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Ancient Rites - The Diabolic Serenades review


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Band: Ancient Rites
Album: The Diabolic Serenades
Release date: 1994

01. Infant Sacrifices To Baalberith
02. Crucifixion Justified (Roman Supremach)
03. Satanic Rejoice
04. Obscurity Reigns (Fields Of Flanders)
05. Death Messiah
06. Land Of Frost And Despair
07. Assyrian Empire
08. Longing For The Ancient Kingdom
09. Morbid Glory (Gilles De Rais 1404-1440)
10. Ritual Slayings (Goat Worship Pure)
11. Evil Prevails
12. Last Rites
13. Echoes Of Meloncholy (Outro)
14. From Beyond The Grave (Part 2) [1996 re-release bonus]

The Diabolic Serenades is the first studio album for Ancient Rites from Belgium (pardon... Flanders) that basically sums up all the underground period of the band, the more occult and black (to be considered as NOT the Scandinavian style). This album was released in 1994 although it contains songs from the Evil Prevails EP (1992).

Vastly influenced by 80's bands such as Hellhammer and Bathory, this album shows a mixture of primordial death and black metal at its core, a personal version of these two kinds of metal music. This is a highly raw version of Ancient Rites' music and their own style is not recognizable yet. Mastermind Gunther Theys composed all the songs whose themes are from ancient history to Satanism (seen as freedom of mind and rebellion to religions dogmas). The production is overall not bad; one could say that it seems too compressed and clean, but it definitely gives a good boost to all the songs keeping them obscure enough.

Technically, the band shows good skill (especially the drummer Walter van Cortenberg) drawing inspiration from Celtic Frost and the above mentioned bands. Differing from all future releases by the band, this is the most hardcore and headbanging-friendly one, resulting in the most aggressive and extreme release so far.

There has been two versions of this album released: the original one in 1994 by After Dark Records (with no bonus tracks at all) as CD, LP and tape and the second in 1996 by Mascot Records featuring Magus Wampyr Daoloth on keyboards/organ on the bonus track "From Beyond the Grave (part 2)". The two versions of course have different artwork.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 7

Written by Frons | 14.02.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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