Dalkhu - Descend... Into Nothingness - (6/10)
Published on August 23, 2015
Hailing from Slovenia, Dalkhu is a black metal act that’s been around for about 12 years, yet has only just released their second full-length record via Satanath Records. Entitled Descend…Into Nothingness, this two-man act has some decent musicianship but seems to have quite a few flaws that really keep them from being better. Coming five years after their prior release, which in itself was four years removed from their debut demo, there are still signs of growth within the band, and hopefully things can get sorted out.
The biggest thing that comes through the speakers as soon as the first song kicks into gear is the production values. While there is something to be said for a more natural or raw sound on a record, Dalkhu manage to get into the muddy territory that makes a lot of what they are doing pretty hard to make out. The lead guitars really do shine through, but everything else just gets mushed together and nothing really stands out too much from anything else. it becomes a sadly hard to listen to album.
However, as mentioned, the lead guitars are really quite nice. The tone they have stands out among the other instruments, and the riffs are pretty decent as well. There is a nice element of technicality in the playing, yet it stays “friendly” enough to maintain some memorability and actually helps the songs progress and flow from one to another. On the other side, while musically speaking the band stays pretty well within the black metal structure, the vocals are all entirely growled, bringing in a blackened death metal sort of vibe. However, the vocals are fairly monotone and also suffer from production and mixing issues which render them to be another example of something nice the band tries to put into their music but sadly is not able to really capitalize on.
Descend…Into Nothingness has some shining moments. The guitars are pretty much the main focus musically, and do make up some very enticing riffs and lead work. The halfway point of the record (“Distant Cry” for example) is actually pretty enjoyable and starts to make the record feel as if it is going to improve a bit. Sadly it ends on the last couple of tracks, which also happen to be the longest on the LP. Dalkhu’s strength does seem to be in the shorter bursts, really allowing them to make their impact and leave you wanting (and hoping) for more, yet the extended time on the other tracks doesn’t do any favors in hiding any of the flaws. Overall, it is an OK release, but the issues are far too present to ignore. Hopefully these downsides can be worked on for the next release because there is potential here buried in the mud.