Diabolicum - Ia Pazuzu (The Abyss of Shadows)
Code666 Records
Industrial Black Metal
9 songs (39' 58")
Release year: 2015
Code666 Records
Reviewed by Andy

Diabolicum hasn't released a full-length for almost fifteen years, but they still know how to produce some interesting combinations of black metal and industrial music. They break their silence this year with Ia Pazuzu (The Abyss of Shadows), an LP with a lot of sonic similarities to their last album, The Dark Blood Rising, but somewhat fewer samples and, it seems, more of a progressive orientation to the album here.

Void of Astaroth, which starts out the album after the sample intro, is abrasive and nonstop, with Kvarforth providing a ragged, grinding -- but intelligible -- roar of a vocal performance. The guitars are hissing and buried deep in the mix, mixed in with the occasional burst of static or grind of lo-fi distortion. It's not all pure blasting, though. There is plenty of contrast to choose from on Silent Spring, which sports quieter passages, clean male and female vocals dimly intruding into the hazy mix, and a solo with a distortion like nails across a chalkboard. Combined with the relentlessly pounding drum machines, the effect is rather hypnotic. Genocide Bliss and Salvation Through Vengeance are more like traditional black metal songs, even with the samples, although the mechanized drums definitely give those two songs their own twist.

The explicit industrial overtones come in the title track. Blunt, springy distorted synth underpins vocals so heavily distorted that they're almost unrecognizable compared to the black metal songs earlier. That one was my favorite, but One Man's War is also fairly good, not when the band is hitting the listener with everything they've got, but whenever they stop for a moment to make a more delicate sonic atmosphere. The electronic drumming and NiN-style beats of static clash a little bit with the black metal riffing, but not unpleasantly so.

Ia Pazuzu isn't the most original industrial black metal album in the world, but it's a solid, talented effort that blends a lot of the strengths of both genres well. Past fans and industrial BM listeners alike are likely to appreciate this one.

Killing Songs :
The Abyss of the Shadows
Andy quoted 78 / 100
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