Deinonychus - _War Machines_
(My Kingdom Music, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Deinonychus' earlier work, such as _The Weeping of a Thousand Years_ and _Silence of December_, were every bit the po-faced stabs at ceaseless despair their overwrought titles imply, but sometime between then and now, Deinonychus have undergone a complete metamorphosis. Gone are the doomy machinations and dark romanticism; the listener is now treated to key-free blackened death centred around war, and the two are barely recognisable as the same band. This is promoted as their heaviest work, and I have no trouble believing that.

What I had trouble adjusting to was the realisation that this is also their finest work to date. They freely imbibe influences from across the extreme metal spectrum -- one song even features a head nodding mid-era Katatonia styled melody -- but drawing it all into a vicious and coherent masterwork. The mid-length songs allow little room for superfluous tangential passages, ensuring each note is a vital cog in their (ahem) "war machine". It may initially seem that atmosphere has been abandoned, but it hasn't; it has merely metamorphosed into a different, more subtle and effective format than the usual key histrionics.

Deinonychus may have lost some fans with _War Machines_, but will have gained many more with this release.


(article published 27/4/2008)

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