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Barbalans – Abysmal Diabolic Visceral [EP]

barbalans – abysmal diabolic visceral [ep]


Barbalans was undoubtedly one of the earliest Black Metal bands from Malaysia, being formed as early as 1993. Despite releasing a couple of demos and an EP in those early years, the band however entered a prolonged hiatus from 2001 until 2009, only to resume with quite a few releases after they reformed. But after their 2013 debut album ‘Blood, Hate and War’, things once again quieted down. Since that album only a re-issue and a split with Bestial Hordes that also mostly seemed to feature older tracks were released. That period of drought will end in 2023 as the band is set to release their new EP ‘Abysmal Diabolic Visceral’.

Ten years ago, on the band’s full-length, the influence of Swedish Black Metal was already very apparent, with Barbalans sounding mostly like Marduk with a bit of the more melodic approach of for instance Dissection and Lord Belial blended in. On ‘Abysmal Diabolic Visceral’ the band continues on that path, but possibly blends in a little bit more of a Dark Funeral-esque sound in the mix. High pace blasting Black Metal with carrying subcutaneous melodies that are usually straightforward, and at times meander a little bit more towards the more melodic solos. In particular ‘In Hell I Dwell’ is a great example of what you can expect from this band (and it’s a great song title as well). Compared to the previous album the drum work is slightly more focussed on double bass violence, and it helps emphasize a slightly more brutal approach. It also makes the EP sound a tad fuller, and the slightly updated production helps convey the ferocity intended with the music. In fact, the band sounds so much like that Swedish scene in every possible respect that you could easily confuse this for a lost release from the early 2000s. And that is all compliment.

With ‘Abysmal Diabolic Visceral’ Barbalans comes back with a vengeance delivering a great EP reminiscent of the early 00’s of Swedish Black Metal. Maybe not very original, but well-done nonetheless. A CD version is out on Goatlordth Records, and a cassette or vinyl version certainly wouldn’t be out of place either.


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