Label: High Roller Records
Release date: 15-11-2019
Germany has been the hotbed of thrash since the early 80s. Since then, the teutonic thrash stalwarts like Kreator, Sodom and Destruction have inspired several waves of thrash in the years to follow across several different geographies. A style that has been stamping its authority in the underground is the fusion of thrash with black metal sensibilities. I’d classify it as speed/thrash metal with vocals borrowed heavily from the first wave of black metal like Venom and early Bathory. If you’re familiar with bands like Nekromantheon, Black Viper, Condor, Deathhammer, Antichrist, then you’ll get a hint of the sound that I’m trying to describe. I’d like to place Diabolic Night in the same category of the aforementioned bands but there are definitely certain elements in their sound which differentiate them from the others. The band hails from Germany and their brand of music can be described like a sine wave – they have the highs with fast, skull-fracturing blistering thrash, and the lows which incorporate much slower guitar-driven sections. Both seem quite well stitched together which makes ‘Beyond the Realm’ an exciting listen as it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The album opens with a minute long instrumental called ‘Towards Forgotten Paths‘ which only serves as a build up for ‘Sovereign of Doom’, a blitzkrieg of a track. If you’re looking for a song to snap your neck to while headbanging, then this is it. The next track titled, ‘Crescent Moon Rising’, is my favorite track on the album. It opens with a chunky fist pumping riff and then it’s regular proceedings with Diabolic Night’s brand of thrash from there on. What amazes me about this track is that it rebuilds itself several times with tempo changes. It’s a bit difficult to guess the verse and chorus parts, it’s all meshed in there quite well. Midway through the album, you will chance upon the album’s title track, ‘Beyond the Realm’, a two minute long instrumental which has very Maiden-esque galloping riffs overlaid by a guitar solo. There’s also a section on the song where the bass guitar takes prominence – this was refreshing to say the least! ‘Odyssey’, another favorite track of mine, opens with an orchestral piece, something you’d probably hear in a ballet. Odd, right? But it strangely fits in, because by the 40 second mark, the melodic guitar lead takes ‘Odyssey’ to new horizons. The guitars definitely make the song more grandiose sounding. I like this concept quite a bit and it elevates the song to so much more than just a thrash metal song.
The mix on the album is quite great – making every layer discernible. I was honestly surprised to hear the bass in every song and in some songs they even went as far as to give the bass its own spotlight. That’s pretty darn cool! The vocals are raspy and like I mentioned before, they are heavily influenced by the early 80s first wave of black metal bands. The band definitely earns old school metal cred in this regard.
It’s very difficult to pinpoint something that I didn’t enjoy about this album. The songs are well written and composed, and the band will surprise you by breaking away from the norms of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-lead-chorus structures. If you enjoy your thrash metal, then grab yourself a cold one and go metal thrashin’ mad with Diabolic Night!
- Heavy Steeler – Vocals, Guitars, Bass
- Christhunter – Drums
- Towards Forgotten Paths
- Sovereign of Doom
- Crescent Moon Rise
- In Retribution
- Beyond the Realm
- Infernal Power
- Reach for the Night
- Descension into Dying Spheres