Our Diabolical Embrace

Immortal Night Laments

Hypnotic Dirge Records 2010

N. Skog, better known for his work with the Canadian ambient project Ancient Tundra, surprises with his latest musical offering, the symphonic black metal band Our Diabolical Embrace.  The debut five song EP journeys through more mainstream symphonic influences like Dimmu Borgir but then strips these influences back for a darker sound.  The opener Tragedy 'Neath Nightfall's Grace uses pompous, swirling synths with a mid-tempo, rhythmic battering of death metal infused blackness.  The tempo is quickened and the music streamlined on A Spiritual Oppression which injects orchestral keys into a speedy pace for a sound somewhat akin to a primitive Limbonic Art.  Though the feeling is astral in nature, the music summons a savagery all its own.  Entwined Within Our Diabolical Embrace is an ominous thundering track.  Different textures of keyboards drench the music in their rich brushstrokes as the totalitarian skeleton of the song dominates the listener.  Near the 5:45 mark a beautiful synth passage brings to mind some of the instrumental work from Astral Sleep era Tiamat.  Slow graceful movements that haunt your mind.  Even more chilling is the ambient, symphonic cocoon that descends upon you with A Love Forever Engraved By Sorrow.  The EP closes with an untitled bonus track which brings the rich piano of Stormblast to the foreground and meshes it with slow black rumblings that sound like distant thundering.  The music could benefit with a more natural drum sound versus the drum machine that N. Skog uses throughout this recording.  Though the EP reminds me of some of the less obscure synth oriented bands from the underground, the overall effect of Our Diabolical Embrace is a simpler, less fame-obsessed sound.  Immortal Night Laments is along the lines of what Dimmu promised on their For All Tid album, dark and evil snyth oriented black metal.