Dismal Euphony - _Dismal Euphony_
(Napalm Records, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (7 out of 10)
Closely allied to the black metal scene are a number of 'avant-garde' acts who take the basic elements of the blackened style - usually the standard guitar sound, vocal technique, and emphasis on atmosphere - and use these as a foundation upon which to build something more or less unique. Some of these bands end up putting out music that's basically just pretentious and corny (see my jabs at Angizia in this issue, for instance). Others, however (the excellent Accursed, for one), succeed in creating a sound that's refreshingly different, yet still anchored solidly enough in the traditional style to retain an authentic metallic vibe. Dismal Euphony definitely belong in this latter category, and this 18-minute mini-CD has me really looking forward to their upcoming full-length. The three tracks offered here are moody and melodic mini-epics, each featuring a really cool, spacey-sounding guitar tone which gets nicely fleshed out by ambient keyboards, synth, and the eerie tones of female vocalist Kelzina. The excellent final track, "The Mournful Silence," opens with a great doomy/acoustic intro which, at the sound of a clap of thunder, gives way to a haunting riff iced down by creepy black metal vocals, and then continues on through a number of interesting changes. "Spellbound," too, proves interesting and enjoyable. For a while now the black metal scene has been totally overflowing with creativity-impared hacks slapping on makeup and jumping on the trend, but this band is creating some genuine, substantial stuff. I'd have upped their score a bit if they incorporated a bit more metallic power and speed, but this one still comes highly recommended.

(article published 12/8/1996)

2/5/1997 P Azevedo Dismal Euphony: Dismal Thoughts
8/12/1999 A Wasylyk 8.5 Dismal Euphony - All Little Devils
1/1/1998 P Azevedo 9 Dismal Euphony - Soria Moria Slott
10/16/1997 S Hoeltzel 8 Dismal Euphony - Autumn Leaves: The Rebellion of Tides
11/18/1996 S Hoeltzel 8 Dismal Euphony - Soria Moria Slott
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