There is something about basement dwelling blackened death metal that still invokes my inner fifteen year old, even after years of being in the genre. Such is the case with Engraved Darkness's latest record, the indomitable Diabolical Scriptures. Sure, it can be pretty rough around the edges, and sure there are more than a few moments where the brutality gets a little bit too over the top - but that doesn't take away from the fact that Engraved Darkness slay. Chunky, heavy to a fault and endlessly devoted to the blackness that haunts us all, this is a blackened death metal band who a starting to get it.
In some ways some of the challenges in the mix actually help to make Diabolical Scriptures endearing - it reminds me of the blackened death metal demos I fell in love with. Of course, Engraved Darkness take these dungeon level ideas and bring them to a new level with flashy guitar solos and a thudding bass delivering line after line of crushing heavy metal madness. The Ohio scene has always been noted for some particularly fucked up bands and Engraved Darkness are a great example of this - their sheer willingness to destroy and the overwhelming magic of their sound will get any old school blackened death fan diving into the pit.
The deeper you delve into this record the more apparent it becomes. Not only have Engraved Darkness been able to cultivate their own distinctive riffing style, but in fact their entire aesthetic seems to borrow in unique ways. While there are some elements that might seem reminiscent of Behemoth, Engraved Darkness still aren't afraid to add more than a touch of Morbid Angel into their sound. Diabolical Scriptures is interesting because you get to hear the band finding themselves and slowly realize that they are building towards something very cool indeed.
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