Diabolical Masquerade—Death’s Design: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2007)

Diabolical Masquerade—Death’s Design: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2007)

Diabolical Masquerade—Death’s Design: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2007)

Details

Music score composed and produced by Blakkheim and Dan Swanö. Performed by Diabolical Masquerade, with guest musicians The Maalten Quartet, Estonia. Recorded at The Sanctuary, except orchestrations recorded at Trivial Studios. Re-released on Peaceville Records, 2007.

Band

  • Anders “Blakkheim” Nyström—Vocals, guitars, effects
  • Dan Swanö—Guitars (lead) (track 32), keyboards, keyboard (lead) (track 46), effects

Guest musicians

  • Patrik Selsfors—Jazz Guitar (lead) (on tracks 40, 47)
  • Aag Guitars (lead)—(on tracks 29, 48, 52, 53, 58)
  • Ingmar Döhn—Bass
  • Jaari Fleger—Grand Piano
  • Sean C. Bates Drums,—Percussion
  • Elmo Meltz—Viola
  • Heiki Schmolski—Violin
  • Jaak Gunst—Violin
  • Artieer Garsnek—Violin
  • Konstantin Uweholst—Cello

Tracks

  1. Nerves in rush
  2. Death ascends — the hunt (part I)
  3. You can’t hide forever
  4. Right on time for murder — the hunt (part II)
  5. Conscious in no materia
  6. Different plane
  7. Invisible to us
  8. The one who hides a face inside
  9. ..And don’t ever listen to what it says
  10. Revelation of the puzzle
  11. Human prophecy
  12. Where the suffering leads
  13. The remains of galactic expulsions
  14. With panic in the heart
  15. Out from the dark
  16. Still coming at you
  17. Out from a deeper dark
  18. Spinning back the clocks
  19. Soaring over dead rooms
  20. The enemy is the earth
  21. Recall
  22. All exits blocked
  23. The memory is weak
  24. Struck at random / outermost fear
  25. Sparks of childhood coming back
  26. Old people’s voodoo seance
  27. Mary-lee goes crazy
  28. Something has arrived
  29. Possession of the voodoo party
  30. Not of flesh, not of blood
  31. Intact with a human psyche
  32. Keeping faith
  33. Someone knows what scares you
  34. A bad case of nerves
  35. The inverted dream / no sleep in peace
  36. Information
  37. Setting the course
  38. Ghost inhabitants
  39. Fleeing from town
  40. Overlooked parts
  41. A new spark — victory theme (part I)
  42. Hope — victory theme (part II)
  43. Family portraits — victory theme (part III)
  44. Smokes start to churn
  45. Hesitant behaviour
  46. A hurricane of rotten air
  47. Mastering the clock
  48. They come, you go
  49. Haared el chamon
  50. The egyptian resort
  51. The pyramid
  52. Frenzy moods and other oddities
  53. Still part of the design — the hunt (part iii)
  54. Definite departure
  55. Returning to haared el chamon
  56. Life eater
  57. The pulze
  58. The defiled feeds
  59. The river in space
  60. A soulflight back to life
  61. Instant rebirth — alternate ending

Review

When is a film soundtrack not a film soundtrack? That’s not too daft a question given the number of so-called soundtrack albums that simply feature music that was inspired by the film but was never actually featured on it. Well, this album is kind of the other way around: while the music was inspired by the film (Death’s Design) and it’s true that the music was never featured on the film the simple reason is because the film was never made. It all appears to have been a big joke from Blakkheim (who seems to have upgraded his ‘c’ to a ‘k’ since the release of his last compact disc, or perhaps that should be compact disk).

What we’re left with then is a black metal concept album, where the concept is a film soundtrack. And it’s brilliant. I have loved listening to this album, over and over and over again, this past week. Having loved Ravendusk in my Heart (1996) two weeks ago, and been disappointed with The Phantom Lodge (1997) last week, I’m relieved to find Blakkheim not only back on top form but exceeding himself.

The album lasts only 43 minutes 26 seconds, but it packs in 61 tracks (take that, Slayer—Reign in Blood!).  The shortest track is 6 seconds, the longest 1 minute 26 seconds. This is clearly a black metal album — it has its fair share of pummelling riffs, blast beats and growling vocals — but it’s much more than that too. It’s experimental, it’s avant garde, it’s progressive metal; there are quiet passages, acoustic tracks, and piano-like keyboards; they even have an Estonian string quartet (The Maalten Quartet). This album is quite, quite bonkers. But it’s brilliant! It’s utterly, utterly brilliant!

I really don’t want to have to stop listening to this album every day. I feel a resistance to review the next album that I have stacked up.

It was only this week that I researched Blakkheim and Dan Swanö’s metal pedigree. I wasn’t disappointed. No wonder I like Blakkheim’s stuff. He’s the guitarist in Katatonia (1991–present) and Bloodbath, where he and Swanö performed alongside Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt. (Opeth are one of my favourite bands. Of all time. Ever.)

Have I already said how much I love this album?

Conclusion

What more can I say? If I could give this album more than 100% I would.

I’ve only now just looked up the reviews on Encyclopaedia Metallum: four reviews giving scores of 90% (“masterpiece of an album”), 93% (“amazing piece of soundscape”), 95% (“wild, intense, diverse,…”) and 100% (“A taste of everything”). I can’t argue with that.

One review said “So why not a 100 for this amazing piece of soundscape? It gets tiring after a while — no way you can listen to this one more the once a week without having its quality dropping before your ears.”. I disagree. I’ve listened to it on repeat for most of the week, and it just get better and better with each listen.

I think this is by far my favourite album that I’ve reviewed so far. Maybe I should just give away the remaining albums. Surely there can’t be anything else to top this piece of eccentric musical genius? Can there?

Review score: 100%

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2 thoughts on “Diabolical Masquerade—Death’s Design: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2007)

  1. Pingback: Epilogue | 195 metal CDs

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