Crystalium – Diktat Omega

qb_81103_crystalium1The promotional packet from the label describes this as “war black metal” but I do not find that to be a fitting description at all. When is the last time that a war metal band employed a keyboard player? Anyway, I view Crystalium as a more credulous version of mid-era Dimmu Borgir which is somewhat strange since they are from France, a country known for the much rawer, necro style black metal bands in more recent years. Crystalium is very good at what they do. The music is fairly diverse with haunting, sweeping melodies layered over some seriously pounding drum work with only the occasional mid-paced breakdown. Track four consists merely of a militant drum roll, some droning guitars and spoken passages. All of the track titles and lyrics are in French, which may turn some people off but I find it to be a plus when a band sings in their native tongue. It comes across so much more natural and convincing, plus I can think of a couple of Czech black metal bands that do this with an excellent result. The first three tracks seem to be the most well written, after which the songs begin to blur together a bit. The album closes with a non-metal track of sampled noise, which I could do without, especially on a black metal disc. If you are into the more commercial side of black metal but are looking for something a bit more pure and obscure Crystalium might be just what you are looking for. – Lance Rogers

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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