The fifth album from Swedish death metal veterans Diabolical, titled Neogenesis, is a concept piece whose storyline is based on a novel, with each song representing a chapter of the book. As we weren't given any of the lyrics I can't really comment on the whole story here, but seeing as this is death metal and looking at the song titles you can be sure that it's all horror related. As for the music here on Neogenesis, it's very enjoyable death metal with plenty of symphonic & technical elements. Classy stuff I'd say as well, which one wouldn't necessarily think when talking about music this brutal. The guitar riffs from Sverker Widgren and Tobias Jansson are well thought out and executed, with just enough dissonance & complexity to give a varied texture from track to track. What really makes this album special however are the excellent growls of Widgren and the bits of symphonic elements & choirs. His are not your typical death metal growls or grunts that are impossible to digest, instead, just really well executed growls that don't sound overly harsh or take complete control of the mix. I'm reminded of Peter Tagtgren or Mikael Akerfeldt at times. Plus, the symphonic elements and occasional choirs add a majestic quality that just contributes an extra special something to the arrangements, rather than take them over.
Another great aspect of this album are the varied tempos that are heard from track to track. Not content with constant pummeling, Diabolical switch from raging death/black metal ferocity to some melodic/symphonic pieces to even slower doom/death type arrangements. Some of the highlights include the pounding "Into Oblivion", the dissonant "World in Silence", and the epic sounding "Reincarnation of the Damned". Some of the longer songs, like "The Age to Come" for instance, which are filled with twisting, bludgeoning riffs but also some progressive passages, remind a bit of Opeth or Be'Lakor.
Fans of epic, adventurous death metal will find lots to sink their teeth into here on Neogenesis. Apparently the full product comes with the CD & book (which was written by guitarist Stjarnlov) in a nice little package, which will allow you to read the whole story while cranking the music. Recommended.
01. Into Oblivion 04:15
02. Metamorphosis 05:00
03. Oracle 05:04
04. Ex 01:58
05. World in Silence 05:08
06. Reincarnation of the Damned 06:13
07. Fields of Nihil 06:53
08. Dialogue with the Dead 04:50
09. Wolves' Choir 04:40
10. The Age to Come 08:21
11. Humanitas 03:06