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Diamatregon - Crossroad [tUMULt - 2009]

French black metal band Diamatregon make speedy and grim blacked metal with dips into blacked post-rock and punk edgerís along its way. The bands sound is both tied to the tradition of true black metal yet itís progressive, itís   memorable yet never safe & experimental but never too much so. Crossroad is the bands third album and itís a highly consistent, grimly memorable slice of blacked metal craft.

Each of Crossroad's eight tracks are dense blacked constructions that at first seem fairly simplistic, memorable and grim; but over replays offer up shifting, textured and sonic detail and show themselves as the true devious beast they really are. The bands sound is built around blacked metal's unholy trinity of guitar, bass and drums- thatís topped off with effective and atmospheric grim vocal accompaniment that goes from rasping grim to  atmospheric grunts, down to bleak at the side of your ear demon talk.  Favourites are kind of hard to choose as each track has itís own edge and slowly unveiling grim creative charm; but if forced here are a few of my present favourites are: Calvaire which starts out with mumbled grim theatrical chatter that rather brought to mind Devil Dolls Mr Doctor over chiming guitar Subtleties. Soon the track kicks into its stumbling yet atmospheric riff proper; and what a great and blacked slowed punk meets black metal groove it has. With wondering bass line and blacked atmospheric grace with the lead singer piping in with grim yet slightly harominc mummbles and theatrical chatter. Later on the guitars and vocals swirling into this wonderfully grim droning soup that has this didgeridoo  gone  grim type quality to it. The track exits with amassing of guitar tones, church bell tolling and blacked wind roar-making one of the most effective use of churches bells since Metallicaís For whom the Bell tolls. Another present favourite comes in the form of track two Terror & Warfare which starts off with this bulldozer like bass and drum roll thatís suddenly overrun by a swirling horror sting sounding guitar tone. Then the track tracks hammers in fully with itís ferrous yet garage lined blacked riff; thatís edged with singing guitar burns, clamouring drums, muffled vocal rasps. All to a track make that perfect rocks between the between furious lo-fi grimness,  grand dark horror atmospherics and memorable mettlic riff matter.

Last Year tUMULt label gave us one of the black metal albums of the year in the form of  Pyhaís - The Haunted House and with Crossroad theyíve unleashed one of this years black metal highlights. Donít expect it to knock you out with itís weirdness or odd take on the black metal genre; but over time youíll see more creative and unusual shifts, tones and angles with in the tracks and thatís what makes this such great and rewarding record.

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

Roger Batty
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