, the atmosphere and everything else invades and infects your body as Hollowpoint is a moving album.
It is important to create lasting memories when making music, and after listening to this release it certainly is memorable. Each song clings to you in one way or another and doesn’t let go, and the entire album hangs over you like a stormy cloud on a sunny day whether you realize it or not.
Denigrate is smooth and their musicianship is entirely crafty and catchy. Each riff is heavy and hard hitting whether you are getting the more aggressive side of the music or the more atmospheric dismal side, and accompanied with those riffs are solos that for the most part back you into an even darker corner of your mind.
Soaring over top the expert musicianship are the vocals that tend to transition between cleans and vocals that lean more toward the death metal side of the vocal spectrum. With the cleans you get sadness and a haunting darkness and with the harsher growls you of course get all of the anger and aggression.
Denigrate does a great job of mixing plenty of emotions into their music and not have one strong arm the other. From cover to cover you get solid and very well executed metal. The musicianship is on point, the vocals are captivating and the overall sound as solemn as it is it is catchy. With plenty of headbanging involved, there is also plenty of thinking and digging yourself a hole to crawl in. Hollowpoint is a good listen, one that takes you on a roller coaster of emotions of sorts and keeps you rocking and singing along the entire time.
Stream the opening track Engraved and Hellbound!