Slovenian melodic black-death metal act Dalkhu has released its latest opus, Descend… Into Nothingness. The album contains seven songs, which are an intense mixture of death, black, and even folk metal elements.
Guttural, brutal death metal vocals permeate “Pitch Black Cave”, and the other tunes. Like Jeff Walker‘s famed vocal work in Carcass, these vocals sound almost pitch doubled or pitch shifted down. The band uses interesting, fleeting soundscapes in some song introductions. One of the band’s strengths is its ability to shift tempos so quickly. Dalkhu can go from blinding to plodding in a flash.
The drums become more of a background texture when they get to blazing blastbeat speed. The bass drum does fall prey to clickiness. Although quiet, the album does sport a nice bass guitar tone, especially enjoyable given that the bass lines don’t just mirror the guitar. The guitars, which can be appreciated most easily as two separate layers in “In The Woods”, are downtuned and nicely overdriven, sporting more of a middle of the road heaviness. It sounds like there’s some synth or guitar synth overlayer in “The Fireborn”, which adds an atmospheric element. The raw, brutal, deep vocals add a nice, and fairly convincing, texture to the music. The slower sections of “Pitch Black Cave” allow the melodic motif to breathe and to air it’s emotions. “The Fireborn” has a little more involved motif then the simple stereo pulse of “Pitch Black Cave”.
While not amazingly original, the band has two difficult to obtain core elements that are fantastic: technical ability or playing chops, and a willingness to experiment with different sounds and textures. The folky sounding beginning of “Distant Cry”, with the ambient passage that follows is a great example. Dalkhu puts effort into both it’s musicianship and songwriting, which goes a long way these days. While the mix on this album is not perfect, it’s far better then some recent underground releases. The bass guitar and cymbal color could use increases on ambient systems; other then that, this disc sounds great. Clean and crisp enough to say ‘professional’, yet disheveled enough to convey aggressive intensity and unstoppable forward motion. Dalkhu’s Descend… Into Nothingness is recommended for fans of the more “pagan” black and death metal: the type that doesn’t use too much layering or get too far ahead of itself.
Pitch Black Cave
In The Woods
Accepting The Burried Signs