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Go to the Diabolical Masquerade website  Diabolical Masquerade - Death's Design [Avantgarde Records - 2001]

Who said that black metal would never been taken serious by the 'outside' crowd has his facts wrong since this new Diabolical Masquerade album is an official motion picture soundtrack. That's right, the soundtrack to an official Hollywood horror movie. A movie that we will never see on the bigscreen since it's cancelled. It kinda fits with the music, a mysterious movie which we will never see but with a perfect soundtrack.

This is Diabolical Masquerade's fourth album already. The previous three albums were nice attempts at mixing black and dark metal with a horror theme. "Nightwork", the third album was a good piece of work, but still had its flaws. "Death's Design" is the perfect follow-up since everything is improved. The main composer -Blakkheim (Katatonia)- even hired a small orchestra. Ex-Edge of Sanity-man Dan Swano also had his input. The album has 61 tracks which are divided into 20 parts. Most parts contain 4 tracks, and when played behind each other, they make a full song (don't do shuffle on this album). The orchestra is really good, no more cheesy keyboards anymore but real violins. The metal arrangements are a bit more progressive than before and not just straight black metal blast beats. The album has great riffs and the combined metal-orchestra parts are really well done. Don't miss the cool jazz and rock 'n roll guitar-solo's either. The vocals are mostly black metal style, but on two short tracks they used normal vocals which are really cool and add a great atmosphere to the music.

For me this is a perfect example of good music. "Death's Design" is not only original but it also knows how to put some fresh air into a genre which has almost no interesting artists anymore. The new Diabolical Masquerade is a great album which every fan of refreshing and good metal should get.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Niels van Rongen
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