Engraved Darkness
Diabolical Scriptures

Lets face it, the times, they are a changing. Nothing gold can stay, right? While this is true of most things here on this floating ball of water and rock we call home, metal is once again a stand out, an anomaly, a mystery of sorts, continually proving that the genre is alive and well, going nowhere anytime soon. Though, as time marches on, the old guards are reaching their end. The acts that can still sell out arenas are literally, a mere few and those mere few probably have just a couple of albums and big tours left in them, if even that. Of course, extreme metal has never been or given a shit about arenas and selling in, or out, to the mainstream. Extreme metal is a lifestyle, an ethic, a DIY attitude as much as it is simply about good heavy music. Plain and simple, extreme metal is here to stay.

Now you might be wondering what I’m rambling on about and what it has to do with Dayton, Ohio’s Engraved Darkness and their debut album, Diabolical Scriptures. My long-winded point is this; as long as we have bands like Engraved Darkness, and albums like Diabolical Scriptures, extreme metal is and will be in good hands. It makes my little, metal loving heart happy to know that Engraved Darkness, and other bands of their ilk, are not only here today, but will (hopefully) be here carrying on the love and cause of the extreme in ten to twenty years, when the originators/masters of the extreme arts have called it a day.

Death metal of today with the sensibilities of the genre’s yesteryear, with just a bit of blackish influence, is what Engraved Darkness brings to the table. Tight, brutal, concise, angular, chunky, atmospheric riffs abound and work well with driving drums, captivating and propelling the listener throughout Diabolical Scriptures entirety. Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, and Behemoth are clearly a massive influence on E.D., but brilliant shades of Suffocation, Malevolent Creation, Gorguts, Abysmal Dawn, Amon Amarth, and even a bit of Vehemence, mixed with that Midwest death metal sound, i.e. Broken Hope, Oppressor, Morta Skuld, and Demented Ted, can be found strung through and within the album’s nine tracks.

Easing into things, album opener, “Night Rising” is a nice little piano and synth focused intro, providing a bit of sorrowful, ominous beauty with its simple, yet effective melancholy before the album truly kicks off with “Darkened Grave”, showcasing that aforementioned Cannibal Corpse/Morbid Angel influence with some wonderfully brutal and catchy riffing with plenty of change-ups that keep the listener engaged, with some flat-out tasteful solos that truly work to enhance the material. That influence can continually be found on Diabolical Scriptures, whether it’s in the massive “Fate Divine” or the mid paced, doom tinged brutality of “The Purity of Evil”, or the sick beatdown that is “Die”. From the Cannibal Corpse meets Amon Amarth musings of “Deep Inside”, to the powerful, driving, almost a call to war nature, of the Behemoth flair of “Ritualistic Sins”, with its uber-tight riffing and extremely subtle tempo changes, coupling with a great lead closing out the song, Diabolical Scriptures delivers on all fronts. “Lament” is a good, though somewhat pointless instrumental that flows into album closer “Gone”, that is a fast, pulsating rager that closes things out with slower slammy/choppy bludgeoning.

Engraved Darkness have crafted quite an album with Diabolical Scriptures, the band should definitely feel proud of what they have achieved with this debut and honestly, I doubt E.G. will remain unsigned for too much longer, based on the material here. Having said all of this, are you going to be completely blown away by Diabolical Scriptures, experiencing a kind of release like you’ve never experienced before? Honestly, no. That isn’t the point of Diabolical Scriptures, and I don’t believe that is the intention of Engraved Darkness. E.D. aren’t reinventing the death metal wheel, no, instead they’re taking that wheel and rolling right the fuck over all those whom stand in their way, and doing it better than a lot of the genre’s bigger bands.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
May 5th, 2016

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