Mumbais Stark Denial are a part of the sparsely scattered black metal roster from India. Having formed in 2009, the band completed their debut EP titled War this year and finally released it. The EP lists 5 songs but effectively contains 3 original Stark Denial compositions, the ones in the midsection.
The opener titled ‘The Beginning’ is an intro sound FX trackof marching feet, guns and explosions. No doubt its purpose was to drive the name of the EP into the listeners head but frankly, adding some music would have been a better use of the audio mix timeline.
Gates of War, the first proper song on the album immediately has the listeners attention with its marching drum roll intro. It throws one back to the Swedish black metal sound made famous by Marduk and Dark Funeral. The versatility of the beats, the changing fretplay styles and the raspy screech of the vocals all have a very Swedish trademark on them. Rhythmically the song has a good graph of frantic and mid-paced tunes.
The following track Wrath has a less intense bass intro that leads up to more measured, low tempo approach to the bands dark tunes. This track has a much better mix of riff and tempo changes. Conquering Thy Enemies Throne has more of the same kind of musical approach except a lot more frantic. The blast beats occupy a larger portion of the songs duration and the riffs are a lot faster too. The final track ‘Panzer Division (A Tribute to Marduk)‘ is a cover of Panzer Division Marduk and has really no new elements to it, just a cover that sounds like the original.
The EP has quite an intense feel overall and definitely shows promise for the band. However, the area they lack in is originality in ideas. This album could easily be a release by any black metal band (especially one from Sweden). There is nothing uncanny about it, whether musically or in terms of visual identity. However, a debut EP is more of a sign than a stamp and a bit of original ideation will definitely result in some tasty and memorable black metal from Stark Denial.