Release DetailsLABEL Adipocere
RELEASED ON 10/28/2003
posted on 5/2004 By:
Tru French Black War Metal. Nothing says cold winter wastes and frozen forest landscapes like France.
OK, granted, winter in the Ardennes is nothing to laugh about, especially with several panzer divisions firing at your frozen ass, but still...maybe that's why the band tacked "war" onto "black metal" in their press release. After all, despite all the funny jabs we take at them frog eating bastards, they DID manage to conquer most of Europe under Napoleon. They have a claim to the "warlike nation" as much as any other EuroLeBlancuer does.
So along comes Crystalium, and their really long, really black album Diktat Omega. And I have to be honest, I dug it, at least initially. The singer has a little french bread in his voice or something, because it's not nearly as screechy and annoying as most BM singers. And the band starts the record off with a really cool number, "Analyse Du Digne Vulgaire", with sweeping passages and violent pacing that manages to be grim and epic. It's no secret I find most BM retarded, but this band at least writes a good song, even if the need to record it badly remains. The opening number gives me the urge to rethink my contempt for most BM.
The next song kind of brings me back to reality, though. It's not so much that it's bad, or even worse than song one, but after the initial onslaught I started to get used to the sound and started picking it apart more. The guitars are weak assed thin. There, of course, is no bass. The keys are fine, I guess. The drummer is awful. OR maybe the band is awful and the drummer is great. But if that is the case, the drummer is awful for not picking up the band's vibe and working it. He's fast, and he's steady, but his rolls and transitions are chuckle inspiring. If I was playing in this band, I would cut his arms off with his own cymbals. It's a distraction that, once you catch it, you can never ignore. Perhaps this is the "Arrhythmic" bullshit elitists like to toss around like it means something deep and profound so they can fool real people into thinking they are mere philistines when it comes to REAL metal, but anyone with an actual working brain won't fall for this. It's bad drumming.
The songwriting is hit or miss. Like I said, the first track is a roaring, blasting and epic success. And as the record progresses, the band snatches a few more moments of raw metal brilliance from the jaws of overlong, boredom inspiring songs. But overall the record is just sort of there, playing as you do other things. It's funny that the longest song of this record, "Unifiez Les Chairs Mes Frères" is also the most tepid and easily ignored. This is something I have been noticing about a lot of bands lately. But it may be simply that you have more time to GET annoyed.
Production is crap. It's black metal. But it's not as crap as other records of this genre. it expresses the underground feel that these bands so desperately want you to notice about as well as any band you will find, but it IS listenable for all that. The drummer's toms are very, very badly recorded. Every roll sounds like someone farting into a tuba. And his snare is a joke. As I said earlier, the guitars are thin and tepid. The singer is not too high or too low in the mix.
Bottom line: I started out on board with this disc, but ended up forgetting it was playing. I guess that's about the best summation I can give you about this one. When the band smokes, they really smoke good Amsterdam grown shit. But when they don't, it's your buddy Darrell's garbage he grows in his basement, the stuff where you get a bigger buzz from the coughing fit than from the blunt. I can't recommend it to Black Metal guys with much gusto, and I really can't recommend it the general metal public, apart from the first song.
Oh, and by the way, French is the least evil sounding language I have heard.
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