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Darzamat: SemiDevilish

On their fourth album SemiDevilish, Poland's Darzamat once again throw at the listener their brand of epic black metal meets ethereal gothic rock, an interesting combination that just seems to work time and time again. The growling vocals of Flauros, quite similar to Dimmu Borgir's Shagrath, play the perfect foil to Nera's angelic flights. The two do battle on many of the songs here, some of the most successful being the symphonic black metal pieces "In Red Iris" and "Era Aggression", the latter also containing plenty of blast beats, crunchy guitar work, and orchestral synths. In fact, keyboard fans will really appreciate the few short instrumental bits and intros on the album, which are mostly orchestral and symphonic film score styled sections used as segues into the heavier passages. They work quite well to offset the more crushing main parts, and fans of the band should already be used to this tactic, as they use it quite often. The band is rounded out by Daamr on guitars and bass, Chris on guitars, Spectre on keyboards, and Golem on drums.

Other winners here include the bombastic "Time of Obscure Emotions", the death metal sounds of "Fistful of Ashes" (where Nera even gets into the mix with some "devilish" vocals), the gothic "Absence of Light", and the progressive black metal of "Dusk", featuring some wild arrangements and the spitting vocals of Flauros. Overall, SemiDevilish is a somewhat schizophrenic release, but that seems to be the intention of the band. Are they black metal, death metal, progressive, or gothic? How about all rolled into one? That's my guess, and will probably be yours after checking out this dense and busy, yet ultimately rewarding album.

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. In Red Iris
3. Era Aggression
4. Time of Obscure Emotions
5. Fistful of Ashes
6. Demise
7. Absence of Light
8. The Darkest One
9. Dusk
10. From Beyond
11. In Its Cobweb
12. Video Clip-Era Aggression (Live From Brutal Assault Festival)

Added: February 25th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Darzamat Website
Hits: 2399
Language: english

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Darzamat: SemiDevilish
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-02-27 06:51:49
My Score:

Darzamat is a Gothic Metal band that's not only fronted by a dueling male and female vocal but also one who blends the elements of Black and Death Metal together with incredible success. Now you might be rolling your eyes at the aspect of yet another male/female fronted Metal band but before you do that let me explain just how incredible Poland's Dark Metal group actually is. "Semi Devilish" is the bands fourth album and it all begins with a powerful instrumental mood maker before "Red Iris" begins. The tune serves as your introduction to the band as we hear the guttural growls of Flauros, the male vocalist, and the clean yet brooding at times vocals of his female counterpart Nera. Nera's voice is the perfect dynamic and she keeps her vocals at one tone for the most part as opposed to doing soaring operatic things and with so many bands doing this these days I found it a welcome change. It continues along with "Era Aggression" and finds a raving Flauros over a machine gun double bass drum pattern while Nera joins in as an almost ghostly chorus. It doesn't take long before one realizes that this isn't along the lines of Lacuna Coil or Evanescence but instead more like Dimmu Borgir meets Within Temptation if you needed to form an immediate idea about them. Given this description one can understand also that the material on "Semi Devilish" is rather heavy and it keeps this as a constant across the various dramas that the band plays out all over the album. The musicianship on the recording is exemplary and finds the talents of Daamr (guitars/bass), Chris (guitars), Spectre (keyboards) and Golem (drums) making this come to life and doing an incredible job at that. Other highlights include the epic "Time Of Obscure Emotions" which is one of my favorites as well as it covers a lot of musical ground and takes the bands technical proficiency to additional levels. Nera offers up some growls from time to time and it works towards some better dynamics with Flauros and while all of this is going on we have some seriously foreboding and melodramatic orchestrations happening. Overall it makes Darzamat's "Semi Devilish" an album that you can easily enjoy on the first listen but not one that you will fully understand until your second or third go at it. I can safely recommend this to fans of Dark Metal since that is truly where the band falls but can also say that those who feel as though the Gothic Metal side is getting a little over-saturated would find something different in the likes of Darzamat. Clearly this import from Poland is heading for a promising future and "Semi Devilish" is a great place to get on board with what they are all about. The band would follow this album up with the stunning "Transkarpatia" which I actually heard first and feel is a worthy addition to one's Metal collection as well.

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