All Little Devils

Dismal Euphony

Nuclear Blast Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


One of the biggest misconceptions about death metal - especially one that I've held for some time - is that the genre is marked by nothing but growling, screaming singers who can only be translated with the lyric sheet and the Rosetta Stone. More specifically, these singers are always men, screaming about war, death and the occasional demon or three. The final stereotype (though this is one that isn't necessarily as strong as the previous two) is that the music is always blazing fast with little sense of melody.

Then, along comes Dismal Euphony to shatter the stereotypes of the traditional death metal band. While I can't pretend to have understood every word, the diction of this group was much clearer. The melodies and the slower tempo were greatly appreciated. And - perish the thought - you had the inncent sounding vocals of Anja Natasha sharing the forefront, proving that women can easily hold their own in this genre. Put it all together, and you have Dismal Euphony's latest release, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 All Little Devils.

This Norweigan quartet's latest offering is a short one - the nine songs clock in at just under 40 minutes, but they make the most out of their time by delivering body blow after body blow of powerful metal that doesn't forget to create a pretty sound. With the assistance of guitarist Frode Clausen, bassist/vocalist Ole Helgesen and drummer Kristoffer Vold, Dismal Euphony sets themselves apart as being one of the better bands of this genre.

With the opening notes of "Days Of Sodom," the listener instantly knows that this isn't your traditional doom and gloom of this genre. Natasha's vocals, combined with the occasional input of Helgesen's more sinister growls, almost remind me of the early days of Mercyful Fate. Even if you don't agree with the messages of the songs (which, to my ears, seemed to be tame in comparison to some that I've heard in recent months), you can't help but be impressed with the musical and songwriting abilities of this band.

Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan in the world of death metal; it's always seemed a little too creepy for my tastes. Yet tracks like "Victory," "Lunatic," "Psycho Path" and "Shine For Me, Misery" all make a strong case for me to turn to the dark side. The music that Dismal Euphony creates is almost classical in a sense, and even has some tinges of gothic style to it. It's not your typical death metal - but then again, I think that's what they wanted to accomplish with All Little Devils.

Dismal Euphony is the kind of band that can get you interested in the death metal genre, if you only give All Little Devils a chance. Being evil never felt so good.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Nuclear Blast Records, and is used for informational purposes only.