How about some anti-Christian Death Metal? “Okay, sure”, you may say. How about on Easter, that’ll sure show ‘em (whoever “they” are) how brootal and evil you are. “Oh yeah, hail Satan (and whatnot!)”, you’ll most definitely yell. Unfortunately, the “they” I’m showing are just my wife and son, and they ignore my music entirely. However, that doesn’t stop me from getting my evil groove on while snacking on some chocolate eggs – yes, I’m so evil I kill baby chocolate chickens, before they even hatch. Die choco-chicks, die…
Um, now, where was I? Oh, that’s right, DIAMANTHIAN’s second full-length album, “Arcana Doctrina”. Well get this, it’s one mean son-of-a-bitch, coming across like SEVERE TORTURE meets MORBID ANGEL’s “Covenant”, with a meaty enough guitar-tone to make hair grow on your ass. Some of the riffing even recalls the older Swedish masters like UNLEASHED, and the thick, yet not-too-clean mix gives the record some real backbone. The vocals are a little too one-dimensional, and can get a little tiring, but the guy still pulls off a respectable guttural growl. Likewise, the drumming, while more than competent, alternates between double bass runs and all-out blasting, without much variance.
Where the guys in DIAMANTHIAN really crush are during the dirge-like, crawling-pace moments that spring up on rare occasion (check out “Defiling The Eucharist” or “Awakening The Leviathan”). These parts make the speedy-assault that encompasses most of the album all the more effective, adding a nice touch of ever-important dynamics to the songwriting. Here’s hoping that on the next album, the band further explores this realm.
The only really issue I have with “Arcana Doctrina” is the ever-so-tiring “evil” lyrics. DEICIDE and VITAL REMAINS have been beating this dead horse for years and years (along with countless others), so it’s really unnecessary for DIAMANTHIAN to take this path. But hey, whatever floats your boat, huh? I rarely tire of fantasy-based Power Metal albums, so just call me a hypocrite.
At the end of the day, regardless of the lyrical direction, “Arcana Doctrina” is a very good example of modern Death Metal – with an old-school aesthetic – executed properly. DIAMANTHIAN aren’t redefining the genre – nor do they claim to – but what they do, they do quite well.
(Online May 30, 2010)