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Diabolical Sacrilege - To Dominate their Psyche - 80%

righty, December 28th, 2012

From the up-and-coming label Antitheist Disseminations I’m seeing some very interesting bands popping up for showcasing. The Minnesota death metal movement is kept pretty well underground these days, which can be both a good and bad abode. We who relish this under-dwelling know what to seek where, and hopefully Diabolical Sacrilege will help solidify that spot with its debut To Dominate Their Psyche.

Off the proverbial bat I’m intrigued to hear some very non-traditional death metal that seems to border on black-death, yet still has some elements causally…shifted. That’s not a negation by any means; it’s just something I’m not used to with such a good presentation behind it. The vocals are ultimately death, growling and hoarse breathing combining to lend an icy frost to the delivery that is quite the standard but works well in this setting. As for the music, there’s a real DM feel throughout that comes across well-structured and organized, complete with some slow, doomy breaks here and there to recharge your mental batteries. “Our Will” has such an amazing intro right before the lyrics begin that seems to literally cascade downward in a sorrowed pattern that picks up as the track moves and drops you right into the center of a DM tornado, complete with a pretty impressive guitar solo for measure. This track in particular calls upon some of the old early 90’s deathly movements that never really caught on, which is a shame. There’s a very clean feel to this music, but that doesn’t imply polished or plastic; the thickness of the sound is just enough to create that crypt-like feel that DM is supposed to demand, yet thin enough to showcase the obvious talent of these three guys who assemble and conquer accordingly.

The beauty of a band like this is how seemingly haphazard the songs appear when performed, yet retain a very strict sense of arrangement. “Hypocrisy” seems to have a milieu of strange chord progressions that might appear pieced together or chopped, but the reality is the music simply seems to find a comfortable niche in some off-the-cuff time changes in between power riffs that truly channel morbidity and strife. I also like the ‘chugging’ riffs that are part-and-parcel with some DM as found in “The Key Stimulus”, a slower (for these guys) and more melodic foray into the deepest entrails of a newly dead cadaver on the slab. What keeps my interest is the tremendous attention paid to the details of what it takes to create a solid death metal album these days when everything has been done to death, all puns intended. By the time I get to the final three tracks, a virtual musical trilogy of sorts, that takes me into a world of sounds and design I wasn’t expecting to be as interesting as it is. The pattern the three songs follow is concise with space between (there is no running together for one long, epic song) and keeps the overall feel of this ‘story’ within the confines of the three tracks. I especially like “Part II: For Those Who Have Separated The Wheat From The Chaff” with its slow, doom-laden riffing and breathy vocal that creates a visual scenario precisely correlated with the theme therein; I really enjoyed it because it deigned to follow a fragmented chalk line of typicality and branched out on its own accord, creating a heavy and dark sound without giving way to semantics and formulaic posturing. To Dominate Their Psyche causes ripples within the mind that upset the waters nicely with a deadly metal feel that is sorely missing in most of the American counterparts today.

This band has a really viable sound for USDM, and if you’re so inclined to channel the long-thought-retired recesses of a rotted reserve, grab this from the label and delve into areas unknown.

(Originally written for