Destinity - In Excelsis Dementia
Blackened Death Metal
10 songs (54:16)
Release year: 2004
Destinity, Adipocere
Reviewed by Crims

When I first looked at the cover for In Excelsis Dementia I was expecting another Cradle Of Filth or Dimmu Borgir clone. Thankfully I got something much more than that. There is a slight Dimmu Borgir influence and an even slighter Cradle Of Filth influence, but Destinity largely stand on their own and have put together a very professional piece of Blackened Death Metal.

Opening up with After The Grace Of Kaos Synopsis, I was left wondering: is this band Death Metal or are they Black Metal? The answer is a rather simplified, yes, to both questions. The riffs are a combination of Polish and Flordian Death Metal and modern Black Metal ala Emperor or Mactätus. Sorry folks, there isn’t a whole lot of Darkthrone in Destinity’s sound but that doesn’t matter. The band never tries to be completely Black Metal, except perhaps with the band photos (anyone for corpse paint and 8" nails sticking out of your wrist bands). Instead Destinity seamlessly intertwine crushing Death Metal and melodic Black Metal with other interesting touches. Not only are there keyboards to add that extra melodic touch, but there are also fantastic clean vocals in the vein of Emperor and early Enslaved. Progressive elements show up a lot in Destinity’s song writing as well. Each song contains multiple tempo changes and complete turn arounds as far as atmosphere and mood go. One minute the riffs and double bass are breaking your neck and then next you’re taken to something darker and more evil. It really is a joy to listen to these songs, as you’re just never sure what to expect next.

Vocalists Mick, Morteüs, and Zephiros do just about everything. The harsh vocals come in almost every variety covering both typical Black Metal and Death Metal territory along with common doubling effects that Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir uses A LOT. Just like the clean vocals the harsh vocals are superbly done and really couldn’t be much better. They sound intelligent (considering the style), the pacing is well timed, and styles change often enough to keep things interesting, but not too often to make things overly chaotic. I would like to have heard more clean vocals, however. I think for the first time I can say a band has found certain keyboard sounds that can be compared to what Hollenthon so originally created with their synth work. Hollenthon has some of the most unique keyboards ever (as anyone who has listened to them will know) and Destinity occasionally tread that territory from a style perspective. Even though that encompasses about maybe 20% of the CD it does gives you an idea of the quality of the keyboard usage. Sometimes they do sound gimmicky in the “hey look at us, we’re evil” Cradle Of Filth mentality but all in all they’re some of the best keys in the style.

Judging from the pentagram on the cover and random satanic references in the lyrics, Destinity are not Christians (as if there was any doubt). The lyrics are mostly in the mid-period Dimmu Borgir vein but it’s hard to tell since about half of the lyrics are in French, which isn’t surprising since the band is based out of Lyon. The band also has a designated solo guitarist, that being Lord DD. I don’t know if rhythm guitarist, Zephiros, can’t play leads but it doesn’t really matter because the leads from Lord DD are very good. Some leads are ultra fast and some are melodic, depending on the tempo and mood of the background riffs and rhythms. I will say that when the melodic leads show up I’m always quite pleased because while they don’t last for long, they rank up there with the higher echelon of Melodic Death bands from a shear catchiness perspective.

The only drawbacks to this release are somewhat inconsistent production and overall consistency. Sometimes the guitars have the perfect sound, and sometimes they’re muffled. Meanwhile from a consistency perspective some songs are definitely better than others mostly because Destinity do not focus on their strong elements enough in each song. However, whether you like blast beats with fast Black Metal riffing, devastating Death Metal riffs with double bass, symphonic keys, or slight progressive elements, Destinity has it all. In Excelsis Dementia is one of those CDs that you really need to give multiple listens to in order to fully appreciate it. There are a lot of little intricacies and subtle style changes to be found on this release and you’ll only find them if you give the CD repeated listens. I know I was more and more impressed with each subsequent listen and I highly recommend this band for extreme Metal fans that are looking for something familiar but also something that still sounds fresh.

Killing Songs :
After the Grace of Kaos Synopsis, Gloria in Excelsis Ecclasia, Divine Extase, Black Upon the Throne, Pleasure of Flesh
Crims quoted 86 / 100
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