Written by: AP on 29/07/2013 22:26:16

Copenhagen based Barricade have been sending tremors through the Danish metal underground since 2010, yet it wasn't until an esteemed slot at the 2012 edition of Copenhell, having won Mighty Fight Night that year, that their presence was truly felt. Describing their own sound as "a pair of speakers dying on you", Barricade's choice of genre is sludge metal of the direct, non-stoning nature, with the occasional thrash and hardcore influence audible on this debut album "Terrorlight" as well.

Barricade find themselves at an advantage due to the clever involvement of two drummers (D. Wald and T. Kyhl) and vocalists (guitarist R. Heston and bassist J. Reinhardt); the resulting dynamic is quite exceptional, with a dense and textured rhythmic foundation laying the groundwork for an intriguing partnership of harsh roars and urgent, cleaner yells. Think a fusion of Black Tusk, Kylesa, older Mastodon and Raised Fist for an apt frame of reference. Ironically, the opening riff of "Traitor's Trail" - one of the standout tracks on "Terrorlight" and exemplary of the marriage of contrasts described earlier in this paragraph - boasts an eerie similarity to the timeless main riff of Mastodon's "Blood and Thunder", but I choose to recognise it rather as a subtle tribute than a shameless act of plagiarism. I choose this because Barricade have, in fact, managed to land in a scarcely populated niche, and carve out a personal identity with a sound that is instantly recognisable.

It may not be the sludge metal masterpiece that Mastodon's "Leviathan" (2004) is, but as a debut album "Terrorlight" oozes strength and quality. There are few decidedly weak tracks on display (though I must confess to being left wanting a tad more diversity between one song and another at times) - the welcome debut album symptom of having too much time to write and perfect it - and in the likes of "Traitor's Trail", "Terrorlight" and "Abyss of Kain" Barricade have songs of an international calibre; the latter in particular mimics the darkness and intensity of "Leviathan" with all the flair of a debutant band, drawing certain parallels to their domestic colleagues Rising in the process as well... which is befitting, given that alongside Rising's "To Solemn Ash", this might be the best sludge metal to have been spewed out of the Danish metal underground yet.

Download: Traitor's Trail, Terrorlight, Abyss of Kain, The Rage
For the fans of: Black Tusk, Kylesa, Mastodon, Rising
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.06.2013
Black Grain Records

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