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)

Stockholm Super Group FIRESPAWN Announce Debut Album

FIRESPAWN, the new Swedish super group featuring current and former members of ENTOMBED A.D., NECROPHOBIC, UNLEASHED, DARK FUNERAL, have announced that their debut album, Shadow Realms, comes out November 13, 2015. The music that has been released so far sound very promising.

Check out the track, “Ruination“:

Also, check out the official video for the title track of their 7″, Lucifer Has Spoken:

FIRESPAWN line-up:

LG Petrov – vocals (ENTOMBED A.D., MORBID, NIHILIST)
Fredrik Folkare – guitar (NECROPHOBIC, UNLEASHED)
Victor Brandt – guitar (ENTOMBED A.D., SIX FEET UNDER (live))
A. Impaler – bass (NECROPHOBIC, NAGLFAR (live))
Matte Modin – drums (RAISED FIST, ex-DARK FUNERAL, ex-DEFLESHED, ex-INFERNAL)

NAGLFAR Enters Studio for New Album, Téras

Five years have passed since the release of NAGLFAR‘s last album, Harvest, but now the band is back in the studio again, finishing-up their sixth album, Téras. It is set for a spring/summer 2012 release.

Diehard NAGLFAR fans will also be pleased to hear that prior to the release of Téras, the band will release a very limited-edition 7″ EP featuring one track from the upcoming album and an exclusive second track that will only be available on this vinyl.

NAGLFAR – Harvest

Sweden’s NAGLFAR have walked the line between black and death metal for well over a decade now, and with their fifth full-length Harvest, the band has delivered their most mature work to date. Having kept the pace fast and furious on their previous album Pariah, the band’s latest sees NAGLFAR exploring new dynamics and tempos, showcasing the band’s most developed, textured songwriting skills thus far. “Odium Generis Humani” for example displays the band’s ability to shift back and forth between dark atmospherics and blasting intensity with ease, while “The Mirrors of My Soul” and “The Darkest Road” both emphasize catchy, memorable choruses that stay with the listener long after the music stops playing. Additionally, former bassist and current vocalist Kristoffer Olivius has grown more confident in his role as frontman, bringing new intensity to the material, most notably on “Way of the Rope.” Listeners need not worry though, as the band hasn’t so much slowed down or gotten soft as much as they have taken those elements and tempered them with the band’s trademark speed and efficiency. Harvest is an album that grows on the listener with time, and serves as another step in the right direction in NAGLFAR‘s continuing musical evolution. (Century Media Records)

PROFUNDI – The Omega Rising

Three years after his departure from NAGLFAR and the music scene. Jens Ryden breaks his silence in the form of his volatile new project, PROFUNDI. Clocking in at just under forty minutes, PROFUNDI‘s debut, The Omega Rising, features eight scathing tracks (with one interlude) with Ryden turning up the intensity level to a much higher degree than his previous solo outing, DEAD SILENT SLUMBER, and to an extent, his former band, NAGLFAR. A true solo album in every sense of the word, Ryden ambitiously brings a D.I.Y. approach to the proceedings by handling all of the vocals, instruments, production, songwriting, layout and artwork all by himself. Although not as pristine as the production on NAGLFAR‘s most recent efforts, The Omega Rising still cuts through with efficient clarity while still retaining a dark underground atmosphere. Light keyboard touches throughout the album provide ambiance in between the blasting onslaughts, at times recalling classic horror movie themes, but without sounding corny or overly melodramatic. Ryden also delivers some impressive guitar solos, particularly on the title track and “Engulfed in Hellfire” as well as “Unanimated” in which he also provides a short bass lead as well. Even though Ryden may not be the biggest shredder in the world, he nonetheless provides concise, melodic, memorable leads throughout the album. The Omega Rising can be viewed as either a blistering comeback or a punishing debut, but perhaps the album can best be described as a dark, furious piece of black metal art. (Profound Lore Records)