Friday, January 4, 2013


Diabolicum/Angst - Hail Terror
Eerie Art Records, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

1. Evangelivm Infernali
2. Weaving Fate

Side Diabolicum:

“We’ll begin with a reign of terror.”  This is the first time we’ve all heard from Diabolicum for a while.  It’s nice to see they took their time to compose the one track called “Weaving Fate” because “The Dark Blood Rising” is a real hard album to live up to.  Though, one would hope four years is ample time to put together some quality material and “Weaving Fate” appears to be no exception!

After hearing “Weaving Fate” I’m really looking forward to the next release by Diabolicum and I hope that this is just a taste with which we may all wet our palates.  This track is slightly different than we’ve experienced from Diabolicum in the past.  It’s not as dark as “The Grandeur of Hell” and it’s not as industrialized as “The Dark Blood Rising.”  I suppose it is technically somewhat a more traditional Black Metal approach, but it’s got that underlying oppressive evil atmosphere that Diabolicum holds, which many others just don’t do the same way.  They have this core element that is just so terrifying sounding and it really epitomizes the point they are trying to bring out in their writing.  “Weaving Fate” incorporates some eerie synths, samples of air sirens, and even some chanting sections, but it doesn’t have the eerie industrialized elements from the previous album, whereas more bands use more technology after putting out something of that nature Diabolicum seem to have taken a step back.  Many will probably find this preferable, and after hearing “Weaving Fate” I am no exception to this.  The interesting point was they only had one sample, whereas they were more common in the prior album and I actually enjoyed that element a lot and I hope they use more in the follow-up.  The next Diabolicum could turn out to be yet another immensely unfathomable album when it is released.

I have one simple gripe with this release and it is probably reserved for this split, the lyrics are not printed.  I usually really enjoy the lyrics by Diabolicum and anything they write really.  So, following in the tradition of “The Dark Blood Rising” they had something written, but unfortunately it wasn’t the lyrics.  I’m hoping that this song might appear on the next full length and on that we will find the lyrics.  For now though we have an interesting speech of a kind that actually looks like lyrics, but clearly are not if you try to read along with the song:

“Often one man can accomplish in one single day
What takes an army years to achieve
There is no need for technology or strength in size
When you strike at the souls of mankind

This new world order can buy flesh but never the spirit
No weapon can ever match a man who is willing to give his life for his agenda
Because as soon as a single victim is wounded or destroyed
He has reached his goal, and the battle has been won…

Blessed be the fire unleashed by man
Which shall light the stake of creation

Blessed be the bloodstained blades of chaos
Which cuts through civilization as a razor through virgin skin

Blessed be the man-eating winds
Which will howl through the ruins until the end of time

Hail Terror
-Diabolicum 2005”

I believe this little speech is inspired by terrorist bombings that are taking the world more and more by storm, and more specifically those of the suicide bombings so prevalent in the Middle East.  They make a great point that you cannot buy the spirit of man and no aspect of commerce will coerce someone once their soul is aligned with a goal of a personal or spiritual nature.  This is probably one of the greatest faults of my country (the United States) because we often times try to fix the problem by throwing money at it.  As if “oh just throw a few coins their way” will fix all problems, as if they were to be treated as a beggar might.  Yet a nation of people with a purpose is one thing you cannot simply scratch off the accounting books.  There are real repercussions, such as the terrorist strikes, and for that Diabolicum gives them the utmost respect.  They have tempered their wills, in essence, to become an army of one where the entire world is an enemy and to strike at the hearts of every man, woman, and child by the method of fear.  They are very correct, if just one victim is made they have created an act of terror and they have won their war.  This is probably the most dangerous form of warfare that any country can face, because it doesn’t come at you in an easily seen method, it comes in just one man, not an army.  Beware the reign of terror.

This split is only available on vinyl and for those who do not buy or have the ability to play records, I believe, they are sorely missing out.  Which, again, is why I hope that Diabolicum present this track on the follow-up full length.  I was worried for a while that “The Dark Blood Rising” was the last I would hear from Diabolicum, but then this split presented itself and I knew Diabolicum was not done, and not only that, they would be coming to assault the world again.  Now we all patiently await the reprisal of “The Dark Blood Rising” and for our fate to be woven.

