North Diamond – “По Ту Сторону Бытия” [“On the Other Side of Being” – “Po Tu Storonu Biytiya”] (2012)
Label : Grailight Productions
Review by Vard Aman
North Diamond formed in Moscow in 2008 and play what could be described as a combination of melodic Black Metal and Death Metal. “По Ту Сторону Бытия” is their debut album; and it is just as this kind of music should be. North Diamond do not mess around: “По Ту Сторону Бытия” is a short, sharp, relentless no-prisoners-taken half hour of blackened melodic brutality that any fan of this type of music will drool over. Elena Scarlet is an expert and versatile growler, moving freely from deep Death Metal growls to Black Metal shrieks, with her own snarling growling style in between. There are some clean vocals as well – there is a guest vocalist that features on this album, Valentina Aaron, and the clean vocals could be hers (on the single that North Diamond released after “По Ту Сторону Бытия”, “Fall of Man”, clean vocals were provided by Evgeniya Rodnikova of Aura and Emerald Night).
As I have already mentioned, the melodic brutality of North Diamond is relentless throughout this album, and that is its main strength. The style doesn’t vary that much between songs (with the exception of “Натура”, which has a more Pagan Metal type feel to it), and that is certainly not a bad thing in this case. It also makes it hard to pick any favourites from this album because all the songs are equally strong, and I think that the band and/or producer should be credited with a clever and a critical song selection for the album. Could the album have been longer? That is really up to individual tastes; for me, it was long enough to provide a really good appetiser, and if I want more I simply listen to the album again, which I have done quite a lot. I will say this about North Diamond‘s music on this album – and this is totally down to my personal preferences: the parts I enjoyed the most were the blisteringly fast melodic sections, they have the kind of feel to them that first attracted me, and continues to attract me to this kind of music (almost Dark Funeral like in places); while the more mid-paced and less melodic “crunchier” sections I found far less appealing – other bands have done “crunchy” better.
To top everything off, the production is all-round top notch. I’m not sure what else to say, other than if you’re a fan of this kind of music, you’d do well to add this album to your list. If not, I doubt this will convert you… but, hey, you never know: blistering brutal melodies can do wonderful things for people!
Rating – 87/100
- Аборт [Abort – Abortion]
- Пир Кровавой Луны [Pir Krovavoy Luniy – Feast of the Blood Moon]
- Чаша Бабалон [Chasha Babalon – Chalice of Babylon]
- Очи Вселенского Зла [Ochi Vselenskovo Zla – The Eyes of All Evil]
- Адепт [Adent – Disciple]
- Натура [Natura – Nature]
- Асфиксия [Asfiksiya – Asphyxia]
- По Ту Сторону Бытия [Po Tu Storonu Biytiya – On the Other Side of Being]
- Elena Scarlet – Vocals
- Vadik Morwan – Guitars
- Alexander Maslov – Guitars
- Evgeniy Okhotnikov – Bass
- Max L’vov – Drums