Dendera have long been one of the hidden gems of the South Coast and with this album we may well have to share them with the rest of the world. Personally I don’t begrudge this, they deserve a wider audience. The cornerstone are the Edison brothers, bass player Bradley and vocalist Ashley.
Pillars of Creation is the follow up album to ‘The Killing Floor‘, and a very fine progression it is too. The ‘comparison’ most often thrown at them is ‘Iron Maiden’, this is understandable as the epic songs combined with Ashley‘s vocal range immediately brings Bruce Dickinson to mind. However I would say there is as much of Rob Halford about the vocal too. From which you will gather this is an album worth a listen.
‘Edge of Tomorrow‘s’ doom laden intro opens into a chiropractor inducing headbanger of a song, powered along by Andy Finch‘s spectogram blurring drums, it gives you a taste of things to come. ‘Unholy‘ is far more Priest like and Ash growls and soars across the frenetic rhythm section with the sure footedness of a mountain goat. The howling guitars of (now departed) Andy Fuller and Steve Mains scream like banshees and you sit back exhausted, wondering what the hell just happened.
Lyrically Dendera have far more intelligence than many in the genre and I suspect this is one of the reasons that there is often comparison to Maiden. Listening to ‘The Chosen One‘ you can hear it is justified. It won’t bother Dendera in the slightest, they wear their influences unashamed and proud. This song is reminiscent of their epic ‘Senlac Hill‘ and will keep their long time fans very happy indeed.
‘The Daylight Ending‘ sledgehammers its way into your consciousness, grabs your synapses and starts firing them on all six. The guitars duel like their route out of hell depends on it, and frankly the Devil doesn’t stand a chance. Incredibly ‘Disillusioned‘ ups the pace and you have to wonder that Dendera could ever make it through a gig without expiring. I can assure you they do, but Jesus H Christ they produce enough energy here to out power a nuclear reactor. If you want to chill this is NOT the album, this is the equivalent of watching someone sprint a marathon. While holding their breath.
The vocal on ‘In High Tide‘ brings to mind Carl Sentance of Persian Risk/Nazareth, Ash draws up THAT voice from the bowels of the earth and sends it into the stratosphere, where it very likely fells passing meteors. The quiet vocal break does actually sound like it comes from the ISS.
‘Bloodlust‘ isn’t slowing the pace any time soon and storms it’s way through to the big finish, ‘Claim Our Throne‘. I listen to music via Foobar and you can see visually what a wall of sound this is, every space filled with roar and soar until finally, like warriors returning wearily from battle, it slows down to final fade.
I’m lucky, I’ve seen Dendera many times and I promise you that it is extraordinary to see the quality of a full stadium band in clubs and bars. ‘The Killing Floor‘ was a remarkable debut album and Pillars of Creation seals the promise with Thor’s hammer. Hopefully they’ll be bring the band to venues further up country, make sure you go see them because you’ll get a £75 performance for a £10 ticket, but I’m pretty certain it’s only a matter of time before you start having to cough up the other 65 quid.
I'm lucky, I've seen Dendera many times and I promise you that it is extraordinary to see the quality of a full stadium band in clubs and bars. 'The Killing Floor' was a remarkable debut album and Pillars of Creation seals the promise with Thor's hammer.