DIABOLIC
Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost
(Tentacles Industries)
28:08min

Next to Stockholm, Sweden (which doubtlessly gave birth to countless incredible bands in the 90s), the Tampa, Florida area used to be another melting pot for excellent Death Metal. And DIABOLIC was one of the bands that always delivered fantastic releases. From their 1997 debut demo “City Of The Dead” (which has been re-released a few times ever since) to their last full length “Excisions Of Exorcisms” in 2010, this fearsome foursome never let their fans down and whatever came out with the DIABOLIC logo on it, always offered first class brutal Death Metal the American way. Unfortunately it became pretty quiet around these guys for a while already and I was wondering whether they possibly might had split up in the meantime. Well, luckily they have not and are still alive and ass kicking as ever, as their new album “Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost” easily proves again. Founding member and drummer Aantar Lee Coates, better known as “the blastmaster”, is still giving his drums a hard time. His insane speed on the double bass, snare and toms is almost scary, but the songs always benefit from that, since DIABOLIC vocalist / bass player Paul Ouelette spits out his vocals in a similar hateful and very brutal way, while both (session) guitarists, Matt Roberts and Matt Barnes (MONSTROSITY), that replaced Jeff Parrish (who passed away from a heart attack in 2013) and Kelly Mclauchlin (who plays in I AM MORBID these days) deliver a whole bunch of killer riffs and insane solowork in the good old Florida Death Metal style. All those of you who already own a copy of “The Infamous Legacy” (a limited split CD with COMATOSE, that DIABOLIC released in 2019 via Vetus Diaboli Productions), will already know six out of the eight featured songs that are on “Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost” now, since they have been featured on that split. But since the new album was recorded in 2020 these must be newly recorded versions of ‘Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost’, ‘Passage Way Of Enchantment’, ‘Infamous Legacy’, ‘Atmosphere Of Dread’, ‘Raped Of All Sacred’ and ‘The Spoken Spite’ now. The fact that only ‘Useless Saviour’ and ‘Insanity Mastered’ will be brand new songs on here, doesn’t mean there’s any difference in the quality of the material. All of the songs on “Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost” deserve to be on the album and the rather short playing time of approximately half an hour just makes you wanna press play again as soon as the last notes of ‘The Spoken Spite’ have ended. Needless to say that producer Juan “Punchy” Gonzalez once again gave the guys the crushing sound they deserve. So, to sum it up: if you are a fan of Florida Death Metal in general and always liked DIABOLIC in particular, you shouldn’t hesitate for a second and add this awesome album to your shopping list! All additional band information you will find at www.facebook.com/diabolic.deathmetal, for ordering details please visit https://tentaclesindustries.bigcartel.com or https://tentaclesindustries.bandcamp.com

Frank Stöver

Frank Stöver

DIABOLIC
Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost
(Tentacles Industries)
28:08min

I was blasted away, when I laid ears upon DIABOLIC’s debut full length “Supreme Evil” released by Metal Age Recordings in 1998. The superb mix of high fuelled and intense blasting Death Metal, Black Metal riffing and atmospheres caught right on. I wasn’t that impressed when I heard their demo “City Of The Dead” a year or so before, though lots of things happened during the time from the writing and recording of the demo, to the writing and recording of the album, especially on the songwriting side of things. The skeleton was laid out on the demo, though it just didn’t catch me, as much as the album did. The demo, has though, taken revenge since then and is on regular rotation in the dungeon nowadays. The second album “Subterraneal Magnitude” released in 2001 by Conquest Music was also quite good, a quite natural follow up to the debut, though not with as much punch and attitude as the first release, I was missing some of the hooking atmosphere that haunted the first album. Fast forward to the third installation of the band “Vengeance Ascending”, this time released on Olympic Recordings, and the point where I lost interest in the band, still intense and blasting, though not much feel nor atmosphere left. Something that haunted the band for a while, together with tension between some of the members of the band, which made drummer Aantar Lee Coates, bassplayer / vocalist Paul Oulette and guitarist Jerry Mortellaro leave and create their own entity of DIABOLIC, called BLASTMASTERS and leaving guitarist Brian Malone to assemble a new line-up for DIABOLIC, which lead to the album “Infinity Through Purification”. Though he soon left the DIABOLIC moniker for Aantar who made a little noise with a couple of EPs, before releasing a quite mediocre full length in 2010, before the band folded. DIABOLIC has now returned with Aantar at the helm and drums of course, Paul Oulette at bass and vocals with the helping hands of guitarists Matt Barnes and Matt Roberts, with a hint to one of Aantar’s and Poul’s earlier bands, UNHOLY GHOST in the title, a band that did a couple of decent demos and a quite boring full length, before the band called it quits. It would be wrong to say that the 10 years of hiatus has done anything to the standards of DIABOLIC, it is still blasting high fuelled intense Death Metal. The eight tracks are a blastfest with intense guitar riffing, diabolical guitar leads and the blasting drumming of Aantar. I have always been a fan of Oulette’s vocals, mostly an evil blend of a growl and a scream, at other times raw and guttural and at other times again, a tad more screaming, all effective and to the point! Though I still miss some of the Black Metal riffing and dark, cold and evil atmosphere from “Supreme Evil”. It shows its face here and there on this record, as in ‘Useless Savior’ and ‘Spoken Spite’, and those keys utilized on said track, they do wonders for the atmosphere, though are not utilized enough in my opinion! A good comeback with some power and intensity, together with evilness and a good atmosphere. Even though the drums have quite a lot of space, and perhaps a tad too much punch, compared to guitars and bass, and a tad too defined for an organic sound. The boys are back, and they are once again on a good path, this is not by far the best DIABOLIC album, though more than decent. Enter the city of the dead at these locations: www.facebook.com/diabolic.deathmetal, https://tentaclesindustries.bigcartel.com, https://tentaclesindustries.bandcamp.com

