Crystalium - Diktat OmegA
Black Metal
8 songs (49'23)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Crims

Self-described as War Black Metal, Crystalium hail from Lyon, France and this release, Diktat OmegA, is their third in three years. Clocking in at 49 minutes with eight songs, Crystalium manage to keep their music interesting and engaging throughout the entire 49 minutes, which is impressive because most Black Metal bands with long songs have trouble maintaining my interest throughout an entire CD. Black Metal fans take note of Crystalium!

Crystalium’s style of Black Metal is very aggressive with a lot of fast drumming and riffing. In some regards the band has shades of early Emperor, which is made more apparent by Crystalium’s use of keyboards. The keyboards are lower in the mix than with Emperor but they provide the same kind of melodies and a certain kind of epic/triumphant feel in conjunction with the guitars as best displayed on Saigne et Honore Mon Triomphe par le Feu. What I like most about this release is the aggressive factor that does not compromise the atmosphere or melodies. Indeed, Crystalium can get rather melodic at times and the band is at their best when they are playing really fast with blasting or double bass drums providing the back drop for fast Black Metal riffing and strong keyboards. Diktat OmegA does contain some slight progressive build up and mid-paced areas but by in large this is a brutal CD, worthy of the moniker of War Black Metal.

The lyrics are all in French and much like country mates Olc Sinnsir, Crystalium manage to make the French language work with Black Metal. While the most of the lyrics are beyond my grasp from a language perspective I was able to translate, loosely, most of the song titles and they seem to be of the non-Satanic Black Metal fair and are more in line with recent Darkthrone lyrics, but I could be way off base. Diktat OmegA also features an interesting production job. The drums have an unique sound to them and can be somewhat referenced to sounding like the drums on Absu’s Tara to a certain extent. Meanwhile everything else is at a great mix level giving the band the proper balance between rawness and clarity that a CD with both subtle and strong melodies needs.

Diktat OmegA is my favorite Black Metal release I’ve heard this year so far, even though it came out last year. The song writing is very strong and surprisingly catchy while maintaining a high degree of brutality. While the band perhaps doesn’t take too many chances they do seem to do all the right things when it comes to song progression and tempo changes and the five-minute plus tracks are a welcome addition. Black Metal fans, don’t let the keyboards turn you off immediately, give the band a chance, you might be surprised… I was.

Killing Songs :
Analyse du digne vulgaire, Fanatisme en apogée, Unifiez les chairs mes frères, Saigne et honore mon triomphe par le feu
Crims quoted 86 / 100
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