Diabolical Masquerade - _Ravendusk in My Heart_
by: Brian Meloon (
This is a side project of Blackheim from Katatonia (a band I can't stand), but unlike the doomy stylings of Katatonia, this is mostly a black metal project. Being a one-man project, he handles all the instruments, and does all the vocals, save the horrible "heavy metal" vocals in track #5 (courtesy of Dan Swano). His name also appears in half of the song titles. Although the drums are handled by a drum machine, they actually sound good, and do a decent job of remaining varied. At times, they are a little monotonous, but no worse than a human drummer is. In fact, I'd say that if the production were worse, you probably couldn't tell that they were from a drum machine. That aside, the guitar and keyboard work is good. Some of the sections are very good, specifically when he goes for a high-speed black metal sound, as he's able to keep things precise without losing the aggression. Track #4 really stands out for it's heavy use of dissonance and overall weirdness. It's too bad that he can't keep up these sections for the duration of the album, and instead has to inject sections of the old-school style, which really detracts from my enjoyment of this album. Nevertheless, this is a good effort, and once again I've found a side project about which I can say: "Blackheim, quit your day job."
(article published 12/8/1996)
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