|Review: Dendura - New Life|
Label: KillZone Records
Year released: 2006
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: March 12, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
I really debated reviewing this at all, as it is only barely metal, and I don't see this band heading in a more metal direction later, but I think it's enough in the pond to get a review this time. Dendura was touted to me as "Progressive Metal with Mideast influences and female vocals", which sounded okay to me. Sadly, that's not really what they are about.
The basis for Dendura's sound is heavy, groove-metal riffs which are only 'progressive' because they change time signatures once in a while — nothing that a typical listener would expect from the 'progressive' tag. The riffage is extremely simple, being more in the metalcore vein of rhythm chunking than anything really good. They do some melodic interludes, and the guitar work here is better, but I still don't hear much 'mideast' in it. The songs are rather jerky and don't feature anything actually catchy or memorable. Dendura frequently mistake repetition for quality, in the belief that if a chorus gets repeated enough it will become good by simple dint of effort.
Vocalist Aziza is obviously talented, but also a big problem. If she would just sing she'd sound fine, but she is so busy sighing, growling, whispering, and yelling that you can barely hear her sing at all. She over-emotes to the point that it is like listening to someone throw up. Hint: not every single line needs to be worked over like that, it's silly and it robs the music of whatever emotional impact it might otherwise have had. Mostly her performance comes off as a tiresome display of posturing braggadocio, and it gets old really fast.
I don't think Dendura are necessarily a terrible band, they just aren't really a metal band, and there is a much more heavy/alt-rock kind of sensibility at work here. Maybe someday this band will get it together and produce some good music, but right now, I don't see who this would possibly appeal to, as it this album is competent, but utterly without any points of interest.
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