DIABOLICUM – Ia Pazuzu (The Abyss of the Shadows)

diabolicum.iapazuzuDIABOLICUM 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)

EMPEROR to Reunite for Wacken 2014 with Faust

This past Friday, August 2, 2013, EMPEROR announced that they will reunite once again to perform at Wacken 2014.  To add to that, former drummer Faust will be joining the band to perform In the Nightside Eclipse in its entirety.

From the Wacken website:  “Come 2014, the band will celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘In The Nightside Eclipse‘, with a few exclusive performances. Beyond that, the future, as ever, is a mystery waiting to be unravelled…”

Let’s hope that this performance is recorded so the poor souls who can’t fly over to Germany next year will get to see.  In any case, let us rejoice!

Release Date Set for ABORYM’s Psychogrotesque

Four years after the critically acclaimed Generator, Italian electro/post black metallers ABORYM are back with their fifth album. Set for a November 8th release, the new full-length is entitled Psychogrotesque and is made of one story, a single song written four-handedly by the band’s mastermind Malfeitor Fabban and talented new guitarist Hell:IO:Kabbalus.

ABORYM describe the album as a “realistic story about the horrific human aridity and its fragile impotence. A social metaphor, uncomfortable but very current, treated cynically by bassist-singer Fabban through a story set in a mental hospital, which suggests that he used his pen with an absolute commitment and the determination to keep off ABORYM from the banality and clichés both ideological/aptitudinal and musical that saturate the extreme metal scene.”

Psychogrotesque was recorded, mixed and mastered at Fear No One Studios by Emiliano Natali, with the sound consulting of Marc Urselli (founder of Memory Lab and sound engineer for artists like JOHN ZORN, LAURIE ANDERSON, LOU REED, ERIC CLAPTON) at the prestigious Eastside Sound Studios in New York.

BLOOD TSUNAMI – Thrash Metal

Often times, you never know what you’re gonna get when you buy an album from a band you really don’t know much about. However, BLOOD TSUNAMI clearly make their intentions known via their band name, album title, and cover artwork. These Norwegians say what they mean and mean what they say. Thrash Metal is pure, ugly, aggressive old school thrash metal. BLOOD TSUNAMI waste no time as they rip through the songs with a fine variety of prime riffing at a high speed pace. Though the band’s line-up may be most notable for vocalist/guitarist Pete Evil (host of MTV Nordic’s Headbangers Ball show) and drummer Faust (ABORYM, SCUM, ex-EMPEROR), the hearty contributions of guitarist Dor Amazon and bassist Bosse should not be overlooked. The band mix things up in terms of giving their songs good individual character so as to not become a monotonous blur. However, the biggest strength of BLOOD TSUNAMI is their ability to conjure up that true spirit and energy that made classic thrash metal so great and exciting to listen to. While the album progresses at a fireball’s pace, averaging around five minutes in length, the titantic “Godbeater” slows things down a tad and really takes the album to new places. The 10:02 instrumental is a journey filled with twists and turns on a grander level, almost like the way MAIDEN and METALLICA would get epic. There’s even a riff that easily could have been on SABBATH’s Vol. 4. While Thrash Metal may be BLOOD TSUNAMI’s debut album, they sound like seasoned veterans. Aren’t those the best kind of debut album? (Candlelight Records/Nocturnal Art Productions)