Diabolizer – Khalkedonian Death Review

Did you know that ninety-nine percent of the world’s population is currently suffering from mephistosterone deficiency? What are the symptoms of low M, you may ask? Here’s a questionnaire developed by the CDC (Centers for Demonic Control and Possession). Do you find yourself routinely leaving situations better than you found them? Do you often experience the urge to perform random acts of kindness? Are the neighborhood Evangelicals a little too comfortable in your presence? Do you often find yourself smiling at babies? Are you able to go long periods of time without doing things that most people would consider to be heinous and vile? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are likely suffering from low mesphistosterone and should immediately talk to your doctor about Diabolizerâ„¢. In clinical trials, Diabolizer was shown to increase M-levels by 1000%, although the results may be skewed by the fact that the experimental group bludgeoned and cannibalized the control group before the study could officially conclude. Ask your doctor if Diabolizer is right for you!

Khalkedonian Death may be Diabolizer’s official full-length debut, but the Turkish band brings a strong death metal pedigree to the starting gate. Featuring members of Hyperdontia, Burial Invocation, and Engulfed, Diabolizer play a brutal, technical, yet groove-filled style of death metal formed from the blasphemous union of diabolical influences like Deicide, Nile, and Cannibal Corpse. Their sound was remarkably well-formed on 2016 EP Apokalypse, but Khaldedonian Death is emerging five years later as an altogether darker and more violent beast, a black hole whose mass has steadily increased as it absorbs the accretion disk of shit that life on Earth has accumulated in the intervening years. If you haven’t yet, scroll down and start the embedded “Cloaked in an Aura of Madness,” but brace yourself for the filthy groove that is about to emanate from your speakers. This track has had me snarling to myself and playing air guitar triplets for weeks now. Bassist Malik embellishes the track’s opening with a nimble, virtuosic line before the song blasts into hyper speed for the middle section and adds even more groove and a killer solo for the outro. It’s a burly track on a burly album.

Last week I covered a death metal album that, I felt, was rich in style but poor in substance. Diabolizer, on the other hand, have a substantial stockpile of both. Taken as a whole, Khalkedonian Death is 46 minutes of pure savagery, but that beating is doled out through eight diverse tracks. While the aforementioned “Cloaked in an Aura of Madness” is a satisfying ride through Groovetown, opener “Dawn of Obliteration” is a blistering exercise in breakneck technicality, and 7-minute centerpiece “Mayhemic Darkness and Possessed Visions” channels Nile’s epic sensibilities in its creepy intro and outro. “Spearfuck the Throes of Treason” delivers a beatdown that is about as subtle as its name, and “Sulphuric Vengeance” is built for pure speed. There’s a little bit of everything here, but it all fits together into a cohesive whole.

The performances here are simply mesmerizing. Guitarists Mustafa and Can offer up an astounding amount of worming riffs, thunderous chugs, and blazing leads, and the way they effortlessly change speeds with believable transitions sets them apart from so much of what is going on in death metal’s more progressive and/or technical sectors these days. Ferrous thinks that vocalist Abomination is a Glen Blenton clone, and while I hear a certain amount of resemblance there, I also hear the satisfying roar of Christian Älvestam, making Abomination and his utterances just my cup of tea. The rhythm section is relentless, with drummer Aberrant turning in an unbelievably athletic performance and bassist Malik providing technical bass noodles that manage to cut through the musical chaos. The production is super loud, but actually sounds really good despite clocking in at a staggering DR 3. Highlights include “Dawn of Obliteration,” “Maelstroms of Abhorrence,” “Cloaked in an Aura of Madness,” and…you know what…I’ll save the word count and just tell you to listen to all of them.

Khalkedonian Death is technical without being tech-death, brutal without falling entirely under the “brutal death” label, and old school without being OSDM. It’s just death metal, pure and simple, and it feels as if it were vomited forth by an algorithm that was fed each and every one of my personal death metal preferences. My doctor says Diabolizer is right for me, and if yours doesn’t say it’s right for you, I’d seriously consider throwing said doctor into a wood chipper.12

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 3 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Everlasting Spew | Me Saco Un Ojo Records
Websites: diabolizer.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/diabolizer
Releases Worldwide: July 2nd, 2021

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Diabolizer’s side effects include potential riff dependency and a ravenous desire for human flesh. Horn formation on the forehead is common. Do not use if taking inhibition inhibitors. Don’t tell your doctor if you experience homicidal thoughts or actions while taking Diabolizer, especially if those thoughts or actions are directed at your doctor.
  2. Holdeneye is not a doctor, nor has he played one on TV. All medical language used in this review and its footnotes are made in jest and should not be considered medical advice. Talk to your doctor before making any medical changes. Also, talk to your doctor if you don’t like this record, because there’s probably something wrong with you.
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