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Once in a while, the hype outlives the music. De Infernali is one of those bands. With music, lyrics and vocals contributed by Jon Nödtveidt, you would expect much greater quality in this Symphonia De Infernali. And Dan Swanö doing vocals on Sign of the Dark should up the ante on quality here. Ultimately, however, this fails on many levels.
What starts with “Into the Labyrinths of Desolation”, which is a dark, hypnotic piano and organ piece, supplemented with woodwinds, which is one of the most enjoyable songs on here. It’s not heavy, but it’s relaxingly evil and thoughtful.
After such a great song, we’re treated to some of the worst work that Jon has ever had his name credited to. “Ave Satan” sounds like a pathetic attempt to recreate part of the Halloween theme combined with something a cheerleader might find enjoyable (see 1:01 to 1:28, among other portions). One would think that drugs had some serious drug issues to think that this would be good music.
There are moments of greatness here, and there are moments of utter failure as well. I see to find when the techno and vocals kick it, this album becomes an ordeal. “Sign of the Dark” with Dan Swanö finds him in rare forgettable form, using clean vocals that would ruin this song if not for its own simplicity and the ability for the listener to forget this “music”. “Atomic Age” and “Liberation” suffer from the same fate as “Ave Satan” – poor vocals and even more pathetic song structures. And “X” seems to be static filler and very much worth skipping.
Orcus Cursus, however, has the same advantage as “Into the Labyrinths of Desolation”. The musicianship bypasses the techno and goes straight into orchestral soundtrack music, which works wonders. And “Revival / Paraxysmal Winds / Forever Gone”, is the only song that starts to approach greatness, with the same qualities of the aforementioned instrumentals and one short, jarring thunderstorm interrupted by a chant by Jon. This is the only time a song with vocals works on this album.
Sadly, I have to rate this album low, as there’s not a lot here for fans or Jon Nödtveidt, Dan Swanö or metal in general. If you like sub-standard techno with hints of melancholic greatness, thought, this might be for you. However, if you’re a Dissection purist, avoid this at all costs.