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Diabolical Masquerade - Ravendusk In My Heart CD (album) cover

RAVENDUSK IN MY HEART

Diabolical Masquerade

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.15 | 8 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Ravendusk in My Heart" is is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish black metal act Diabolical Masquerade. The album was released in December 1996 by Adipocere Records.

Diabolical Masquerade is a one man project band featuring Anders Nyström (who appears here under the Blackheim name). Blackheim is the guitarist and co-founder of Swedish doom/metal legends Katatonia and more recently Blackheim and Katatonia vocalist Jonas Renkse has also been involved with death metal act Bloodbath which also features Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, Unicorn, etc...) and Mikael Åkerfelt (Opeth). Blackheim is definitely one of the most prolific Swedish metal artists in the last twenty years. While Katatonia drifted further and further away from extreme metal up through the nineties Blackheim still wanted to create extreme metal music and Diabolical Masquerade was for a period the vehicle for that ambition.

The music on "Ravendusk in My Heart" is melodic black metal with lots of traditional heavy metal elements. The tempo varies and ranges from blast beats to more slower paced parts. The vocals are mainly black metal rasps and they are delivered in a convincing manner. There are some additional goth type speaking in some of the tracks and also some more traditional heavy metal vocals in the song "Under The Banner Of The Sentinel". The vocals in "Under The Banner Of The Sentinel" are actually a nice break from the more traditional black metal rasps. The vocals sound almost like Rob Halford (Judas Priest). "Under The Banner Of The Sentinel" reminds me of a band like 3 Inches of Blood. The rest of the tracks are more in a similar black metal style but they are all very melodic and quite memorable too. There are lots of keyboard backing on all songs and that places "Ravendusk in My Heart" firmly in the symphonic black metal style (well... not as symphonic as Dimmu Borgir, but symphonic never the less).

Blackheim handles the instruments well but but I wish he would have hired a "real" drummer. The drums sound programmed to me and they are actually one of the few weak things on "Ravendusk in My Heart". They are very generic and I´m not sure I hear one fill anywhere (this is strongly exaggerated of course, but you get the point). The drums drag this album down a bit even though they are not a total distraction from the music.

The production is allright and listening to this again after a couple of years has made me appreciate it a bit more in fact. It´s not excellent but definitely not bad either.

"Ravendusk in My Heart" is all in all a pretty good album by Diabolical Masquerade and if you like your black metal with lots of traditional metal virtues and symphonic keyboards I find this album recommendable. A 3 - 3.5 star rating is warranted.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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