Denner’s Inferno – In Amber (Album Review)

There comes a time in most successful musician’s careers where they decide to branch off onto a solo mission, offering a different side of themselves to the world. Doing just this, long-time Mercyful Fate and King Diamond Guitarist Michael Denner has created In Amber, a new album set for release on Friday, November 15th via Mighty Music with his new band Denner’s Inferno.

Joining his team in Denner’s Inferno are Vocalist Chandler Mogel (Punky Meadows), Bassist Flemming Muus (Trickbag), and Drummer Bjarne T Holm (Mercyful Fate). An all-star cast, right off the bat it is clear that In Amber is inspired by ’70s Progressive Rock. In fact, it almost seems to come straight out of the ’70s with a very classic sound. A ten song effort featuring original songs, as well as a few covers, the album covers a variety of styles. However, it is also posses a questionable outdated vibe, but can In Amber manage to spark an interest in a modern world? 

Starting off with “Matriarch,” Mogel exemplifies his basic vocal range before branches out into different stylistic impersonations – this includes the Horror movie inspired “Fountain Of Grace,” a cut in the vain of King Diamond or Mercyful Fate. These factors in mind, the guitars themselves showcase progressive melodies which rise to the occasion, thus standing out as the highest offering on the album. With the aforementioned “Fountain Of Grace” sounding like a King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, later on “Up and On” gifts a solid song covered with a nice guitar melody and strong, clean vocal range. Following this, “Sometimes” is another classic tune of Progressive Rock that features some of the best guitar work of the entire collection. 

Midway through comes a cover of Cheap Trick’s “Taxman (Mr. Thief).” Denner’s Inferno stylistically recreates this tune, but for what payoff? Then jumping ahead, “Veins Of The Night,” “Run For Cover,” and “Pearls On A String” all have their moments that are highlighted by well-sung vocals, however, the lyrics are not really on a compatible emotional level with modern day life. Lastly, closing out the album, comes the one minute and thirty second instrumental “Casttrum Doloris” showcasing Denner’s skills as craftsmanship in non-disappointing fashion. 

In truth, most Mercyful Fate fans probably will not get much satisfaction out of these tunes, but that is really not the point. For those who are into ’70s Progressive Rock, there are some genuine moments on board with In Amber. For a first solo album this proves a noble attempt. On an individual basis, the men of Denner’s Inferno all have their skills up to date, and collaborate well with In Amber to bring in a very classic sound. Perhaps a future goal would be to find a way to modernize the classic sound a touch and match it with a stronger concept for a larger audience to sink their teeth into. All aspects considered, Cryptic Rock gives In Amber 3 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase In Amber:

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