The Gallery Of Bleeding Art
posted on 11/2008 By:
In the midst of a hefeweizen-induced haze, and stumbling through the litany of promos that currently clog the Metal Review queue, I thought I'd uncovered a gem. "Fucken hell!," I exclaimed, foggy brained and blurry-eyed. See, I had mistakenly thought that I had snagged a new Demonical album.
*presses play, arches eyebrow*
"Fucken, wha...? Shit." See, the album that was blasting from my speakers turned out to be the handiwork of the similarly-monikered Diabolical. This being the band's first album in six years, the name didn't really set off the proper alarms. While this revelation managed to explain the relative mediocrity that was pumping forth from those lil' Bose boxes, it certainly didn't make the heart grow any fonder, and it definitely didn't make any brain cells grow back...
This disc -The Gallery of Bleeding Art - is a solid, if ultimately unsurprising, slab of melodic death metal. Not the hyperpolished, synthcaked, clean vocaled candyassery that has somehow been tagged as melodeath lately; this is genuine, honest-to-goodness Swedish death metal with melody. Don't mistake this for a brand-new, diamond-tipped circular saw o' freshness, though - this is basically gratuituous At the Gates worship. In some ways, that is pretty damn gratifying in its own regard, because Demonical seem to be one of the few active outfits with the ability to properly employ such an influence. This is a direct filter, and is far more enjoyable than the wares of the countless shorthaired American clones that are aping this shit without a clue as to how deep the roots go.
The Gallery is very blue-collar, very workmanlike, and most importantly, very metal. There are some slight, nastified torques of the death/thrash knobs on here that are decidedly worthy: as the tempos rise on the blast-heavy steamroller "Pavor Sanctimonus" and the snarling "Religionism," relative happiness is achieved. Some Night In Gales-style deliberation on the pounding, powerful "Vertigo" is welcome as well; but Diabolical never really manages to get over the "sum-of-its-parts" hurdle. As far as AtG hellspawn goes, this is no My Passion//Your Pain.
Those that have been schooled in the real, European brand of melodic death will unearth some moderate enjoyment here, but this album offers little in the way of fresh meat for the fangs. 'Heads that have been riding this genre's wave for 10+ years have already tallied the score and collected their bets. Beyond the glorious final three minutes of the too-long "Ashes IV," nothing here has the strength to hoist the band above the second tier's cusp. Like the aforementioned Night In Gales, Diabolical don't have quite enough glue to make their gear stick.
Now what'd I do with my damn keys...
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