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MYSTIFIER - review
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DÉTENTE
DÉTENTE
History I
(Cognitive Records)
33:23min

DÉTENTE are no strangers to the 80s Metal scene. In fact, they received a generous amount of praise from both underground and mainstream press for their sole full-length "Recognize No Authority" released via (Metal Blade Records) in 1986. Afterwards, the band recorded a few more demos and called it quits. However, almost two decades after their split (and the death of vocalist Dawn Crosby in 1996 due to liver failure), the band decided to reform and release a compilation album of early demos simply titled "History I". It contains the four tracks from their 1985 demo "Shattered Illusions" along with the two demos recorded by CATALEPSY... a band formed by ex-DÉTENTE members Ross Robinson, Caleb Quinn and Steve Hochheiser after being kicked out of the latter band (even though they themselves split up a couple years after their formation and their style being an exact replica of DÉTENTE's which would explain their inclusion on this release). I honestly cannot tell the difference between the two bands because of how similar they are in sound. The music presented here is standard but good Thrash / Speed Metal but with nothing special about it at the same time. But what makes the music even less appealing are the vocals. I've never been a fan of the high-pitched, screeching, loud-as-fuck, "Painkiller" - era JUDAS PRIEST styled Power / Thrash / Speed Metal vocals that offers little variety and seems to dominate the music and leaves not much to enjoy by the end. It's like an ice cream headache... you enjoy it at first (the riffs), but it'll only be a matter of seconds before those waves of pain hit your brain hard (the vocals) and will discourage you from eating anymore until you're once again in the mood for it. Overall, the music ranges anywhere from decent to good but isn't anything essential that needs to be heard unless you're a die-hard fan / collector of both bands' material and / or the genre in general. Considering much of the Speed Metal scene had died and turned stagnant by the time of the bands' formation (Power Metal started taking much of the genre's thunder and popularity), it doesn't come as a surprise to me that a band like DÉTENTE (and to a much lesser and almost insignificant degree CATALEPSY) garnered no more than a cult status in Metal and are often overlooked in favour of much more critically acclaimed bands like RUNNING WILD or the more modern HIBRIA. For further info: www.detenterna.com, www.myspace.com/detenterna

David Sephiroth

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