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What you get from Diabolic on this release is basically generic yet semi well done death metal. None of the material on here is fantastic but none of it is horrible either. "Vengeance Ascending" just kinda runs through they course hitting most of the death metal clichés on the way. Still there are enough riffs, solos and blastbeats to satisfy most fans of brutality. The songs themselves sound pretty similar, with only "The Inevitable", an interlude, differing from the bunch so there is no use doing a song by song.
The guitar work definitely has its moments on this CD it just needs to be a bit more consistent. Some decent riffs show up and then there are others that don't really do anything for me. Many of the riffs have been already overly exhausted by other bands of the same genre and Diabolic is obviously content to wrench whatever life is left in them. In terms of style the riffs are mostly tremolo picked with a somewhat murky sound similar to Krisiun (but not as shitty as Krisiun). Where the guitars really shine is during the solos, they are absolutely fantastic. Whether its slow and melodic or vicious and fast paced the soloing is brilliant. A lot of modern bands seem to ignore note selection and are happy to just play as fast as possible with zero memorability, this is not the case with Diabolic which is quite refreshing to hear.
Another point that deserves mentioning is the drummer, Anter Lee Coates. While not extremely creative in any sense he is very good at what he does, all out destruction of his set. The fills and rolls on this cd are almost constant and quite impressive. Aside from the creativity issue there is one other problem that being that he makes a crapload of mistakes throughout. None of them are too major but if you listen to his double bass kick drumming some of the screw ups are quite apparent and frequent. Even though the mistakes do happen I can't really say it takes away from the listening experience in any way.
The vocals, done by Paul Ouelette, are not very noticeable at all. No catchy choruses, no rapid fire delivery, no trade off vocals (a good thing in my opinion), just basic death metal yelling/ growling. The general sound of the vocals is somewhat raspy and monotone. The lyrics are pretty cheesy and as you may have guessed from the band's name are about Satan. More specifically they deal with the triumph of Satanism over Christianity except for "Celestial Pleasures" which is a horribly written song about sex ("Just a slut, into smut, crave her butt", get the idea?).
To wrap everything up "Vengeance Ascending" is a decent addition to your collection but unless you are absolutely obsessed with simplistic death metal it will probably collect dust after about a weeks worth of listening.
As a side note, the copy of the CD I have comes in a slipcase without lyrics, etc. but it does have some pretty cool cover art to make up for it.