Album Title: Doom Cult
This is the first full-length album from Diocletian, a New Zealand band playing black/death metal.
The production on this record is even more dense than on their previous releases. Doom Cult is a thick sea of rumbling low-end, from which slicing pick slides, ripping lead guitar lines, and snarled vocals protrude. The result is ridiculously heavy and unrelenting. This isn't a style which benefits from clarity in production, anyway, and these guys know it.
The songwriting here is relentless from start to finish, in the vein of Blasphemy and Revenge -- even the slow breaks are oppressive and crushing. Fortunately, the riffing, vocals, and drumming are more than distinctive enough to hold the listener's interest! Multiple listens reveal a great deal of complexity beneath the churning, blasting surface; the sheer number of quality riffs packed into seemingly-straightforward songs like "Oath to Ruin" and "Bullet Vomited" is surprising. Others, like "Werewolf Directive" and "Heretics", are thick with atmosphere and power, heightening the album's overwhelming feeling of crushing density. Then there's "Baphocletian", which starts out at full speed and then transitions into a stomping, swaggering part that'll have your head banging. The variety here is astonishing, especially since every single moment is a variation on "aggressive" and "heavy" -- no faux experimental parts or concessions to melody can be found here. The artwork is worth mentioning, also: the cover iconography is simple yet effective, and the fold-out centerpiece is one of the best pieces of metal art I have ever seen! It should be absolutely stunning on the forthcoming LP.
Doom Cult more than fulfills the promise of Diocletian's mCD and 7" work, focusing the band's attack in one of the best albums of 2009. Anyone who worships Order From Chaos, Blasphemy, or Revenge should get this immediately. Highest recommendations.
Standout Tracks: "Werewolf Directive", "Antichrist Hammerfist", "Baphocletian"