Review: Diabolus Arcanium – Path of Ascension

Posted: February 22, 2016 in Reviews
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Diabolus Arcanium - Path of Ascension

Indian black metal group Diabolus Arcanium bring the medieval on their debut full length, ‘Path of Ascension’. Their ghostly, bleak black metal sound is definitively excellent, and the record is out now on Transcending Obscurity.

After the haunting, piano led intro ‘Inno Arcanium’, you are drawn into a harsh, black metal world of ancient past. Orchestral flourishes and chanting highlight the sharp riffing and the scowling snarl. The eerie atmosphere of ‘Bloodlines’ feels very gothic almost, as does the melancholic melodies of ‘Ascension’. Diabolus Arcanium do great work in creating this eerie, gothic horror black metal album.

The grandeur of ‘Arrival’ leads into probably the album’s best cut, the spic ‘Of Fire and Ash’. There’s a definite channeling of early Dimmu Borgir, or even a more reigned in Bal Sagoth. The black metal parts are still pretty nasty, and vocalist Hex has a great, croaky Abbath-esque snarl about him. The blasting power of ‘Spiritual Entropy’ is enhanced by just the right amount of orchestral moments, which is the story for the whole record. Diabolus Arcanium employ the keyboards and synths to perfect effect, never overdoing them. Thi is not a saturated orchestral metal album, this is a symphonic black metal album that keeps the BLACK METAL at the forefront.

I like this album a lot. It reminds me of the first time I heard ‘Stormblast’, or some of the earlier Cradle stuff. I think Diabolus Arcanium keep the balance of orchestra and black metal just about right, and everything is enhanced by a crisp production and some excellent riffing. Recommended.


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