There is something vaguely reassuring in finding symphonic black metal bands that don't suck. I remember my mind being blown when I was a kid listening to Summoning and Caladan Brood. Meanwhile I also remember being frustrated with the mainstream bullshit of Dimmu Borgir. Diabolus Arcanium do a great job of creating Summoning-esque tracks that never get to ethereal and could appeal to more mainstream metalheads. It's certainly a balancing act but it's what makes their new record, Path of Ascension great.
What I love about this band is how they embrace their epic side whilst keeping necrogrim vocals and wonderfully tight guitar riffs. The ethereal elements are certainly there but you get something distinctly darker than you might find on a track by a band like Caladan Brood. Instead, these Indians are turned on to the profound evil of black metal, it's just that with a record like this they are also able to reflect upon the crushing humanity of the genre. In many ways it's actually hugely inspiring. You find yourself staring at a band who have managed to perfectly balance some of the most strangely intriguing ideas in the genre and create something wholly their own.
Perhaps it speaks to the power of the Indian metal scene that Diabolus Arcanium are able to create something so incredibly personal and yet also easily accessible (By black metal standards that is) The brooding crush of a song like Christ Eradication is direct proof that Diabolus Arcanium know exactly what it takes to craft some killer tracks. With an album that has a logical journey and some beautiful art done by my good friend Kunal Choksi I can't help but bend the knee and say that these guys are the new black metal overlords.
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