DIABOLI, KirousĀ  (2004, Northern Heritage)

The skull:
Some sort of Neanderthal skull here, apparently taken by surprise in the seconds prior to his death. I’m guessing death-by-meteor, the way he’s looking to the skies in bewilderment. And wait: does he look like he’s chewing on his own teeth? Or maybe his dental hygiene was that deplorable.

The music:
Either memory fails me, or Diaboli have changed. I remember hearing some of their ’90s era stuff, and it was incredibly primitive, with a bedroom 4-track sort of sound to it. But no, the band’s fourth album, Kirous, sports a thick bottom-end, a tight rhythmic foundation, and a punchy, crisp recording job. Lots of depth and quite heavy, the Celtic Frost-isms are clear throughout, although not as blatant as something like Usurper or Cianide. And indeed, there’s nearly as much early death metal atmosphere here as black metal. It sure as shit doesn’t sound like anything typical of Finnish black metal. I’m impressed, or maybe “surprised” is the better word, because as solid as this is, I still wouldn’t spend money on it.
— Friar Wagner

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