Genre: Black / Death Metal
Label: Indie Recordings
Yet another band I had forgotten about since their last album, as I also missed their EP Umbra in 2016, Diabolical are a band with a 20+ history in the scene. There is never not enough space for death or black metal bands from Sweden, and these guys have shown signs of potential in the past, my favorite album by them being The Gallery of Bleeding Art from 2008. The cover artwork immediately catches the attention for Eclipse, since it is simple but well designed and modern, which indicates towards a direction of how death metal albums are produced by some of the most popular bands, without any sign of filth (that is, many times, great).
Diabolical have never been shy of using symphonic elements and this is even more evident with their new album. There are lot’s orchestral background parts, piano and synths in the compositions, and there’s a purely instrumental interlude “Tyranni” to support this even more towards the end of the record. With Eclipse, the band aims for a wider audience and would attempt to make it their most acclaimed work to date.
With a clean and pleasing sound, it is of the likes of late Septicflesh, or even Behemoth, and if people are fans of these bands, I would definitely suggest Diabolical too. The vocals even remind of Nergal at times, while the music has taken a turn towards a more melodic structure than the heavier Neogenesis in 2013. Eclipse is like a statement of the ideal sound this band would like to have, with all its positive and negative characteristics. Diabolical are now thinking big, with a personal sound through known combinations of choral back vocals, growls, synths, a lot of melodic clean vocals for the choruses, and of course, polished production.
The outcome is far from perfect, but there are some interesting lines in Eclipse that show the ambition of the band. The musicianship is rather fine, yet the material at times has some filler moments and to me, it moves in a middle-paced manner in a more than needed, forced amount of time (“Inception” and “The Fire Within” describe that). The lyrics are fathomable when listening to the growls and from what I picked up, Diabolical need some serious improvement in that area as well, to write some more sophisticated texts in the future.
It is very obvious that the band has worked hard and Eclipse will attract people in the extreme scene and out of it. In my ears, some aspects of the record have not worked at all, but it has its merit. I might be a harsh critic with this one, but I feel like Diabolical, since they want to succeed in a more mainstream field of bands, as this album suggests, will have to work even more accurately than this, overall good, but not memorable release. On the other hand, Eclipse is an album that does have the ground to be praised by the fans and it might as well prove successful for the band. In my opinion, they are capable of creating a masterpiece, but they are not there yet.