Friday, 4 March 2016

Alphabetical Discovery - Week D, Day Seven: Diabolical Masquerade

Diabolical Masquerade - Photo

I stumbled upon Diabolical Masquerade when I was scouring the web for weird/avant-garde/experimental bands - bands that were quite literally a little bit made: Sigh, Kayo Dot, Transcending Bizzare? I found the album Death's Design in a list somewhere and gave it a listen. The album is made up of 61 songs broken up into twenty 'movements'. The entire concept of the album is based around it being the soundtrack for a fictional movie (once actually in the works, but soon dropped). I listened to it and wasn't sure what to think - it jumped around and sped ahead and I couldn't grasp it. It didn't help that some songs were six seconds long and that no lyrics were published. Black-metal passages melt into carnival-esque reveries into folk melodies into electronic video-game ambiance into smooth-jazz - it was fragmented and loose and I loved it. I didn't realise that the madhatter behind the band was Katatonia and Bloodbath guitarist Anders Nystrom alongisde Swedish ever-present ever-eclectic Dan Swano on drums. 

I do not know the band very well outside of 2001's Death's Design, their fourth and final album. 1996's Ravensdusk In My Heart, their first album, is a more 'conventional' record although it still retains gothic, electronic and symphonic elements, although structured in less dramatic ways. Diabolical Masquerade's two albums in between remain a mystery to me, and that's exciting. 

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