Dalkhu Descend into Nothingness 01If there is one thing that can be said about Slovenia, it’s that they have supplied us with a number of great metal bands. For instance, there is… ummmm… well… fine, so I don’t know any off the top of my head. But they’ve given us at least one good metal band. Hitting the scene with a full-length debut in 2010, Dalkhu blasted the ears of some small portion of the world with a mostly run-of-the-mill black-metal assault focused on the antics of Dissection – depressive leads, tremolo-picked melodies, and an overall sense of blackness. After the release of Imperator, most of the band went its separate ways while guitarist/bassist J.G. opened a black-death recruiting office for the creation of a new band and a new sound. Succeeding in bringing aboard P.Z. as new vocalist and Spawn of the Void on session drums, J.G. is back with a sound so different that a new band name might be in order.

The first thing you will notice about Descend… into Nothingness, as the opening heartbeat transitions into the beating drums and chomping guitars of “Pitch Black Cave,” is that the vocals are a near 180 from what they were on the debut. While Berstuk sported a blackened rasp to “match” the music on Imperator, new vocalist P.Z. takes Descends… and gives it a trollish death growl to better suit the new death elements. While the vocals are equally as monotone as Berstuk’s rasps, P.Z.’s guttural contributions offer much more in the way of uniqueness and memorability. A song like “In The Woods,” which appears to be a typical Dissection knockoff full of nifty guitar leads, layers of emotion, and a barrage of crisp drumming, is injected with grimness and a heavy-as-fuck demeanor. Follow-up track, “Distant Cry,” takes the formula further with a punchier and heavier rendering of Alcest-like atmospheres that somehow work in this extreme context.

Dalkhu also provides a better sense of diversity in their songwriting. The back-half of the album consists of the Polish-death inspired “Accepting the Burried Signs” (is that a typo?) and the Amon Amarth-tinged “Soulkeepers,” which seem to slyly settle into pre-made bulldozer tracks before scaling the ruts to pave a path through murky, melodious landscapes. This diversification (including what sounds like distant clean vocals) further buries Imperator in the past and drives you forward, deeper into the black hole threatening to swallow the cover. After this backside one-two punch, the album ends with the ten-minute blackened, death-coster, “E.N.N.F.” Not an over-the-top epic, the closer does a good job of delivering an overture of the sights of sounds of the band’s new style (much like “The Spirit of Soldiers” does for Panzerchrist). However, this one will need a few spins to properly anticipate the lurchings that lead you toward the finale.

Dalkhu Descend into Nothingness 03

Dalkhu‘s new approach rarely goes into super-sonic speed, but instead utilizes black metal tremolos in a melodic fashion (akin to Dissection) and a crushing deliberateness to maximize the effect (see “The Fireborn” for a good example of some purposeful, deathy, Immortal-esque crunch). Slap on P.Z.’s new vocal style and a drummer that understands the message Dalkhu is trying to convey, and you have a band with a new heartbeat, frothing at the mouth. With knob-work handled by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studios (who mastered last year’s awesome Onheil release), the production is rather clean with is just enough dynamics here to keep the eardrums from splitting.

Overall, this a much improved outing compared to their debut, and I look forward to hearing  from these fiends in the future. So, if you’re a fan of the style, go grab this album now or grab the upcoming vinyl version (coming out on Iron Bonehead Productions) to better experience another Paolo Girardi painting on some 12″ gatefold.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Satanath Records
Websites: dalkhuofficial.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/dalkhu
Releases Worldwide: August 15th, 2015

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  • André Snyde Lopes

    Not a fan of the vocals but definitely a fan of Paolo Girardi’s take on the mythical legend of the sphere. I think I’ll give this one a shot.

  • The bandcamp link is for the previous version of the band. The new album is at https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat123-dalkhu-descend-into-nothingness-2015

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Thanks for the fix!

  • Pimpolho

    What a great review!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Thanks!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Really like the embedded track. Groovy, Death ‘n Roll feel. The production is great: lots of space around the instruments. Distinct guitars and nice bass.

  • Speaking of Dissection… where’s the Yer Metal is Olde for Storm of the light’s bane? Didn’t that come out in 1995?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I believe it is coming soon.

      • Kronos

        who is on that?

        • Pimpolho

          My oreos are on Madam

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Think L. Saunders.

          • Luke_22

            Yep I’m on it. I’ll get my lazy arse in gear and have it fleshed out soon.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            It’ll be worth the wait!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Besides, you guys have been mentioning Dissection on quite a few reviews lately.

  • hubcapiv

    That band photo has to be the bare minimum necessary to avoid the AMG unicorn treatment.

  • Doomdeathrosh

    They sure are incredibly shy(look at the band pic) for a band creating this level of blackened-death!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Bashful bandits.

  • Requiem

    This is like blackened, Sulphur-Aeon-ified Putrid Offal… My ears have been blessed m/