Diabolique - _The Black Flower_
(Black Sun, 1999)
by: David Rocher (8 out of 10)
It seems Kristian Wahlin's band unfortunately never will get metal audiences to grant them the recognition they so clearly deserve, and _The Black Flower_ will only help make this reality clearer -- however, it may open a whole lot of gothic ears to their laid-back, quiet, and somewhat more accessible sound. Quite a contrast to the powerful intonations of _Wedding the Grotesque_, _TBF_'s tones are distant, almost unclear at times, and perfectly fit in with the way in which the band have replaced their restrained metallic aggressiveness with very delicate keyboard or undistorted guitar melodies, that are carried by Kristian Wahlin's deep, silk-smooth vocals, and emphasised by many convincing effects. This new approach to their music graces Diabolique's sound with a distant, tranquil feel, that is however rather disquieting at times. No brash displays of excessive technicality interfere with _The Black Flower_'s calm atmospheres; Diabolique's new orientation defines itself as a brooding, undisclosing, mysterious, almost shy expression, which is definitely as classy as some bands' new musical directions sound vulgar and revealing. The Diabolique quartet seem to have found their path, a path which should prove to be far more determined than the slightly hesitant, yet excellent, metallic arias of _Wedding the Grotesque_ or _The Diabolique_.

(article published 19/5/1999)

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