Verdict Denied, or just Verdict, as their old fans remember them, were formed back in 1995. Their first attempt, a demo tape (yes at that time there were very few cd-demos), by the title "3rd Alternative The Name" back in 1997 and especially two songs (Night Hunting and Sentinels Of Zed) gained the attention of the public and mine, by its first spin.Since then, there have been many line up changes, but their love for metal and especially their main man's (call me Billy) devotion, have kept them alive. Despite the fact that they are counting 14 years of existence and live experience, supporting acts like, Paul Di'Anno, MEKONG DELTA, ANVIL and TANK,2009 seemed that was meant to be the year, to release their first album ever. "Condamned" has its roots to bay area and bands like (early) Metallica,(early) Megadeth, Testament, Coroner, Mekong Delta with some Iced Earth and some pro(a)gressive elements!?!?! Well played and arranged compositions, full of passion and "guts", will make you wonder how Metallica or iced Earth would sound if they were still inspired, as these guys do. At this point I would like to mention Jeff Waters' offer, to handle both mixing and mastering, of this album and even if the sound isn't the best possible, the fact that the band gained his attention, comes to prove my saying.
Highlights (among almost equal songs) of this release, would be "Dark Twisted Laughter" starting with a furious riff and continuing with many pattern and rhythm changes, "94 x 1 Vain (They Return)", which is my personal favourite, with its great guitar riffs, the even greater vocal (including female ones) lines and its superb ending! A masterpiece indeed!! Next I would place "Black Tango" starting in a dark mood, continuing with a lunatic riff and passing through some staccato and unexpected guitar themes, leads to a fine chorus.
Passing among some other great tunes like, the Iced Earth meet Testament, "Twisted and Menacing My Stare" or the galloping "Battle Within" and reaching the end, you can sure about one thing:"This band doesn't lack of good riffs". So if you like old fashioned, yet fresh-played-with-passion HEAVY METAL with a Thrash and Progressive touch, you should invest on these guys without any second thought!!
John L.O.V.E.Machine Littinakis
My opinion about this band is known to all the fellow metallers I had the chance and pleasure to discuss about the Greek Thrash Metal scene. VERDICT DENIED is - in my humble opinion of course - the best Greek Thrash Metal act and no one can change my view on this matter. Their hard work and high quality music prove my words and the band's first ever full-length work is here to show you that I am not talking big. These guys have great talent and "Condamned" is the living proof!
This band is not new to the Metal scene, since their story starts back in 1995, under the name VERDICT.Three demos and live performances with Paul Di'Anno, MEKONG DELTA, ANVIL and TANK were only the first steps of the band. Their hard work continues with a pretty good debut full-length album mixed and mastered by the one and only Jeff Waters in his Watersound Studios.
If you have read my review on the band's 2005 demo, you will already know what these guys are all about. The only thing that has changed since then is the band's bass player. Gus Basher left to be replaced by the young, yet talented Tassos Kokliotis. The band's music is a traditional style of Bay Area Thrash Metal with melodic leads here and there, many technical elements (at times they reminded me of MEKONG DELTA) and great riffs. Their sound contains a variety of sounds, since you will come across classic catchy Thrash Metal that will make you bang your head, as well as technical Thrash moments. VERDICT DENIED is definitely the band that will make you remember of your heroes (VIO-LENCE, CORONER, PARADOX and more).
Some of the things that could be improved in VERDICT DENIED are the sound, which is not the best possible even though Jeff Waters was responsible for the mixing/mastering and the vocals, which in my humble opinion could use a bit more work. I would also add the incorporation of a bit more modern elements in the band's music, but since I have had the chance and pleasure to listen to a couple of new songs they have composed, I don't even waste my time saying it. The future hides many pleasant surprises for us, if VERDICT DENIED keep up with this pace and work hard enough to earn their own spot in the international Metal scene.
Οι Verdict Denied είναι ένα συγκρότημα, το οποίο ενώ έχει πάνω από 15 χρόνια ιστορίας, μόλις τώρα καταφέρνει να κυκλοφορήσει την πρώτη του ολοκληρωμένη δουλειά (με τίτλο "Condamned").
Η μουσική του συγκροτήματος μπορεί εύκολα να χαρακτηριστεί ως τεχνικό thrash, με έντονες επιρροές από τη σκηνή του bay area (όσοι ακούν thrash γνωρίζουν τι σημαίνει αυτό).
Η τεχνική κατάρτιση των μελών της μπάντας, που είναι σε υψηλά επίπεδα, τους βοηθάει να συνθέτουν τραγούδια γρήγορα και επιθετικά, τα οποία καταφέρνουν και κρατούν το ενδιαφέρον το ακροατή αμείωτο καθ' όλη τη διάρκεια του δίσκου.
Το γεγονός ότι ο ίδιος Jeff Waters (κιθαρίστας, κατά καιρούς τραγουδιστής και γενικά ο mane-man των Annihilator) άκουσε κάποια αρχικά mixes αυτού του δίσκου και προθυμοποιήθηκε να κάνει την τελική μίξη και το mastering του δίσκου νομίζω ότι λέει πολλά.
Η κυκλοφορία αυτή έρχεται σε μια περίοδο, στην οποία το thrash αρχίζει να ξανακερδίζει την προσοχή του metal κοινού, και βάζει για τα καλά τους Verdict Denied στο παιχνίδι.
Συνολικά πρόκειται μια κυκλοφορία που πραγματικά δε θα αφήσει κανέναν οπαδό του συγκεκριμένου είδους ανικανοποίητο.
Reminiscent of a grab bag of 80s speed metal figurheads, Verdict Denieds melodic-yet-ballsy three-songer sounds like metal from two decades ago, restructured and updated. Hauling ass down the Destruction/Kreator path with belligerent, blazing guitars, and mid-era Suicidal Tendencies gang chants make for a classic but crafty display. In addition, theyve upped their priority level here with slick progressive elements and time shifts. If only the vocalist(s) could stay in key a bit more on the melodic spots, this one would be ace in its 16-ish minute existence.
They've taken a good few years to lay down some solid foundations by the looks of things, but this Greek quartet are now ready to take on the international metal scene, judging by their higly competent and keenly produced three-track demo at least. They play technical thrash metal, with plenty of interesting twists and turns and a considerable nod towards the Testament and Forbidden way of doing things - just check out their logo for proof! (7/10)
It's been a long time since I've listened to something, that reminded me so strongly of what I liked so much about Thrash Metal, the 1st time I've heard it. And although Verdict Denied is a band that acts under the influence of the 2nd breed of Thrash groups and especially the era when the genre was transforming and becoming more technical, I can have no complains. Because you really can not have any complains against musical elements "full" of Forbidden, Testament, Paradox, Megadeth, Toxik and Coroner. I have to say that I really enjoyed listening to this promo cd. This is not because of any nostalgic impulses, but because Verdict Denied plays this kind of Metal (which is considered from some fans as "dead") with great amounts of passion, and energy. And in the end, that's all that counts. They have an ace under their sleeve, due to their very good technical/playing abilities, which could become a "problem" in the future however, if they decided to dwell even deeper in those musical tech-forms. All in all, I believe Verdict Denied is one of the most interesting Thrash metal bands in this country. (8/10)