Diabolical Masquerade
Deaths Design


5.0
classic

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
January 26th, 2008 | 41 replies | 7,020 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Disclaimer: first review. Don't hurt me.

If you're familiar with Katatonia, then you may know Anders Nsyrom, also known as Blakkheim. His work, no matter what side project, tends to be nothing less than original. Diabolical Masquerade was his passage of delving into heavier, sometimes experimental music and through the four cds he put out under this name, Death's Design is at least remarkable for its endless combinations of genres, instrumentation, and themes. This is, however, made to be a soundtrack for a movie that doesn't exist so that would explain the 61 songs, most being under a minute.

The intensity and frantic emotion you feel when you hear the first dun.. dun.. DUN.. DUN.. of the cd...well it only increases by the time you get to track 2, which only takes 5 seconds. The first movement doesn't necessarily represent what the whole cd will sound like, but it sure sets the horror movie mood.

Going through the first few movements, you get some impressive imagery of what could be going on in the movie, which makes this kinda like a write your own scene thing...anyhoo...

The fifth movement brings about some clockwork....then blasts into one of the most epic 6/8 organ leads I've ever heard with a great rhythm under it. And then you hear the majesty of Dan Swano's clean vocals, yayyyy. Once Blakkheim starts his black metal rasp, you feel like storming into battle and slaying thousands to the beat of the double bass. This song is probably what you want to check out if you want one song to hear before the rest.

Moving on to the 8th movement, some pretty cool jazz riffs. Thankfully there's more of that to come. The 9th movement brings the sadness like no other track on here, probably representing a turning point in the movie. You're graced with lush flute and synth lines until it breaks for a eerie refrain of a previous song...and then BAM back into the first part of the song with distorted guitar playing the clean parts and busting into an extremely herioc lead, empowering your mind for the next movement.

The 10th-13th are the parts where you know something's going down. Again, it's really fun to try to write the movie while you're listening. One thing about the 10th I feel I must mention is the middle where it breaks to beautiful happiness and more clean vocals, only the lyrics are utterly creepy:

"It can see you...so don't try to hide
when you will wake up, it's only a dream..."

It explodes into some painful screams and with the mix of melancholy leads and power of the vocals, you can't help but feel so decadent, yet once again empowered to right the wrongs.

The 14th brings in another jazz solo, quite the bitch to tab out, but also very worth it since it's pretty :) The 15th-18th bring a new feel into the cd which could be described as what you'd listen to if you're playing a role-playing game in a temple filled with booby-traps.

The 19th movement recovers the powerful leads from earlier, except most of the music is performed by synths. The imagery of these tracks brings about a finale with a supernova in the backround, that's all I could use to describe it. Once the drums kick in you're thrown into something indescribable but you feel the need to fight someone to save everyone. And as you hear the 5 second scream of the 20th movement, the curtains close, and my jaw was down there..farther...there it is.

There's really not much more to say. If you're an open minded metalhead, or just open minded music lover, then I strongly advise to check this out. The band itself has been abandoned until recently when Anders felt the spirits speaking to him once again, so we'll see what happens.

Recommended movements:

1st, 5th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 16th, 19th



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user ratings (67)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2008



16301 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I've wanted to check this album out for quite some time. Not bad for your first review.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

BallsToTheWall
January 26th 2008



44164 Comments


Decent first review, much better than my first. I'm always glad to welcome new metallers on this site. Big Katatonia fan so I need this.

Tyler
Emeritus
January 26th 2008



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album is kind of average.

fireaboveicebelow
January 26th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks for the comments, is there anything I could do to write a better review next time?

rattlehead42147
January 26th 2008



1345 Comments


nice username, and good review, especially for a first. My first was much worse.

One suggestion I'll throw out: when you are putting quotes in a review, wrap [/ I] around the excerpt, that way you don't have to use apostrophes and it looks a bit nicer. (make sure to use two capital I's though, and no spaces in the brackets) so your quote would look like this:

[I]It can see you...so don't try to hide
when you will wake up, it's only a dream...


I've never heard this, but I have Ravendusk In My Heart, and I like it a lot. Dan Swano has the Midas touch, and Anders isn't a bad musician either.This Message Edited On 01.26.08

Shattered_Future
January 26th 2008



1540 Comments


I want to listen to this, but it's in such a listener-unfriendly format that I still haven't yet. My friend has this, though, and from what I have heard from it, it's great.

Tyler
Emeritus
January 26th 2008



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Dan Swano didnt have much to do with this. I mean he's on it but he didnt write it.
It's got a lot of solid ideas, but it's so esoteric and yet bland that it cant figure out what it's trying to do. Too much going on, almost none of it necessary, and the fact that each movement is split into like four tracks is just absurd and unnecessary.

jrowa001
January 27th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

even though i agree somewhat with what Coke said, i still enjoy this album

Essence
January 27th 2008



3583 Comments


Shit, 61 tracks? That must have been fun to add the the database

Review is written in a fanboyish manner.... try to lose the personal emotion for you have for the album, and write from the standpoint of:

What does this album SOUND like?This Message Edited On 01.27.08

fireaboveicebelow
January 27th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I guess I did make it pretty overpraised...I'll remember that

And thanks for that italics idea rattlehead!

Crimson
January 27th 2008



1935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dan Swano? Anders Nsyrom?
I want.

Confessed2005
January 28th 2008



3314 Comments


That's an absurd tracklist.

I would check this out but I'm really lazy. Plus I've been downloading like crazy of late.

Tyler
Emeritus
January 28th 2008



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's actually split into over 100 tracks.

fireaboveicebelow
January 28th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

its only 43 minutes lol

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2008



16301 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Excellent album. The only thing which screws me up is the 61 tracks. Other than that, great CD.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 23rd 2008



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I have no idea why I said over 100 tracks. Either way, album is average.

fireaboveicebelow
October 30th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

jesus christ this review sucks, I need to redo it

FR33L0RD
February 2nd 2010



1461 Comments


digging this interesting symphonic blackmetal album

McCopper
May 6th 2010



1367 Comments


Album is phenomenal

Gyromania
June 22nd 2010



15461 Comments


This is really good.



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