You might not have heard of ‘Veld’ but ‘Daemonic: The Art of Dantalian’ is the fourth full length from the death metal quartet from Belarus. Sound wise you could also be forgiven for thinking they are not unlike Behemoth, with their ferocious riffing, blasting drum work and vocal style that is at times very Polish. Yes, there is a similarity, but their sound goes beyond this and the further into the album you get the more apparent that fact is.
The album, a ten track, forty-eight minute work that has been seven years in the making and this is something that is very apparent in the final result, an ambitious offering that is well written, well performed and the production superbly crisp, recorded by Marek Bochenek at Sinsinity studio who in the past has worked on Yatterling’s albums and was mastered at Sound Division Studio, who have dealt with the likes of Vesania , Hate and Behemoth . It’s a precise, ferocious and engaging listen end to end, with some superb riffing, quite a blackened edge to the sound and completed by reasonably decipherable, well delivered, roaring but throaty vocals.
You are eased in to the release with the intro, ‘The Sweet Sound of Torment’, a haunting mix of strings, sound-bites, distant choral vocals and distorted spoken elements, before moving into ‘World in Obscure’ which has a great opening build, very reminiscent of Behemoth initially, particularly with the repeat riff and drum blasts, a track that is well varied in tempo and possibly my favourite of the release and one that sticks in your mind.
It’s a consistent release and each track has a noteworthy aspect to it, the intensely crushing ‘Constant Suffering’ has great closing solo which has a slight discordant edge towards it’s close finished with sinister spoken vocals. The never ending onslaught continues with ‘Endless Spiritual Paranoia’ which has some crazy tempo and direction shifts that stop you in your tracks and insane closing guitar work, however midway through the album there is the well placed interlude, ‘Lost but Never Forgotten’, a haunting, guitar led instrumental, allowing you some breathing space .
‘Merciless and the Innocents’ has a superbly punctuated opener, my favourite part of the track, which pans out into something dense and intense, but just as you are feeling utterly crushed beneath it all there is a great choral section which allows you the chance to catch your breath and although this is an utterly crushing track it also has multiple, well varied direction changes keeping it interesting.
‘Conquerors of All Icons’ has a punchy technical edge to the riffing and superb latter part sinister spoken vocals. ‘Love -Anguish- Hate’ is up tempo and angry to the greater part but there are unsettling lighter moments to its complex construct. I found ‘In Eternal Waiting’ an interesting listen, the mix of buzzing riffs, an ominous haunting repeat which gets slightly more melodic as the track progresses and all the lyrics are spoken and sat in the background, adding a dark quality and keeping the focus on the edgy riffing, with a nice, slightly off kilter solo to close.
Final and longest track, ‘Annihilation of Divinity /Trust Upon Ignorance’ has spiralling keyboards and buzzing riffs to open, further in, after a sinister drop-away, it also had the addition of female backing vocals, not something I am keen on but I do appreciate their place in this genre and on this track, then, keeping it experimental right to the end with some great deep distorted spoken vocals and interesting guitar/ bass work towards the close.
‘Daemonic: The Art of Dantalian’ is out now on Lacerated Enemy as a special six-panel digipack limited strictly to 300 copies, it’s an excellent release that should be of interest to fans of Behemoth, Hate or other similar bands but with an insane experimental edge than won’t feel like yet another sound-alike.
Review by Jools Green]]>