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DIABOLICAL IMPERIUM
DIABOLICAL IMPERIUM
The Sacred Lie
(Obscure Domain Productions)
36:08min

Obscure Domain Productions, known for such great previous releases like HEADHUNTER D.C., ETERNAL, OBSCURE INFINITY etc., strikes back with another gem from the German underground scene which despite a rather sloppy cover artwork has a lot of appealing musical content to offer. While the promo sheet names acts such as MORBID ANGEL or IMMOLATION as reference points – a bit farfetched comparisons in my humble opinion – DIABOLICAL IMPERIUM take a straighter yet nonetheless dark and blasphemous sonic and lyrical route. IMMOLATION light would be a fair description for songs like 'Rites Of Blood', but a general mid 90s US brutality influence and rather Scandinavian sense for melody and catchiness is what I also spot on this album while the vocals and some riffs send respectful nods to the aforementioned masters of sinister Death Metal. Apart from a bit too much reverb on the drums, sound-wise there is nothing I feel obliged to complain about, the growls come across quite powerful, whereas the rare screamed backings – yes, you can think DEICIDE – I could easily do without. From stomping mid-paced riffs over pretty melodic sections and thrashing passages, “The Sacred Lie” is a diverse album that knows when to groove and when to blast, and favors tasteful leads over total tremolo-massacre. Gloomy mid-field Death Metal par excellence, a genre I feel that is endangered to die out for several reasons I will note explain this time around, but honestly - we have enough AUTOPSY clones, right? Well, “The Sacred Lie” is an album that reminds me of an era where you could play Death Metal just for the sake of churning out brutal, honest music and did not have to accomplish a master’s degree at the university of Arkham or spend a year in seclusion (preferably in a cave) to be able to recite the entire Kabbalah or some hermetic writings about the golden dawn of some Mesopotamian superdwarf – in reverse. I simply feel that nowadays there is this spiral of seriousness that pollutes (Death) Metal while less great songs are written. It’s as simple as that. I’m being a bit sarcastic here – and love a lot of so called occult Death Metal - but “atmosphere”, “ambiance”, “lyrical concept” or “technical complexity” are probably the most used excuses today for not having good tunes and “abysmal” for having a bad production, haha! While the next “Blessed Are The Sick” or “Dreaming In Red” has not been written by DIABOLICAL IMPERIUM (yet), just listening to a fine Death Metal record – even with a couple of shortcomings – can be something really entertaining and enjoyable. And less heady, too… Check the song 'Rites Of Blood' here. More info at www.facebook.com/diabolicalimperium, www.obscuredomain.com

Stefan Franke

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