With the huge amount of metal albums that are released daily it is natural that some of very good metal albums go unnoticed. This is the case of “Diabolical Empathy” by Drakkar. This power/speed metal Belgian band was born in 1983 and they released their first album in 1988 after which they temporarily dismembered the band. In 2012 they returned to re-record their first album with a current and better production. “Diabolical Empathy” was released in September 2017 and it’s the third album after their comeback.
The album begins with an intro that transports us into the jungle – rich in tribal drums, African canticles, rain and animal sounds. “Rose Hall’s Great House”, the first song after the intro, is a well done heavy metal song with some interesting guitar riffs. What stands out the most in this album are the harsh vocals by Leni Anderssen, that has a timbre that can be described as a mix of Sinner with Grave Digger vocalists timbre. Throughout the album one can noticed that the track list was well planned with melodic heavy metal songs counterbalancing the more aggressive, which prevent the listener to feel tired. The more aggressive songs, like “Plague or Cholera”, are mainly power/speed metal with the inclusion of some thrash metal elements that resemble Metallica’s early days work.
Special mention has to be made to two songs: “The Witches Dance” and “Stay with Me”. “The Witches Dance” is the fourth track of the album and it is a heavy metal song with extremely melodic guitar riffs that invite the listener to dance. “Stay with Me”, the sixth track of the album, is a ballad that includes the beautiful voice of the guest vocalist Julie Colin (from the power metal band Ethernity).
“Diabolical Empathy” is a must listen album for fans of the genre. Highly recommend for fans of bands like Sinner, Grave Digger, Rage and Iced Earth. Drakkar delivered in “Diabolical Empathy” a set of great riffs and some well done solos, making this a solid and straightforward album.