Drakkar - Diabolical Empathy

Drakkar Diabolical Empathy cover
Diabolical Empathy
Spinal Records
Average: 5.7 (60 votes)
This Drakkar, not to be confused with the more popular Italian power metallers, is a Belgium based combo that has existed since 1983, releasing an album at the tail end of that decade before going in hiatus for about a decade. They made a brief comeback in the late 90s that didn’t wield more than a demo and the latest effort was their reunion to re-release their debut in 2012 and a live album that came in 2014. Unfortunately their guitarist Thierry Del Cane died in 2016 and they lost drummer Jonas Sanders to Pro-Pain. They have suffered further lineup changes in 2017 with their bassist being replaced, but they seem to be soldiering on, no matter what.
This newest album keeps their style fairly intact with only the vocals having gotten a little hoarser. I suppose they do sound like a somewhat more metallic and charged version of their compatriots Acid. Speedinous heavy metal that borders on proto-thrash, without ever crossing over completely. There are a few interesting tracks in what appears to be a concept album, that was a little too weird for me to decipher straight away, ie the melodic, but also powerful “Stigmata”, the almost Grave Digger-ish ballad “Stay With Me”, the riffy “Lucifero Moderno” or the almost epic metal “The Nine Circles of Hell” that sounds like a mix between Venom and Virgin Steele, if Satan was the mixologist!
Interesting to longtime fans and casual retro-lusting metalheads, I suppose.

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