Friday, December 23, 2011

Dark Funeral - Diabolis Interium

Diabolis Interium is where I think Dark Funeral started getting really good. After two fairly good albums that sounded pretty much the same, it was about time these Swedish black metallers changed things up a bit. The time of this album’s release was when I think the extreme metal genres were at their point of absolute zenith. Unfortunately, I started really getting into metal several years after this point, just barely missing the wave. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the pre-2007 stuff. There are some people that disagree with me when I say that Dark Funeral really changed their sound on this album; but try to view it from the musicians’ standpoint. The entire band said that there were going to be a lot of changes in their overall sound starting with Diabolis Interium, and that is wasn’t going to stop there.

The biggest change that they made is that they greatly improved the overall quality of the sound production, therefore making the music sound ten times more powerful and epic. The music is also not completely consisted of low, down-tuned guitar chords; they’ve turned up the bass and set their guitars to a higher tuning. On top of that, if you haven’t read my earlier Dark Funeral reviews, I mentioned that the drummer’s blast beats only get faster with each album, and after listening to this record one would think “how could it get any faster than this??” Some of you may know that their vocalist and drummer left the band last year (still on good terms with the band) and that they would only hire a new drummer that could play as fast and as good as their previous. So whether the drummer digitally speeds up his drumming or not will be something that I will find out when I see them live this coming February.

Even though their sound has sped up dramatically, it’s also gone in a more melodic direction. So it’s really fast…but not super heavy. There are also some songs that aren’t super-fast at all, like Goddess of Sodomy. But the song that really got me hooked on this record is Hail Murder. This song has a really atmospheric and sometimes ambient vibe to it. Most of you that are still new to the whole extreme side of metal are still probably only hearing the really fast drumming, highly distorted guitars, and screamed vocals. And don’t worry, after a while of listening to the extreme genres, the fast and distorted instruments won’t stand out as much and you’ll start to hear more qualities of the music like technicality, melodicness, atmosphere, shittiness, etc.

The guitar distortions have a really clean, fuzzy sound that for some people sounds really annoying. I think that it really fits the music better than a more crunchy distortion. As far as lyrics go, I don’t really know anything he’s saying except for in Heart of Ice, which is basically about demons hunting down the mortal. As I was just double-checking the lyrics for that song on Spirit of Metal, I decided to look at the lyrics for the other songs, and to tell you the truth, they’re not all that impressive. This is part of why I typically don’t pay attention to lyrics much, because there are so many uncreative and at times cliché lyrics that are being written that for a lot of people, it completely ruins the music for them (and probably would for me if I really paid attention to them).

For some of you that have only heard this record and the ones before this; be warned that this isn’t their best album. My favorite thing about this album is that it has some of those songs that are headbanging songs, but are still really fast. What I mean is that the kick drums are at full speed, but the guitars are going a lot slower therefore giving you that weird impulse to start headbanging. So overall, this is one of my favorite black metal records and I’d highly recommend that you check this out, unless you can’t handle the really fast music. I would rate this 18/20.