Jan 172019

Left to right: Dan Darforth (Bass), Carl Stjärnlöv (Guitars), Sverker Widgren (Guitars, Vocals), Pär Johansson (Drums)

Photo by Jens Rydén


(This is a very interesting interview conducted by our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum with Carl Stjärnlöv, guitarist/songwriter of the long-running Swedish metal band Diabolical, whose fifth album Eclipse will be released on February 15th.)


You tour in Europe, you have established the band, and many have listened to or seen you live here, but how would you introduce yourselves to a U.S. audience? Diabolical can no longer be described as just another Swedish band (and good for you 🙂 )

We’re a death metal band that has evolved into something else; we’re not bound to any traditional views of what death metal or black metal “should” sound like. While we still have our foundation in death metal with some dashes of black metal, our music incorporate choirs, orchestral parts, and mellotrons. On our new album there’ll be plenty of clean vocals as well. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that bands such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson are held in just as high regard as Morbid Angel among the members of the band, and I think that’s reflected in our sound. Continue reading »

Jul 052016

Diabolical - Umbra - Artwork


Diabolical’s new EP Umbra — which we give you the chance to hear in full today — is a multifaceted obsidian gem. Atmospherically forbidding and possessed of a grim, doomed grandeur for most of its length, Umbra is also savage — and at times wistful and meditative. It’s so well-conceived and expertly performed that it has the capacity to carry listeners away and hold them in thrall, while also triggering fierce surges of adrenaline.

Umbra also reflects changes in style since the band’s last release, the 2013 concept album Neogenesis. Gone are the symphonic arrangements and massed choral voices, yet even in the absence of these elements the music is still often shrouded in an aura of forbidding majesty — as well as implacable menace. Continue reading »

Apr 122014

This has been one of those weeks where my blog time was severely constricted by both personal and job-related demands. You might have guessed that, based on the complete absence of any “seen and heard” posts since Monday. I didn’t have time to do much more than quickly scan through the interhole each day looking for new song and video premieres and make lists of what I’d like to hear and see when time would permit. This morning, I finally crawled through that list, and found a shitload of new things I really liked.

Because I’m behind, and because I don’t want to fall further behind, I’m taking the wimp’s way out in this post. I’m just going to stitch together a bunch of recommended song and video streams (11 of them) with almost no commentary. It’s a stream dump, and I will bet money you’ll find something to like, almost regardless of your tastes. It’s spring, and metal is in bloom.

Salted within this list are a couple of news items that perked my interest, even though there’s nothing available to hear… yet.

I present this box of chocolates in alphabetical order. There will be another similar collection either later today or tomorrow. Tell me what you like. Leave comments! Continue reading »

Sep 172013

Continuing a round-up that I began yesterday, here are new songs, new videos, and an enticing piece of news that caught my eyes and ears since the last weekend began. They share a certain . . . darkness . . . at their core.


I’ve been waiting with bated breath for Diabolical’s new album Neogenesis since hearing a collection of pre-production excerpts released during the summer of 2012 (featured here). I say that without knowing precisely what bated breath means, but I presume it smells better than baited breath. In any event, Neogenesis is finally on the verge of release (the official date is September 27), and to build anticipation Diabolical have released a music video for a track named “Metamorphosis”.

The song is a wave front of blasting, blackened, death metal. In its most powerfully storming moments, it reminds me of those Polish masters Behemoth and Hate. It has an infernally imperial aura, and the production underscores its crushing might. The video is also very well done, though be aware that it includes nudity (not presented salaciously, I might add). I’m really looking forward to hearing all of Neogenesis. Continue reading »

Jul 262012

While browsing the interhole this morning in an effort to find something that would cheer me up in the wake of learning about the cancellation of the Gojira-LambOfGod-Dethklok tour, I happened upon two new videos that helped considerably. By coincidence, both involve bands whose new music carries an air of dark symphonic grandeur, while inflicting vicious body blows at the same time: Diabolical (Sweden) and Welicoruss (Russia).


