Dalkhu - Imperator
Self Release
Black Metal
10 songs (51:10)
Release year: 2010
Official website
Reviewed by Charles
This, the debut album by Dalkhu arrived through my letterbox unexpectedly from Slovenia a couple of weeks ago. It’s black metal, though the band write that they prefer to call it ‘extreme sinister metal’, given the defiling of the former term by mainstream ‘pop’ hoodlums. It’s an interesting album but, I think, still a little way yet from the finished package.

The sound is extremely primitive; the guitars are clattering and rusty, and the drums- whilst highly competent- sometimes feel too high in the mix. This actually gives it an… unstable… feel which is not necessarily a weakness. Despite the icy purity seemingly evoked by the biographical notes, there is an element of unpredictability, and influences more unexpected than ‘early Mayhem and early Darkthrone’ seem applicable. Imperator often has a youthful thrashy exuberance that reminds me of the very earliest Sepultura releases, particularly given the pounding hyperactivity of much of the drumming. But at times it is also infiltrated by flashes of the kind of sudden changes and riff contortions that suggest later Mayhem. The slower, winding sections of Preludium to Darkness feel like Chimera to me. I’m not sure if this is the band’s intention or not. Still, I rather like it.

So this is a varied collection of riffs, and songs seem ever-inclined to wander through different types of savagery. Rendezvous With Destiny, for example, blasts away with orthodoxly Norse malevolence, but often switches quite jarringly into sudden tempo changes and new percussive patterns. Indeed, drummer Kalki is a central element of the sound and often seems to be itching to lead the band into new rhythmic ideas. This is certainly evident on the stop-start assault of Awakening of Milleniums, which seems to jerk through fast-slow riffing like an ill-maintained ghost train ride. This means that Dalkhu are continually treading a tightrope, keeping this interesting on the one hand and risking seeming cluttered and unfocused on the other. Nonetheless, it’s always violent, and I think with stronger production this could be a band packing a real punch. Imperator isn’t a great album but it suggests a band with a creative and distinctive take on orthodox black metal.

Killing Songs :
Heretic, Rendezvous With Destiny
Charles quoted 70 / 100
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:42 pm
View and Post comments