Graveworm
Diabolical Figures


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
June 26th, 2009 | 37 replies | 11,973 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Their best since "Scourge of Malice". Solid goth-influenced black metal.

Graveworm’s first few albums displayed a band that excelled in combining black metal with gothic melodies and tones. Instead of improving on those strengths, though, the band started a move towards riff-oriented songs that placed speed and aggression over atmosphere. This emphasis lead to the loss of most the gothic elements with only simple synth parts left to remind of the band’s past. These new riff-centric albums weren’t necessarily bad, but they did suffer from a lack of dynamics and a general feeling of redundancy throughout. In addition, their new direction alienated a lot of the fans that enjoyed the somber atmospheres and powerful melodies. After listening to Diabolical Figures, it seems that the band might be attempting to win back those disenchanted few while not alienating current fans in the process.

The band is trying to achieve this by continuing to make death/black metal riffs the foundation for most of the songs, but by also creating enough space for Sabine Mair to deliver her melodies once again. Sabine has always been one of the better black metal keyboardists, but over the course of the last few albums her role has been minimal. Apparently, playing nothing but subtle waves of synth for the last few years hasn’t diminished her creativity, though, because she delivers a number of strong melodies over the course of this album. Virtually every song features a multitude of various melodies from subtle synth during aggressive sections to full-blown piano sections during calmer times. The most important aspect of her melodies (and one of the reason she’s one of the better black metal keyboardists) is that no matter what, she always delivers her sections in a way that compliments the music instead of overwhelming it.

This tactful delivery of melodies allows for the heavier, more aggressive side of the band to remain the emphasis of every song – a decision that most should appreciate. While the hybrid of death/black riffs provides plenty of the album’s heaviness, the vocals of Stefan Fiori cannot be forgotten. Stefan delivers his vocals in two distinct styles – the first is a deep death metal growl and the second is a typical black metal rasp. Stefan gets compared to Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth) a lot due to their similar rhythmic delivery styles and tendency to layer the different voices, but the difference is that Stefan’s voice has a lot more power and he abstains from any high pitched shrieks. On this album he also introduces a third style that is more of a deep, throaty rasp than an actual growl. This style is most prominent on the heavily gothic rock-influenced “Forlorn Hope” (although this might be the guest appearance by Karsten Jäger from Disbelief – I can’t tell).

It really started to seem like Graveworm were set in their new style and, if anything, they were going to move even closer to mainstream metal (Collateral Defect does have a metalcore song on it, after all). Instead, the band have reached back into their past in an effort to integrate their gothic influences into the visceral riffs that define their current sound, and have created their best album in years. This combination of elements leads to the first Graveworm album in a while to not suffer from redundancy and shouldn’t leave any fans feeling as though something is missing. Of course, trying to combine the old and new styles could have been a disaster but this “best of both worlds” approach ends up actually delivering the best of both worlds.



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user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 26th 2009



15886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was a lot harder to write than it should have been. Probably because I was all geared up to write a negative review and then they went and released something good. This was also a quick write-up because I forgot this was released today.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

BallsToTheWall
June 26th 2009



44164 Comments


Good review, suprisingly positive. Graveworm needs more fucking female vocals.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2009



8318 Comments


good review Willie, but it is natural that I don't actually need to say that anymore haha. This seems like it might be worth my time although I'm not big on black.

Oh and I made a new Be'Lakor review yesterday, I would love to get some feedback about it from you tbh

combustion07
June 26th 2009



5340 Comments


Surprised you liked this wasn't gonna check it out, but I guess I will now.

Wizard
June 26th 2009



19239 Comments


Pertaining to Willies avatar:
The Shining = Stanley Kubricks best movie!

May give this a listen but I wasn't too impressed from what I've heard of this band. Review was awesome for a quick little write-up. Wish I could do those : (.

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

combustion07
June 26th 2009



5340 Comments


The Shining, then Full Metal Jacket.

Willie
Moderator
June 26th 2009



15886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Graveworm needs more fucking female vocals.
Ha ha. Of course they do, Balls.
Oh and I made a new Be'Lakor review yesterday, I would love to get some feedback about it from you tbh
I'll read it for sure.
Surprised you liked this wasn't gonna check it out, but I guess I will now.
I was surprised I liked it too. I figured it would be as bad or worse than Collateral Defect. I half thought that they might go in some sort of black metalcore direction because of that one song on the last album.
May give this a listen but I wasn't too impressed from what I've heard of this band.
If you can help it, don't let this be your first listen to the band. Check out As Angels Reach the Beauty.
Pertaining to Willies avatar:
The Shining = Stanley Kubricks best movie!
I agree. I had the flash of them slaughtered in the hallway as my profile page picture, but then I figured that if someone saw it out of context it might cause issues so now I have the scene with the business man and the guy in the bear suit as my profile pic.

combustion07
June 26th 2009



5340 Comments


That bear suit moment is the weirdest thing in that movie lol.

BallsToTheWall
June 26th 2009



44164 Comments


Are there any restrictions on profile pics because my current one is pretty "dark"?

So is this better than Collateral?

Willie
Moderator
June 26th 2009



15886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm sure there are restrictions, but I don't think yours crosses the line. I'm sure it's just nudity and things like that. What is that picture of anyway? This is much better than Collateral and (N)utopia.

BallsToTheWall
June 26th 2009



44164 Comments


Well its a band pic from that dark ambient/darkwave band Sui Generis Umbra I reviewed. The lady is blindfolded, possibly bound and uhh.... I mean the image is pretty dark in a twisted/erotic sense but I love it because it perfectly captures the hostility of their muisc. I'm not sure if it's pushing the boundaries but dont care regardless.

Wizard
June 26th 2009



19239 Comments


If you can help it, don't let this be your first listen to the band. Check out As Angels Reach the Beauty.

Thanks for the rec'.

Willie
Moderator
June 26th 2009



15886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just read the comments for that album and you had said that you were going to check it out - did you?

Wizard
June 26th 2009



19239 Comments


Hahahahahaha I quite possibly forgot to write it down on my list. It's on there now.

Still awaiting Dimension Hatross.

rasputin
June 26th 2009



14517 Comments


Good review Willie.

Essence
June 27th 2009



3578 Comments


moar lik gravfail

jingledeath
June 27th 2009



7104 Comments


never really found this band interesting but great review Willie

Willie
Moderator
June 27th 2009



15886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really only one album by them that's really good and that's the one I reccomended to Wizard.

Hawks
June 27th 2009



34588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think it's obvious that I need this album. Really good review as always Willie.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

Piglet
June 27th 2009



4653 Comments


This album will obviously cement Graveworm's reputation as a potential and hopefully not pretentious band that is capable of creating an album of excellent sentiments. That is if the review and general opinion is accurate to suit a basic and foreboding ear.
There is always room in the Gothic genre for comparison to Cradle of Filth.



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