Anders Peter Jørgensen

Anders Peter Jørgensen

DIABOLIC
Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost
(Tentacles Industries)
28:08min

My maiden exposure to DIABOLIC happened accidentally, when I was hooked by the classic Joe Petagno cover art of “Supreme Evil” (1998), and after being exposed to the whole record, I was awe-stricken by its intense shape shifting guitar wizardry, superlative crafty drumming and insidious dark atmosphere and thought, this criminally underrated gem, must have been buried under the pile of many renowned releases from the swampy Florida. After that, time went by and DIABOLIC has always been remained in my head with its classic essence and uncompromising attitude that reeks from its early works. Bereft of the desire to check on any modern time release by classic period bands, it was initially wonderous to find out that “Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost” is their sixth full-length studio album and it’s the successor to “Excisions Of Exorcisms” from 2010. An appallingly quiet approach from the DIABOLIC camp in the ten years between the two releases and you get the feeling, that they must became a project these days than a “real” band. A sentiment which is further strengthened by the fact that it was recorded by the two-piece line-up of drummer Aantar Coates and lead vocalist / bassist Paul Ouellette, while the guitars were handled by session musicians. Stylistically the material on this record sounds exactly how you expect them to sound. Wrathfully fast-paced and technically well played US Death Metal in an old school style, which in many ways is similar to the sound of some of the late 80s / early 90s releases by fellow Florida artists. However, it seems by the time “Excisions Of Exorcisms” was released, the band had run out of ideas and paired with a flat and somewhat lifeless production work. Regrettably, the same can be said about “Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost”. It’s a decent quality US Death Metal release, performed by skilled musicians, but the production job lacks dynamics and for some reason the band has chosen to put the growling vocals too low in the mix, which denies the imposing power that they traditionally have on preceding releases. So, although it’s obvious they have some relatively fantastic songwriting ideas and there are lots of authority and aggression in their music, but that energy and atmosphere is not fully realized as a consequence of treating it with a digitally sounding production instead of a trustworthy analog, brutal and raw sounding production. Especially, the drums sound triggered and machinic, and the guitars also sounds very similar on most tracks. Without the analog, brutal and raw sounding production, the lack of dynamics is evident and my attention simply begins to wander only a few tracks into the album. There are a few standout moments on tracks like ‘Insanity Mastered’ and ‘Spoken Spite’, but they are few and quickly disappeared. Also the album cover art by Zbigniew Bielak must be one of the most throwaway work with which I can’t connect the album by any means. Altogether, it depresses to find that the once mighty have fallen. The shocking debacle and departure of former guitarist and co-founder Brian Malone, may just killed off the spirit of DIABOLIC and one only can wish them again approaching the essence of some of their earlier full lengths. Explore the band and label here: www.facebook.com/diabolic.deathmetal, https://tentaclesindustries.bigcartel.com, https://tentaclesindustries.bandcamp.com.

