Record Label: Godz ov War Productions
Coming out of Slovenia, Dalkhu offers us a fresh and modernized, in a way, approach of their 90’s Scandinavian influences. With their latest album, “Lamentation and Ardent Fire”, they manage to establish their own identity and sound in the world of Black Metal.
They return three years after their sophomore album and it was definitely worth the wait. This album is certainly a step forward from their previous work, presenting us with an unpredictable mix of sound. Combining sinister parts with lighter ones, to relieve pressure, they created a blend of aggression, as well as atmosphere. Haunting lead harmonies work very well with aggressive riffs to create melancholic melodies, but still leaving you with a glimpse chance of salvation insight. The drum work is excellent, being aggressive when it needs to, with some slower parts to let us appreciate the atmosphere that the band is carving.
Dark synth sounds mark the beginning of the album opener, “Profanity Galore”, to build up the tone for the rest of our journey. Aggressive riffs and vocals collided with a folkish atmosphere to hinder what’s to come. Next up, “I Am”, contains melodic thrashing riffs with a sense of depression, as well as some old Marduk influences, that add up to a chilling atmosphere. “Rime” comes crushing in as a mood changer full of ferocity, with dissonant riffs, a stunning vicious vocal performance and blazing drumming. “A Race Without Hope” slows things down giving the listener a chance to breathe. It adds a blackened death feeling to the mix with some grooves and blast beats, but retaining a sinister vibe lurking to sink its claws in your back.
Having gone past the halfway point it’s obvious that you can’t know what to expect moving forward with such an unpredictable route. The guitar work is highlighted in “Gaps of Existence” full of explosive riffs, punishing drums and otherworldly vocals. Even in the most aggressive sections the song manages to keep in pace with the epic atmosphere that welcomed us in. The last two tracks continue in accordance with what we’ve heard so far in combining aggression with atmosphere. ”The Dead Sleep with Their Eyes Open” is the standout of the album. Menacing riffs are followed by emotional clean vocals and attacking melodies, with the bass lines complementing the vocals in a great way. “Night” makes for a great album epilogue with the opening synths turning into evil sounding riffs and blast beats. It creates a glorious feeling with clean vocals marking the end of this journey.
From start to bottom it’s an amazing piece of compositional skills with the different songs and dynamics flowing organically. They punch up the intensity when needed in the monotony and create stunning contrasts between atmosphere and aggression. The sinister artwork matches its contents perfectly in an eerie way. The production is perfect for this album being crystal clear to let us understand everything that’s going on, but also with a kind of rawness to it when needed. The guitar riffs are key point to the album reminding of Dissection with the sinister nature that they have.
Dalkhu have found a way to mature as a band and provide us with this very professional outcome. While they don’t necessarily bring anything new to the table, they have a characteristic sound for them and are perfect for anyone with a love for Dissection.
Dalkhu – Lamentation and Ardent Fire (Full Album)