Diabolicanos Act III: Armageddon
Conquer Records 2008
Symphonic blackened death metal masters Devilish Impressions return with their second album and anyone expecting a sophomore slump from them can go ahead and forget those ideas right now. What we have here is a similar style to what they displayed on their debut but more refined and with more confident songwriting. The songs are tighter, the riffs better, and they have a new found confidence that has allowed them to give their songs a chance to breath by crafting them in a manner that is less dense and more appealing. The layers have been reduced and the guitars and other instruments are competing less with all the other instruments throughout each song. Don't think for a second though that the intensity has dropped one iota from their debut. Rex Inferni displays both the brutality of Devilish Impression's death metal core while also issuing large sweeps of majestic black metal riffing. I am The Son of God with its stop and start breaks to open the song and its ghostly use of keyboards to accentuate the chugging guitars has endeared this track as my favorite. It is impressive to me how bands continue to manage to get their keyboards to sound different from things in the past such as that high-pitched flourish on Tales of Babylon's Whore. Also the dizzying guitar solo and squealing leads on Tales of Babylon's Whore attack from unexpected angles. Quazarre's vocals are filled with spite and lash out like a striking cobra. The production is thicker and sharper with each instrument sounding full and powerful which really compliments their bombastic style. You can really tell that they have put a lot of time, effort, and thought into the recording of this album. Devilish Impressions were already a really good band before Diabolicanos saw the light of day. With a lot of touring and experience under their belt they have managed to compose an album whose coming was foretold by their debut. This is one of my top albums for the year.