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One of the best demos ever - 90%

dismember_marcin, April 5th, 2017

Repulsive Echo is a relatively new underground label from Greece that already has proven its worth with several great releases. They did some killer vinyl and CD reissues of bands like Gutted, Malevolent Creation, Solstice, Demented Ted, and also released a new album from Brutality. And I know that Kostas, who's behind this label, has plans for more interesting releases. The first vinyl which Repulsive Echo released though was the "City of the Dead" demo by the blastmasters from Florida, Diabolic! And wow, what a good start it was for Repulsive Echo. And even better for Diabolic, because this debut demo (originally released in 1997) simply kills. I do admit that I didn't have a chance to hear it before I got this vinyl, which is weird, because I have all the other CDs which Diabolic released. But this is why I am happy that Repulsive Echo came up with an idea of releasing this piece of black wax. It's a great addition to my collection and fantastic music to listen to.

Originally, the "City of the Dead" cassette contained just three songs, so the LP edition has some bonus tracks to have even bigger value. But everything begins with the proper demo content... and wow, what fantastic stuff it is. I truly love this demo!!!! The opening track "Denounce God" is so fuckin fast and brutal that it makes my ears bleed and I feel like a bulldozer rode over me and I have all my bones broken! Amazing song, with the proper Florida sound and style of death metal, which is so characteristic for the US scene. Don't be surprised if you'll hear a lot of Morbid Angel influences, as well as Deicide, Monstrosity... but also Vader, Vital Remains, Krisiun, etc! Yes! This song is killer, the drumming of Aantar Coates is so fast and precise that the impression is even bigger. And I love Paul Oullette's vocals. He sounds like a real beast! The second song is a title track and it's my favourite tune from the whole vinyl. It's the slowest song, with the fantastic Morbid Angel-esque riffage... but I love its atmosphere, viciousness and feeling. It sounds truly exceptional. Finally we have "Vortex" and yes, it's fast motherfucker!

And then there's the bonus section. First we have two old unreleased songs "Encarta" and "Inborn". I'm not quite sure what year they were recorded, but they only appeared on the "City of the Dead" CD version before. Obviously they also sound very good and it's nice addition. Morbid Angel's "Visions From the Darkside" cover sounds absolutely amazing, very close to original and I dare to say that it's just as good as the original. I fuckin love this song and this cover is absolutely 10/10 for me. On the other hand I don't care much for Slayer's "Gemini". I don't even know this song's original version, have no idea what Slayer album it's from, since the last record I have is "Seasons in the Abyss". It's well played, very well recorded... but the music is average for me. Finally a real treat for this vinyl is the last song "Lucifer Induced", recorded in 2013, which means it's the last Diabolic song recorded so far (which I know of at least). Obviously it sounds very much in the classic vein of this band, so expect a strong death metal crusher in the best quality.

The entirety of "City of the Dead" comes in fine black / white packaging (I like the idea of keeping it just black / white), with lyrics, some scans from the demo days and a small poster. Definitely very recommended release and such a brilliant demo from Diabolic. I love it.
Final rate: 90/100

The Dead City - 75%

Tlacaxipehualiztli, July 7th, 2012

This completely forgotten three piece demo tape comes from the sunny Tampa. And I think the place of origin is not a surprise if we talk about the metal genre. Yes, this package contains pure death metal exclusively. When I recall these days when I read about Diabolic in underground press and sent well-hidden money in envelope to one of the band’s member… All right, let’s leave these nostalgic whiles and focus on the music. This band was like a fresh wind in the numb scene, where death metal outfits tried to play in most extreme ways forgetting about the metal spirit. The scene was overcrowded by many armies of clones, so these sunny guys from Florida were something new, but I can’t say that their stuff is very original and uncommon. In spite of this fundamental statement, I return very often to the city of the dead.

This demo with the same program on both sides is released in very professional way: good cover and powerful sound realization, but don’t be surprised here and take a look on mastering: Jim Morris and Morrisound Studios. Is everything clear? I hope so. The first track “Denounce God” starts with short sinister tunes of introduction and the massacre begins. Here I would like to write that my memories come to one Polish band called Vader and their second album “De Profundis”. Of course there is no plagiarism, but ‘in the same vein’ – death metal played in its purest form. Diabolic proposes tempo changes, slow and very fast parts, typical growls and clean, gloomy vocals in some moments, simple yet ‘vivid’ guitar riffs. The second title song is better. Maybe connotations with Vader are gone, or maybe this is just a death metal killer? The first half is very, very slow, hard and pounding riffs crush the listener effectively, but with Paul’s word “…die…”, Diabolic shows faster face, there is also short solo lead (‘shy’ a bit here), but this element in their music will be very significant in the future. The last “Vortex” is like a mix of the best patterns in death metal. They throw to the big pot fast tempos, interesting riffs, cool guitar lead and murderous Aantar drums. This song simply kills and invites the listener to put the button play once again.

“City Of The Dead” lasts only twelve minutes and saying that appetite comes with eating fits here perfectly. The Americans built their musical castle on the very solid ground of pure death metal, maybe beside Vader, I can also mention such names as Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. There is a hellish force, metal passion and good music. And the debut album (released one year later) didn’t change these aforementioned elements. And what is more, the band reached another better level.