Mad Hatter’s Den: Welcome to the Den

By -
Mad Hatter’s Den: Welcome to the Den
  • Bio:
  • Label:
  • Release Date:
  • Genre:
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 43

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 44

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 46

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 47

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 49

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 50

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 52

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 53

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 55

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 56

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 58

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 59

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 61

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 62

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 64

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 65

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 67

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 68

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 70

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 72

Mad Hatter's Den: Welcome to the Den
Heavy Metal
Inverse Records
November 1st, 2013
Release length: 49:37
Facebook
Soundcloud
Website
Mad Hatter’s Den is a Heavy Metal group with some Progressive tendencies that formed back in 2010. They’re a six-piece outfit from Tampere, Finland that features the vocal stylings of Taage Laiho, known for his time in Ghost Machinery and Maelstorm. Back in 2012, the band released their independent Dark Wheel EO, which managed to catch the attention of many in their home country, including the folks at Inverse Records, who plays host to the band’s debut full-length album Welcome to the Den. But, will their brand of Heavy Metal attract the attention of genre fans outside of Finland, or is their first major outing destined to miss the mark?

Welcome to the Den sprawls many different variations of the Heavy Metal style, but all of which do try to hold a certain level of grand majesty to them except for the “Introduction” track, which is just a darker reconstruction of the scene in Alice in Wonderland where all the characters sit down for tea. It’s a decent start given the next track’s theme, “Welcome to the Den.” The start will throw listeners off immediately, showing traces of Speed Metal along the lines of Exciter or Motorhead, only slowing down to some rather technical chords and melodic keyboards that make up the music to the chorus. The main verses find some well paced drumming with a consistent two-step to the bass kicks that really only stop during the surprisingly epic bridges. It’s a solid enjoyable song that sets the stage for the rest of the release.

“Shadow Lord” is one of the most infectious tracks to be found, as well as one of the heaviest. The chorus has a good dose of melody thanks to the hooks fans of Avantasia will instantly eat up, suiting the fantastical environment the lyrics are establishing. It’s a nice contrast to the main verses, which carry a bit of a gritty eighties ambience, as if pulled from the dimley lit back alleys or streets of New York. This shows itself during some spots of the longer “Sinister Monologue” as well, such as during the emotional guitar solo that gives way to cleaner chords and a focus on the vocals. About five minutes in, the pace picks up for an extensive mixture solos, becoming far more blunt towards the end while holding a strong atmospheric push similar to something you’d find on an Alestorm album. Sadly, this doesn’t happen again during the stunning instrumental track “Legacy of the Kings,” which finds plenty of solos at work that cast you right back to the medieval days, though a bit twisted by the end.

The only track that seems out of place is “Blind Leading the Blind,” and that’s thanks to the mixture of a restrained enthusiasm Hard Rock sound and atmosphere against a Progressive Metal vocal approach that suits what the band is striving for, though the background layer that is cut off around at the two minute point is a bit distracting. The guitar solo here is fantastic, and the additional keyboard effects do push the latter of the two styles a little further. The song itself does lack the majestic atmosphere, but wedges itself into the overall theme by being a bit eccentric. And then there’s “Sharks of Power,” which isn’t bad, but finds an increase in the bass guitar’s volume that actually makes them a bit obnoxious when the music really picks up, drowning some of the instruments and vocals out.

Welcome to the Den is an interesting debut album for a relatively new Heavy Metal group. Some of the Progressive Metal and Hard Rock touches to the style found throughout it present a good deal of variety, but it’s the consistent majestic atmosphere and how it works with the vocals that would perfectly favor a Candlemass style Doom Metal album more that makes this such an engaging release. If you enjoy some classic Heavy Metal with a fantasy environment complimented by a modern finish, Mad Hatter’s Den is a band you will want to familiarize yourself with, and Welcome to the Den an album you really should check out.

01. Introduction – 0:35
02. Welcome to the Den – 4:17
03. Blind Leading the Blind – 3:43
04. Shadow Lord – 4:56
05. Sinister Monologue – 7:56
06. Journey – 6:19
07. Legacy of the Kings – 5:42
08. Sharks of Power – 5:16
09. The Dark Wheel – 5:49
10. Stone Cold Flame – 5:05
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Mad Hatter's Den
Mad Hatter's Den

Digital review copy of this release provided by Inverse Records.