I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no matter how immersed one becomes in a specific music scene, you simply can’t be aware of every band in that scene and part of the fun in life is discovering new bands and eagerly delving into their discography. I was unfamiliar with the work of Diabolic although they have been cranking out extreme death metal since 1998 in relative obscurity. Around that timeframe, I was in my “all death is good death” stage so I’m surprised these guys got under the radar, but, so be it. After a four year absence since their last platter, Diabolic now unleashes their fifth album, Excisions of Exorcisms and with this album, I’m getting onboard the Diabolic bandwagon, although not necessarily due to this album. Allow me to explain.
Diabolic traffics in unrelenting, blasting, brutal Florida death metal in the tradition of Morbid Angel and Decide. Morbid Angel is the primary comparison point for these guys and at times on Excisions, they sound eerily like Morbid Angel‘s first 3 albums. This may be due to the close ties Diabolic have with that band. Long time Morbid Angel sound man and producer Juan Gonzalez played with members of Diabolic in side projects and he handled the production here on Excisions as well as a previous Diabolic album.
The band philosophy is to lock the metal throttle on hellish overdrive and set phasers to liquefy as Diabolic attempts to pummel the listener into jelly from opening to closing. The highlight of Excisions is the insane drum kit abuse perpetrated by half man, half octopus, Aantar Lee Coates. This guy puts on a clinic in brutal death drumming across all the tracks and provides a monstrous backbone to the hyper speed insanity. The first five tracks on Excisions all attack at full force with nonstop pounding and light speed riffing and all are impressive examples of this style andÂ benefit from above average song writing (“Hellish World” and “Venomous Habitations” being the standout in my mind). There are no frills or surprises here, just Morbid Angel inspired mayhem, well executed and heavy as hell. The vocals are decent, standard issue death mumblings (although quite intelligible) and at times reminds of David Vincent. Sadly, there is a slight fall off in song craft after the first five tracks and when the band goes for a slower, grinding style on “False Belief,” it doesn’t work as well as the light speed thrashing.
The production is more than adequate for the death metal on display, although the guitars get overshadowed by the drums at times and lose some of their bite as a result. Excisions is a very short album, clocking in at around thirty five minutes and it was over before I realized it on the first spin. That isn’t a bad thing for this type of music because anything over forty minutes can become too much abuse in one sitting.
Overall, Excisions is a solid and respectable blast of satanic death metal and if you love older Morbid Angel, this is sure to please. However, the ultimate benefit of this album may be it’s role as a stepping stone encouraging listeners to hunt down Diabolic‘s older material, which is much better and also very heavy. Supreme Evil, Subterraneal Magnitude and Vengeance Ascending are all overlooked pseudo-classics in the death genre that I’m only now discovering thanks to Excisions and all are worth your attention if you love the Florida death metal style. Now get your shovels and go exhume some long buried evil!