"They Rise"

(Ibex Moon)

01. They Rise
02. Return To the Tombs of the Cursed Blind Dead
03. Flesheater
04. Cover Me In Blood
05. Ripped Inside Out
06. L.O.D.
07. Son of the Creature From the Black Lagoon
08. Frankenstein Conquers the World
09. Let the Blood Flow
10. Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
11. The Day of the Undead

RATING: 7.5/10

Former MASSACRE and DEATH member Kam Lee hasn't let his time away from the limelight dampen his enthusiasm for all things gory, or rust his bloodsoaked vocal cords. He has, however, let some campy horror influences seep out since we saw him last — how else to explain the MISFITS chants and Saturday matinee monster movie goofiness that infuse the fun, funny and altogether death-rockin' "They Rise"?

A sort of Florida supergroup (members of NASTY SAVAGE and SIX FEET UNDER show up as well), DENIAL FIEND is dead set on keeping things simple, fun, and catchy as hell. There's a bit of the death/punk ENTOMBED vibe here, without their signature guitar sound, or maybe a more punk-tinged DECEASED kind of take on thrash. And Lee, of course, is dripping foam and bile over the whole thing, his larynx still capable of spewing bloody manifestoes in a harsh, vomitous but clear style that actually sounds more savage than his MASSACRE work!

Even at their simplest, as on "Return To the Tombs of the Cursed Blind Dead" and the oughta-be-a-hit-single "Ripped Inside Out", DENIAL FIEND are infused with an infectious energy and a snarling catchiness. Like a deadlier and less inept VENOM, or a more punk-rock OBITUARY, these guys lock into a few workingman's riffs per song and throttle the life out of them, playing like their lives depended on it and dishing out camp and intensity in equal doses. Whether it's the percolating burner "Flesheater" or the proto-hardcore stomp (ratcheting into an awesomely ill-fitting '80s death/thrash chorus! yes!) of "L.O.D"., DENIAL FIEND play with blunt force conviction and deliver the metal.

Fans of SIX FEET UNDER, NECROPHAGIA, and ENTOMBED should check out DENIAL FIEND — their b-movie raveups are just a damn good time, mixing death-and-roll with plenty of meaty old-school Floridian death metal and hooks galore to impale the most demanding listener. Nothing too demanding, nothing revolutionary, just horror-punk death metal from beyond the grave that dares you not to headbang maniacally.


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