DIABOLICUM have never been a household name but they have certainly carved out their own niche in the underground metal scene. Fourteen years since the release of their last album, The Dark Blood Rising (The Hatecrowned Retaliation), the band are back and better than ever.
Recruiting none other than SHINING (Sweden) frontman Niklas Kvarforth to add his unmistakable charisma as well as the excellent talents of guitarist Likstrand to lay down solos, this is the most “complete” DIABOLICUM have ever sounded.
Like its title implies, Ia Pazuzu (The Abyss of the Shadows) is the soundtrack to a free fall into the abyss. While DIABOLICUM may have the “industrial black metal” tag attached to them, they are so much more than that. The band have created a multi-dimensional and complete journey.
After the blasting violence of “Void of Astaroth,” “Silent Spring” starts in a mid-tempo stomp before transcending into a dreamlike state with female lead vocals. Fourth track, “Genocide Bliss,” begins with the epic feel of early EMPEROR then transitions into a short section with industrial beats before ghostly keyboards kick in with movie samples. The song then just drifts off into the distance. “Salvation Through Vengeance” is awesome with Niklas Kvarforth‘s roar leading the crescendo in the mid-point of the song and Likstrand‘s fretboard melting guitar solo.
“One Man’s War” is apex of Ia Pazuzu (The Abyss of the Shadows). Hearing Niklas Kvarforth proclaim, “This is my war. A one man’s war,” is absolutely powerful. Truly a godly performance for him. The song’s ending is reminiscent of EMPEROR‘s “Inno A Satana” with it’s triumphant horns and marching beat. “Angel Maker” follows the track with a perfect example of how a simple, hypnotic riff can provide the backbone for a good song.
The use of forte and piano, extreme heaviness and speed with atmospheric ambience are tools which DIABOLICUM use to great effect. The necro production gives the album a definite underground sound from the 90’s. There are also lots of cool synth/programming along with the programmed drums, which gives the album a cold, industrial feel. Try to spot the guest appearances by Malfeitor Fabban (ABORYM) and Vargher (NAGLFAR, BEWITCHED, ANCIENT WISDOM).
All in all, DIABOLICUM have done more than enough to rise out of obscurity and become renowned band in the underground scene. Hail. (Code 666/Aural Music)