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Sweden's Diabolical already has a great name going for them, but their way-cool album cover alone (featuring cavorting demonic babies reminiscent of Exodus' classic Bonded by Blood) should have listeners curious enough to check them out. Despite all these promising signposts, the band's very traditional death metal leaves much to be desired. Steeped in the Gothenburg sound, Diabolical knows how to mix minor key melodies, frequent time changes, and all-around thrashing madness in good measure, but all of this still doesn't make for a terribly memorable listen. Furthermore, while both the playing and overall recording values are competent enough, the vocals are buried way too low in the mix. Perhaps this was intentional, but if so, what's the point of having them at all? All told, this is a decent record, but only serious fans of the genre will really feel the need to own it.

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