This album from French Satanist bastards DIAMATREGON (third in order as the title suggests), a second cloak of expression for the occluded minds behind ALUK TODOLO (or was it the other way around?), is in many ways an ordinary Black Metal album. But in many ways, it is not.
Indeed a crossroad, where the guitarist met the Devil and got himself the blues, where socio-musical intertextuality comes into play, though introducing fairly little to the blackened genre as a whole. It is still hypnotizing, alluring, beckoning the follower to Something Else, but let’s stick to the mundane. As countrymen PESTE NOIRE and AMESOEURS (both, coincidentally, releasing marvellous albums this year, far succeeding DIAMATREGON in terms of originality but perhaps not in wuality), this is a fusion of harsh and sad Black Metal, jarringly noisy (punk) rock, harmonic pop sensibility, and the Blues. The latter perhaps not in a strictly theoretical sense, but emotionally (the one which counts). A fusion entailed in the Black Metal genre since its inception from VENOM via BURZUM, but only exploding into the limelight during the last couple of years as more and more metalheads – mostly French, mostly this guy known as Niege – stopped feeling embarrassed by their MY BLOODY VALENTINE and SMASHING PUMPKINS albums. But let’s leave the mundane.
DIAMATREGON lurks like a decrepit ghost haunting a forlorn garage. Riffs nearly symphonic in their layered simplicity paint haunted castles, then suddenly halts into a feedback drone frenzy with the drums and distorted-beyond-sense bass kraut-plummeting their way. Comparing with what I remember from earlier DIAMATREGON releases – they have been inactive since 2003 – their new musical influences (made obvious in ALUK TODOLO) makes this band quite some justice. The vocals – a chapter in themselves – shift from proud and tortured anguish to Gollum-like retarded gargling, not many steps closer to the spiritual asylum FURZE spits his gibberish from, like something wriggling on the floor, spewing its black hate at your feet, chewing on your calves. Or that’s the impression I get, at least.
Crossroad is filled with beautiful artefacts hidden under barrages of noisome junk for the listener to exhume and revel in (though the production is clear, it’s still harsh, but not sharp cutting harsh, it’s a rather comfortable thing to listen to, not too comfortable but you get the point, it’s not dimmu borgir). Labyrinthine. Hard to know what is front and back; the songs have no exit, but exists in their own self-contained semantic units, intuitively elaborated. No order, no reason, only emotion and bile. Coughed up bitter sentimentality. Ugly, sharp, distorted, yet very appealing. Madness shallowly hidden under a thin veneer, deranged murmurs echoing in the mind and in dreary alleys lurking in the corners of your eyes. Channelling insanity.
A contender for the Throne of 2009? Without doubt. Does it make sense? Not much more than this review. Does that matter? No. Just listen and feel. France is one of the most important exporters of Black Metal in this past decade, and this album is a final jewel upon the crown of Le Roi Noir. Hail Satan, whoever he is.
Label: TUMULt Records
Avantgenre: Gutter-Labyrinthe Black Metal
Review online since: 25.11.2009 / 22:55:59
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