Diabolic Night are a hoot. Over the course of a now decade-long existence they’ve constructed for themselves a parallel universe, where time stopped on December 31, 1985, meaning that creatively they are able to ignore everything that’s happened in the world of heavy metal for the last thirty eight years. In that universe, the Noise Records Compilation, Metal Attack Vol 1 acts as some sort of sacred text, and Diabolic Night are the High Priests of this old religion, Heavy Steeler (vrr, brr, grr) and Christhunter (drr) both.
But enough of my gentle japery. I can see you looking at your watches and shuffling your bottoms uncomfortably on seats, wondering if the music on the duo’s new album, Beneath The Crimson Prophecy, is any good, to which I’m able to answer an unequivocal yes. Heavy Steeler and Christhunter clearly have a forensic knowledge of their chosen subject, and tracks like the semi anthemic Voyage to Fortune do nothing to suggest otherwise.
They save the best til last, oddly; Arktares Has Fallen is an utterly superb piece of Teutonic speed metal, heavily redolent of those heady Noise Records days. Although the band have a blackened edge to them, mainly through the vocal delivery of Herr Steeler and the odd blastbeat/tremolo interjection, they are actually at their best banging out uncomplicated Ruhr Valley thrash such as this, replete with clattering drumwork and simple but oh-so-bloody-effective riffage.
Everything else here is similarly effective to varying degrees, and you get the feeling that eight tracks and forty minutes is probably enough for a band that has but one musical calling card. But they deliver on their promise with little fuss and a lot of fun, and that makes Beneath The Crimson Prophecy a success by my reckoning. This is old school speed done right, no doubt about it.
Beneath The Crimson Prophecy Releases on October 20th.