Diabolicum - The Dark Blood Rising
Code666, 2001
Genre: Industrial Black Metal

1. March of the Misanthrope
2. Heavens Die
3. ...
4. The Hatecrowned Retaliation
5. The War Tide (All Out Genocide)
6. The Dark Blood Rising
7. Sound the Horns of Reprisal
8. Bloodspawn (Lycanthropic)
9. The Song of Suffering (Eleven Blades of Darkness)
10. Into the Dementia
11. The Nemesis Speaks...

This is a very different approach for Diabolicum, the previous album “The Grandeur of Hell” is a more traditional Black Metal sounding album, but this time around they have decided to experiment a lot more.  This is still a Black Metal album through and through, but they’ve also upped the ante and made it much more extreme.  The lyrical content and musical themes easily compete with those found on Octinimos’ “Welcome to My Planet.”  Only instead of an obsession with nuclear warfare, Diabolicum seem to have come up with a proper soundtrack for Genocide.  

Musically this is much more creative than their last album and they have started including many more elements.  They’ve started involving samples into the song structure, which is somewhat different for Black Metal.  Most Black Metal bands will merely use a sample as an intro or an outro piece, but Diabolicum have placed them as an integral part of the song structure.  In turn for me, this makes the songs much more powerful and for some reason it adds a much darker feel to the overall song structure.  Granted the album “Grandeur of Hell” is a very sinister sounding album, but “The Dark Blood Rising” has the right elements added in for a much darker improvement.  The drum machine has been kept active for this album, and Diabolicum usually do a very decent programming job.  Granted the sound of the cymbals don’t make up for a real cymbal, but they manage to give a good representation of drums throughout the release.  The only small production complaint is that at times the snare kind of fades into the background a little bit, but this happens with real drums with raw production too.  So I guess no one can win.  They’ve also taken the effects section of the keyboards up a notch also.  Some of the beats laid down are very Industrial influenced, but played with their raw and hateful black metal style it provides for a very strange and interesting listen.  The technological aspect I think makes the overall album much more sinister sounding and more foreboding, more threatening.  Another aspect of this band that sets them aside from other Black Metal bands is the use of guitar solos.  They used a few in “The Grandeur of Hell,” but they are dwarfed by the superior guitar skills on “The Dark Blood Rising.”  I was initially rather shocked at how excellent the guitar work was executed throughout the whole album, and the solos just threw the whole performance up another notch in my book.  If someone is looking for a good reference point, I would say this is a furthering of what Mysticum started back in 1996.  Mysticum was one of the first Black Metal bands using programmed drums, and from a sound engineer point of view “The Dark Blood Rising” sounds quite similar to “In the Streams of Inferno” in feel for the atmosphere of the album.  However, like I said Diabolicum have improved on a lot of factors since Mysticum pioneered the ideas and sound. 

One of the first things I picked up on this album is the song “Heavens Die” and I honestly couldn’t help but reference the title to Entombed.  However, this is nothing like Entombed, this song is much darker and far more apocalyptic.  In fact I would say it is more worthy of this title than the actually Entombed song.  The absolutely best tracks on this album are this one and “The War Tide” because few Black Metal bands have released songs with such incredible hatred within the composition alone.  The one and only song that sounds somewhat out of place on this album is “The Song of Suffering.”  Overall the song doesn’t seem to be that much of Black Metal influenced song, rather it has more of a general metal structure with flair guitar work, but does not have the enigmatic hate found throughout the rest of the album.  Keyboards were used in a minimal way in the traditional sense.  Only two songs stood out as having the traditional keyboard aspects and they were “The Dark Blood Rising,” which was complete with an incredible piano intro, and “Into the Dementia,” which had an entrancing outro with the strings function.  Lyrically these guys compete with “Welcome to My Planet” by Octinimos, which held as being some of the best lyrics I’ve read in music, because I am very into the concepts around nuclear warfare.  However, Diabolicum touch upon another topic of interest, Genocide.  The Lyrics honestly made for an impressive read, but the most interesting stuff to read was found throughout the gatefold digi-pac release.  This material was not even used in the song lyrics; however it seems they were put in to make the whole package more interesting. 

This is an extremely well done album.  I cannot say enough good things about it.  It’s been a while since I’ve heard the old school Black Metal sound put to such incredible use.  The last time I encountered that was with Tsjuder’s “Kill for Satan.”  However, Diabolicum take it even beyond their level, because Diabolicum touches on concepts and is not the mere mindless Satanic art which propagates amongst the Black Metal scene of today.  I like to see bands using old ideas in fresh new ways that expand the mind of the listener.  Truly a triumphant release for Diabolicum and I will be very surprised if they manage to top it.

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