Denial of God - The Shapeless Mass (EP)
Hells Headbangers
Black Metal
4 songs (25:44)
Release year: 2019
Denial of God, Hells Headbangers
Reviewed by Goat

Danish trio Denial of God have been jamming out their particular, peculiar brand of goth-y blackened metal since 1991 and as stated on this site previously, it's a weird combination of elements that is fun but often simply doesn't work. Songs are long, epic constructions of thrashy fastness and spooky slower sections, sometimes outstaying their welcome long before you get to the end. The Shapeless Mass is the band's tenth EP and contains a bite-sized example of their formula over two original songs and two covers. The original songs are slightly better than on past sampling overall, the opening nine-minute title track having a weirdly Amon Amarth-esque vibe to initial faster sections (vocalist Ustumallagam has a snarl not unlike Johan Hegg) before the melodic black metal overwhelms with some admittedly effective riffing and the song turns more towards older Darkthrone territory. The Statues Are Watching is shorter and a little better, having more of an 80s metal feel to slower sections before a quite savage black metal attack to end it, certainly the more replayable of the two.

As for the covers, they are the entirely predictable Call from the Grave from Bathory, in which Denial of God stick fairly close to the original's classic groovy riffing, and the entirely unpredictable Mama Loi, Papa Loi by Exuma. Now, you may have made the mistake of thinking that Exuma were some death metal band that you hadn't heard of; no, Exuma was the musical persona of McFarlane Gregory Anthony Mackey, a Bahamian musician and artist who combined everything from reggae to the traditional Obeah system into a folk genre all of his own. This song's lyrics are about zombies and Voodoo, fittingly for a band so obsessed with death as Denial of God, and the Danes ditch the backing choirs and calypso rhythms in favour of an intensely pounding slow-burner. It's less effective than the original, not least because the riffs are more of those melodic eighties jams, but hell, it's an interesting choice and Denial of God put their heart into it, even if at six minutes long it feels drawn-out compared to the compact original. Not a bad EP overall and worth a listen for those who like a little oddness in their darkness.

Killing Songs :
The Statues Are Watching, Mama Loi Papa Loi
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Denial of God that we have reviewed:
Denial of God - Death and the Beyond reviewed by Charles and quoted 65 / 100
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