Germany. The country where young people into heavy metal, beer, and Satan in the 80s took the heavy and thrash metal they listened into its logical extreme and laid foundation to what came after: speedy black/thrash metal attack. To this day the country is still a hotbed for similar hybrid sounds with plenty of young bands still playing traditional speed or heavy metal touched by the more extreme side of the spectrum. Diabolic Night have been one of the most promising of these young bands with strong pre-debut material and here they have their first full-length effort, Beyond The Realm, to build upon the demos.
We had already featured Diabolic Night in our small guide to upcoming black/heavy metal acts and now that they have their debut album out, it is safe to say that the wait was definitely worth it. Strongly connected to the rest of the underground heavy metal scene (through live shows with members of other modern bands like Luzifer or Vulture; or through Mortal Rite Records,- the label of Heavy Steeler, the main guy behind Diabolic Night – that released material from bands like Lunar Shadow or Outlaw), they were well aware of what makes a new band stand out amongst the endless ocean of new releases.
The album has small nods to different influences like one vocal melody that sounds directly like early Bathory choruses, a smooth guitar solo surrounded by little bass guitar riffs that sounds like it belongs to a Nifelheim album, or occasional medieval and/or triumphant sounding melodic riffs that can be traced back to Desaster and Deströyer 666. These tributes are always done tastefully and Diabolic Night manage to avoid being a 100% worship band of any single influence. The band surely studied the black/heavy/thrash history course well and know what they are supposed to be doing to have their own sound and feel while staying on the path of old school.
While constant is the element of black metal, other component in the mix varies between smooth NWOBHM-like galloping heavy metal and Slayer-like sharper, speedy, thrashy sound between songs. “Beyond the Realm”, the instrumental interlude, is a perfect example of the former – their bouncy, galloping side; while tracks like “In Retribution” assume a sharper form of sound. “Odyssey“ is one of the highlights of the album, not only with its ear wormy melodic riffs and the songwriting but also with the majestic intro and outro taken from Hungarian Dance by Brahms.
High Roller Records is releasing Beyond The Realm, Diabolic Night’s impressive debut full-length, on the 15th of November with pre-orders being up already for a while. For listeners who like their modern heavy metal truly in the spirit of old yet not repetitively uninspired, this is one of the best releases 2019 has to offer.
Album rating: 90/100
Favorite track: Odyssey
Release date: November 15th via High Roller Records