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Released: 2001, Conquest Music
A fairly new band on the death metal block, Diabolic have just released this album as their full-length debut, though they did have a demo out a few years ago. As a matter of fact, their demo was quite successful, selling 2000 copies without any kind of national distribution. It even got them on a highly regarded tour with Cannibal Corpse, as well as opening slots for Mayhem and Morbid Angel. Not too shabby for a young band. Unfortunately, that’s about all the background I can give you on these guys, as their promo package doesn’t even list the bandmembers’ names!
SUBTERRANEAL MAGNITUDE is a firestorm of blastbeats, growls and riffs, barely taking time to take a breath between songs. After an instrumental opener, and then a quick intro piece, “Extinction Level Event” blows into the speakers, highlighting the power of Diabolic’s death metal attack. The vocalist has a very old-school sounding growl, and he’s actually understandable for most of the album. It’s kind of refreshing to hear vocals like this during a time where most bands subscribe to the philosophy of “the more extreme the better”. Somehow, intelligible vocals make Diabolic stand out from the pack.
As for the music, it’s your standard death metal, with a few nods to the old-school death from the 80s. While a lot of the album tends to mush together in a samey blur, there are some standouts. “Fleshcraft” slows down the assault enough to settle into a brutal groove, while on the other end of the spectrum, “Necromancer of the Ancient Arts” up-ratchets the brutality and speed, coalescing into a gigantic stressball. Very cool.
On the whole, this is a good death metal release, but not one that is going to crush your mind. Diabolic is still a young band and has plenty of time and room to grow, and there’s no doubt that future releases are going to be true facemelts.
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