DunkelNacht’s last album, 2014’s Revelatio (reviewed here), was an explosion of creative exuberance, an extravagant combination of diverse styles that defeated easy summarization, perhaps something like a three-way orgy among Belphegor, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and The Black Dahlia Murder, with Dissection and Blut Aus Nord in the mix, too. Since then this part-French, part-Dutch band have released a pair of EPs, and have incorporated both a new vocalist and a new drummer into the line-up, and now have a new album set for release by Non Serviam Records on February 28th.
Like the last album, the new one — Empire of Mediocracy — has a unifying conceptual underpinning, one that continues to explore the stratification of society and the sources of true power. Musically, it represents a further progression of the band’s sound (which has been evolving all along), yet is still a source of extravagant creative exuberance , which is abundantly on display in the song we’re premiering today: “Amongst the Remnants of Liberty“.
The organizing principles of the album, as the band explain, focus on “the concept of total supremacy — may it be by suppression or other relinquishing means, the goal is to control and steer the population of a country or nation”. “And thus”, they say, “it is set that there is the alpha and the omega.”
In listening to “Amongst the Remnants of Liberty“, one can easily imagine conflict on a grand stage. The word “extravagant” again leaps to mind in attempting to absorb such theatrical and richly textured sounds, which are both superheated and tragic. It’s like a musical pageant in which elaborate ornamentation has been wrapped around a molten core of fury and foundering hopes.
Thunderous drumming and riffs of roiling, mind-warping dissonance provide an immediate impact. Shrill-skittering leads and livid, tyrannical vocals magnify the music’s intensity, along with bursts of pounding, angular chords and high-flying streams of grand symphonic melody. When the drumming slows, a gravel-throated bass becomes more evident, and a classical piano melody takes center stage. The music seems dangerous and delirious, and reaches new heights of electrifying intensity through a pair of glorious guitar solos (with a moody piano solo in between them).
Empire of Mediocracy is available for pre-order now and is recommended for fans of Hate, Dissection, Vader, Behemoth, and Belphegor. Below you’ll find our premiere, and a stream of the first single, “Non Canimus Surdis“, which premiered at DECIBEL.