Diabolical are a Swedish death metal band with three studio albums and a live recording (2011’s Ars Vitae) to their credit. They’re now in the process of recording a new album entitled Neogenesis. Today, they released a video that includes pre-production excerpts from a few of the new songs, and the music is sounding really fucken good.

The music is a dark kind of melodic death metal, frequently with a black metal sheen. Whether galloping at a furious pace or stomping with imperial might, it’s infernally majestic. The vocals are deep and bestial and the riffing is titanic. But the band also spin sweeping melodies, and they leaven the blasting with soft spaces that include the mournful sound of violins. Through the guitars, subtle keyboard additions, and even choral clean voices, they also create a symphonic aura around this very ominous and apocalyptic metal.

The new video teaser also features a dude who looks like he took in a few too many roentgens somewhere. Continue reading »

Jan 012011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Did you see what we did?  We had to change the logo for this edition of SICKNESS.  Because 2010 is behind us, and the new year lies ahead.

We spent the last 30 days, as we’ve been doing for the last year, collecting news blurbs and press releases about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like, or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we’ve cut and pasted the announcements and compiled them in alphabetical order.

All of our previous monthly updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages, and because we’re not keeping a cumulative list, you might want to check the last couple months of these posts if you want to get a full picture of what’s coming. The list that follows, in alphabetical order, are albums we didn’t know about at the time of our last installment when November ended, or updated info about albums we’d previously heard were on the way. And be forewarned: This is a really long list. There’s a massive slag of new metal coming our way, and man, does it look hot.

So, without further ado, let’s get started. See if there’s anything on the list that makes you moist, or tumescent, or just generally slobbery.

ABORTED: “Good news is that we are starting pre-productions for our upcoming record on January 4th. This means we will demo all the songs for the record, make sure everything sounds good and make the necessary adjustments to make sure they are all more lethal than a chainsaw in Mr. Leatherface’s hands. We’re all very excited about the material thus far and can’t wait to get this over with and proceed to the actual recordings later this year. Expect a fall 2011 release through our culprates in mayhem Century Media.”

AGNOSTIC FRONT: “The Godfathers of New York Hardcore, Agnostic Front, have just finished recording their highly anticipated follow up to their 2007 release, Warriors. The yet to be titled album features 13 new powerful and anthemic songs laid down by Erik Rutan (Madball, Goatwhore, Cannibal Corpse) at his Mana Recording Studio in Tampa, FL under the watchful guide of producer Freddy Cricien of Madball. The record was mastered by Alan Douches (Nile, Mastodon) and will be released in Europe of March 4, 2011 and in North America on March 22, 2011.”

(the list continues after the jump . . .)

Continue reading »

Dec 012010

November is now in our rear-view mirror. December lies ahead of us: A perfectly good stretch of road marred by the speed bumps of the cataclysm that is Christmas. And on the other side of those speed bumps is the end of the year – the roadkill that is New Year’s Eve. And you know what the run-up to year-end brings — year-end lists. It’s already started, but the coming weeks will bring us a slew of Best of 2010 album lists. We’ll probably do our own Best of 2010 list — not the best albums of the year, but, as we did last year, the most infectious extreme metal songs of the year.

But we’re not quite ready to launch that list. Instead, we’re looking off into the future, not backward at the music that’s rattled our skulls over the past year. Yes, it’s time for another monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we cobble together a list of forthcoming new albums, cribbing like rag-gatherers and lint-pickers from PR releases and metal news sites like Blabbermouth in order to construct a line-up of new music that we’re interested in hearing.

All of our previous monthly updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages, and because we’re not keeping a cumulative list, you might want to check the last couple months of these posts if you want to get a full picture of what’s coming. The list that follows, in alphabetical order, are albums we didn’t know about at the time of our last installment, or updated info about albums we’d previously heard were on the way. After the jump, of course . . .

Continue reading »