Diabolique – The Black Flower

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Reviewed: May 1999
Released: 1999, Black Sun Records
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson

Diabolique’s debut album “Wedding the Grotesque” was a perfect example of the fusion of doom, metal, and gothic darkness. Extremely ominous and depressing vocals mixed with apocalyptic riffs dominated every song. Their unique style and sound planted them firmly amongst the catacombs of gothic doom metal alongside classics by Anathema and My Dying Bride. As fans of Diabolique were drooling for more, Black Sun was kind enough to release “The Diabolique” EP.

My ears were really anxious to hear the latest opus “The Black Flower”. The album cover alone is reason enough to buy the CD. Drawn by guitarist/vocalist and former death metaller Kristian Wahlin (aka Necrolord), it is one of his finest works to date. But don’t let it fool you. Like all other atmospheric doom bands, Diabolique have changed their style and sound to a point where past works bear no resemblance. The difference here is that Diabolique have done it after one album! Whereas Anathema has fallen into Pink Floyd worship, Diabolique has turned into…U2! I was never into U2, so I don’t know many songs, but the songs on “The Black Flower” remind me an awful lot of those ‘80’s U2 classics. And really, when you take each song individually, they’re not that bad. Some are pretty good in fact. It’s just that the album as a whole is rather repetitive; the tracks sound too similar to each other. Diabolique have abandoned their metallic approach to goth and have gone for a more basic sound. No more heavy-ass riffage. No more complexity. No more eerie, graveyard-like keyboards. No more rampant drum fills and double bass.

I think that with time this album will grow on me a little more…but not much more.


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