DIATHRA is a Belarusian sextet which belongs to the seemingly endless queue of the so-called beauty-and-the-beast bands. They play what one may classify as moderato Doom/Death Metal, employing growly male grunts and warm female vocals - both of which are not bad per se. However, the question is: why would the market (or the underground scene) need another such band? Why would anyone listen to something as pedestrian as, say, “Wistful Autumn Dance”?
Musicianship is void of any sophistication. All know how to play their instruments, but there is no excellence: there is nothing exceptional. Percussions are as monotonous as those played in an elementary practice session. One cannot complain, though, since the music does not really demand a better drummer.
The production is not all too bad, considering the fact that the album was recorded in a local studio. The keyboards sound rather distant save when there are no other instruments playing. How good is that! Plus, in the last few seconds of the title track, a fade- out is done too hurriedly that the last word sounds as “dan” instead of “dance”.
Truth be told, if it were for duration issues, I would forgive the band for this silenced second of entertainment. Yet, that the band decides to treat us with two more songs listed as bonus tracks, it is hard for me to find a sensible justification for the abrupt fade-out. As for the bonus tracks, they would have been better off unreleased since no bonus tracks were done any worse really. I cannot even call them fillers.
Thus, my answer to the second question is one of common sense: people would listen to “Wistful Autumn Dance” only because it is there. However, I believe that it is not worth anyone’s while, and is not recommended even to those who appreciate the genre or regard it as their favourite.
(Online February 21, 2009)