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Diablation – Par le Feu

diablation – par le feu


Diablation are a Symphonic Black Metal from France and ‘Par le Feu’ is their 2nd full length album just hot on the heels of their debut on well-known Black Metal artists releasing label Osmose Production, who has worked with other eclectic artists like Melechesh. While Diablation is buried in the shadow of bigger acts like Dimmu Borgir or Deathspell Omega, their sound is actually well polished and crafted without feeling too overdone. Think if Marduk went a bit more symphonic with a touch of Limbonic Art and that is what one would get with Diablation. Compared to their first debut though, it sounds like ‘Par le Feu’ is a bit more restrained in the symphony department. Keyboards are still very prominent on a lot of tracks, but the music has less of that ‘pre Death Cult Armageddon’ sound to it and more of that older Limbonic Art style, which is less choir driven and more keyboard. On ‘Allegeance’ Diablation started out heavily symphonic and pretty much let the album carry that through. It was certainly Symphonic Black Metal, but not quite as raw as some might have liked. Here on ‘Par le Feu’ right from the opening one gets a darker, more sinister sense of the music with the intro before delving into ‘Vox Diaboli,’ which demonstrates a tighter more drum (like Ulver produced drums) driven track with faster riffs and less of the lush symphonic backdrop. The vocals are still sinister as they snarl, hiss, and whisper here and there, but the overall feel to the music is ‘more Melodic Black Metal’ with some symphonic backing versus ‘full blown keyboard Symphonic Black Metal’ with a push for atmosphere.

All the lyrics are in French still, but that shouldn’t detract from the music. Other tracks like ‘Au bord du gouffre’ are a little more prominent on the symphonics as they are pushed more to the front- especially with the horn sounding keyboard sections- but they are still restrained and don’t feel as flamboyant as say some of the choir mixed keyboard sections on the previous album. The riffs are still melodic in that Limbonic Art inspired styled, and the pace goes from medium to slow, especially when trying to let the keyboards really sink in. For a drum heavy track that almost pounds so fast and hard it sounds like a Black Metal remix track, ‘Testament de l’humanité’ has plenty of melodic groove and yet still stays consistently ferocious thanks to the vocals. Though they are a little less varied than other tracks, some parts do have that reverb robotic tone to them similar to how Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir did some of his vocals on an album like ‘Puritanical Euphoric…’ which is where they really hit their stride. Again, though compared to Dimmu Borgir, Diablation is much less over produced and a bit more in the sweet spot for those who like Black Metal a bit more raw but not skin tearing raw.

‘Par le Feu’ does change things up a bit with the track structure. The debut had 2 tracks split as a part 1 and 2 near the end like a halved epic. Here the band includes one long track that feels like another epic attempt, just more whole. It does carry on quite a bit, especially in the drum department which many times carries the same beat that it sounds like a drum machine more than a person behind the kit, but Diablation lump all their musical ability to its finest from the guitars and keyboard layering to the vocals for just a solid, worthy Symphonic Black Metal track. It still carries that sinister rather than lush tone heard from the beginning of the album, although the sinister atmosphere isn’t quite captured as well compared to ‘Vox Diaboli’ for the quiet snarling moment of the music. The band tries to repeat it with the spoken rasp part on ‘Mort, marche avec moi,’ but it doesn’t quite hold the candle as it carries on a bit longer than it should. Still, for those looking for a heavily dramatic Black Metal piece that uses the vocals to great effect versus just long instrumental interludes, then this is the one to listen to. Even those who don’t normally enjoy epic Black Metal tracks will like this one. Overall, Diablation sound like they are moving in the right direction by not overly saturating their music with the symphonic elements, but still sounding modernly produced and ferocious at the same time with the style of Black Metal. As long as they don’t start injecting the whole ‘Disney choir’ element to their music they should continue to have a solid sound for years to come.


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