Released: 2014, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Listening to DEMONICAL, the full length debut from Puerto Rico’s Diamond Ablaze, you’d never guess that they’ve only been a band for a little more than a year. It’s a smart and wickedly heavy platter of melodic death metal that bears resemblances to early Amon Amarth, God Dethroned and pre-COLONY In Flames.
Start to finish, DEMONICAL has an epic presentation to it. The tunes are full of hard charging, anthemic riffs and succeed at getting the blood pumping and the head banging. The general tone of DEMONICAL is firmly rooted in death metal paraphernalia, but the twin guitar interactions and the general presentation of the album come across as entirely accessible to fans on either side of the extremity line. There are some persistent themes that span the album’s eight tracks – conflict/gods/devils/general strife, and the songs convey those themes aptly. “Frozen Ruins” has a very Nordic battle flavor suited for its almost 9-minute romp, while “Deadliest Survivor” is full on blackened thrash. Album opener “Ancient Beast” offers some quieter interludes and introspection amidst the rage, whereas “Your God, Not Mine” almost sounds like a Kataklysm leftover. Sufficed to say, there’s a fair amount of variety within the Diamond Ablaze formula, and there’s a lot to like.
DEMONICAL is a great album, and Diamond Ablaze are a talented outfit with hopefully more to offer beyond this. Though the band wears their influences proudly, they do what they do extraordinarily well. DEMONICAL is available now via CD Baby in both physical and digital formats, check out it out for samples and purchase info.