DENIED – …When The Slate Becomes Diamonds

DENIED - ...When The Slate Becomes Diamonds
  • 7/10
    DENIED - ...When The Slate Becomes Diamonds - 7/10


Apollon Records
Release date: July 19, 2008

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The craving for the 80’s will never tire among many Metal fans and Metal bands. Denied from Messina, Italy, has been displaying their devotion and care for the 80’s age of Melodic Heavy Metal with various similarities to several giants in that department like Iron Maiden, Helloween, Gamma Ray and others from, mostly, the European Metal scene. Through Denied’s music you will see how intensified an influence can be made fruitful and welcoming even if the job is not entirely done and could be even better.

The story began in 2004 where the band’s vocalist, and currently, the only surviving member, Stefano Bottari, created Denied in the sole image of 80’s Metal. Quickly, Bottari gathered fellow musicians for the task of playing true Metal and a year after the formation of the line-up, a new demo was born, Heavyland. Later on, in 2008, the band released its debut, and still their only album to date, When The Slate Becomes Diamonds.

On their debut, Denied re-recorded their entire Heavyland’s demo tracks and prepared them into a new form. Two years prior to the album, in 2006, Denied signed a contract deal with Painkiller Records. Last summer, Apollon Records from the Netherlands decided to re-release Denied’s effort almost exactly one year after its official release through the Painkiller label. The result of the new edition has not changed that much for Denied, except maybe more popularity and re-recognition after the fact that Bottari is the only active member on the band’s roster. Other than that, you have a fine album of true melody, potential and mainly an old school tribute in a world of modernity.

Denied’s presentation seems like a very simple production without too many errors (other than rare glitches on the pace of the rhythm) that the ordinary listener might notice. It has its share of headbanging moments and memorable tunes that will make one think that he might have been living in the past for almost fifty minutes. This album delivered a very comprehensible message that flows without extra moderation in order to achieve a hammering and addictive sound. It seems that Denied had chosen their sound, in particular, as a mixture of Maiden and Helloween of the 80s. That was a good call, yet not too original if you have any intentions on distributing something of your own. The reality is that Denied did not quite have those intentions either.

Other than being super melodic, in a rather Maiden/Helloween way, and keeping the other straight illustrations of the marriage of British Metal meets German melodic Metal, Denied’s debut album is not that special.

A true melodic Metal fan that is willing, and counting, on bands with such devotion to the sub-genre to create compositions of the same nature, it is hard not paying attention while witnessing that Denied could have made something more improved and original than recreating overworked tunes.

Through the tracks of the album it seems that there are somewhat identical, or almost identical, features between songs and their structures, some of the songs, particularly their rhythms (music and vocals), share too many qualities and that is a bit disappointing. Other than those negativities, When The Slate Becomes Diamonds showed a well performance of a band that truly knows how to handle itself. Moreover, these dudes knew how to write tunes that were rather catchy, filled with melodies (guitars and bass wise – almost as those were made in the mid through late 80s) and undying riffs that will remind new listeners that melodic Heavy Metal stands tall no matter what. On several occasions, those guys might surprise and for the better.

As for Denied today, Bottari remains the standing stone of the band. With many hopes that he will reform a lineup and create a much better album next time around.
Highlights: “Circle Of Fire” , “Denied” , “Before Than After Later” , “Horrorama” and the epic – “Bearers Of The Slate”.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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