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December 2010
Released: 2010, Self Released
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

Dalkhu are a Slovenian four-piece who are ready to tear the black metal world a new orifice. Their self released debut, IMPERATOR, is a hostile and straightforward approach to what’s become an arguably pompous and self-important genre. No corpse paint or symphonic wankery here, just 10 tracks that’ll kick your teeth in. And what IMPERATOR lacks in its youthful naivety, it most definitely makes up for in sincerity and attitude.

After a somewhat awkward intro (“Six, six, six, 5-4-3-2-1…), “Preledium to Darkness” opens the disc with a mouthful of bile. The track is soaked in its influences, smelling like a blackened amalgam of Celtic Frost, Satyricon, and lots and lots of thrash metal. Vocalist Berstuk has a throaty scowl that’s bitter enough to please black metal purists, but still should be palatable enough to extreme metal audiences in general. “Heretic” is probably my favorite track of the ten here, as it’s got a tasty blend of frantic aggression, melody and a tangible undercurrent of seething anger. As each tune cranks by at a consistent clip, they tend to blend together as the album goes on, but it’s not necessarily a detriment to IMPERATOR, as they each carry a similar vibe and emphasis. “The Crack of Dusk” and “Grey Hounds of Heaven” reminded me of the material on Mayhem’s DE MYSTERIIS debut – it’s extreme with blackened tones, raw and aggressive with the only intent of being raw and aggressive.

The tracks don’t break the scale on the originality meter, but I’m a big believer in a band’s conviction, and that’s what really propels Dalkhu here. The production and mix are a little iffy, as the drums are waaaaay up front and some of the more subtle guitar parts are waaaay low in the back. But hey, it’s still a solid effort and there’s a lot worse that you can compare it to. Dalkhu have entered the fray with a strong debut that offers plenty of hints at what this band has in store for you in the future. Check out the band’s website for more info on IMPERATOR.
Track Listing

1. In My Arms I Welcome You
2. Preludium to Darkness
3. Heretic
4. A Visit from the Lost Palace
5. Rendezvous with Destiny
6. Awakening of Millenniums
7. Journey towards Reality
8. The Crack of Dusk
9. Grey Hounds of Heaven
10. Subterranean Harvester Begins


Sorg - Guitar
Kalki - Drums
Berstuk - Vocals
Jurij - Bass

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» Imperator
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

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