Randolph Whateley

Randolph Whateley

DIABOLIC
Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost
(Tentacles Industries)
28:08min

Great news from Tampa: the mighty DIABOLIC are back and delight us with one of their best efforts in their 24-year career. After a ten years hiatus this legendary Death Metal band from Florida is back with two quarters of the original UNHOLY GHOST line-up (Aantar Lee Coates behind the drum kit and Paul Ouellette on bass / vocals) and two new virtuoso members on guitars (Matt Barnes from MONSTROSITY and Matt Roberts). “Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost” is their sixth full length album, originally released in digital format by the Thai label Witchhunter Records in late March 2020 and recently pressed on physical formats by the French label Tentacles Industies (CD, tape and vinyl). To me this is one of the best Death Metal albums of the last few years: for sure the best of 2020 so far. A true masterpiece of evil brutality that proves once again, as if it was necessary to say it, how Florida is the promised land of Death Metal: Sweden, back off! Eight songs for almost 30 minutes of brutal satanic Death Metal in the vein of early MORBID ANGEL and DEICIDE, but DIABOLIC, after two decades, still sound much better than the last efforts from Azagthoth and Benton, actually. Coates offers us a fantastic performance on drums and there were no doubts about it, since he is one of the big names of the Floridian school of Death Metal drumming together with Steve Asheim, Pete “Commando” Sandoval, Alex Marquez, Sean Reinert and Steve Flynn. You’ll get an astonishing lesson in drumming violence with tons of killer and heavy fills, rolls, blastbeats and a solid double bass. Here we have a very extreme, fast, brutal and technical hyperblasting drummer. “Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost” will give you the same dose of musicianship, technique and brutality in terms of riffing and guitarworks too: evil and fast melodies, hypnotic slowdowns, sweep, tapping and vibrato solos. Barnes and Roberts are two excellent guitarists, worthy heirs of Azagthoth and the Hoffman brothers. Ouellette’s vocals fit perfectly with the devastating aural destruction created by the instruments. Sick, ultra guttural and low growlings, pretty reminiscent of another institution of Floridian Death Metal: Steve Tucker. Visually and lyrically this album follows the dictates of the genre: a blasphemous concept inspired by ancient evil and Lovecraftian horror, all enriched by a gory artwork with a killer Pazuzu demon that dominates the scene. In conclusion, this is a mandatory addiction to your collection if you’re a fan of pure American Death Metal. Nowadays is hard to find an album of this level: buy it! If I had to rate it: 10/10 without any hesitation. Stay brutal! More DIABOLIC information you will find at: www.facebook.com/diabolic.deathmetal, label contact: https://tentaclesindustries.bigcartel.com, https://tentaclesindustries.bandcamp.com

Rick Peart

Rick Peart

DIABOLIC
Mausoleum Of The Unholy Ghost
(Tentacles Industries)
28:08min

DIABOLIC make plain from the very first moment what this album is all about. A barrage of crushing Death Metal with truly unbelievably fast drums, fast guitars and technical solos. The band consists in this release of two ex – members of EXMORTIS – who used to be an underground name featured in many fanzines back in the late 80s to early 90s – together with two session guitar players, one of whom currently playing in MONSTROSITY, so there is a certain pedigree to DIABOLIC and it surely shows. Despite having sufficient personality, the band cannot escape its milieu, nor do they wish to, surely. There is often a bit of a MORBID ANGEL vibe, mainly in tracks such as ‘Useless Savior’, in which even the vocals (always very capable) draw particularly close to David Vincent’s. Mainly the absolutely maniacal drumming, however, often brings to my mind stuff like REBAELLIUN or VADER. Truth is DIABOLIC are completely a part of this kind of old school Death Metal we love, and they do it better than most these days. I find myself surprised with the attention-grabbing leads and solos that spring from the untold brutality developing underneath. The closing track deserves a mention, being the most experimental one, with some eerie keyboards setting the basis for a continuous, almost atmospheric, delay-infused guitar deambulation through some cosmic dimension; always with the ever-present drum artillery. At the end of the album, the verdict is that DIABOLIC’s speed and skill are utterly impressive, and often very nearly unbelievable, such as in the monstrous title track. I, for one, am most certainly impressed! So if you are looking for exceedingly fast brutal music to crush your skull with, this is heavily recommended. Go find it at www.facebook.com/diabolic.deathmetal, https://tentaclesindustries.bigcartel.com, https://tentaclesindustries.bandcamp.com

Ricardo Campos

Ricardo Campos

Related reviews / interviews:
DIABOLIC - Chaos In Hell / Possessed By Death (Frank Stöver)
DIABOLIC - Supreme Evil (Frank Stöver)
DIABOLIC - Excisions Of Exorcisms (Michael Tak)
DIABOLIC - Subterraneal Magnitude (Edouard Vergriete )
DIABOLIC - Vengeance Ascending (Dimitri Ganatsios )
DIABOLIC - Infinity Through Purification (Stefan Franke )
DIABOLIC - interview (Frank Stöver)
DIABOLIC - interview (Frank Stöver)

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