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3.87 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1998


1. Rider on the Bonez (5:54)
2. Dreadventurouz (5:46)
3. The Zkeleton Keyz to the Dead (5:17)
4. Thiz Ghoultimate Omen (4:33)
5. All Onboard the Perdition Hearze! (4:56)
6. The Eerie Obzidian Circuz (5:37)
7. Haunted by Horror (6:57)

Total Time: 39:02


Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström / Guitars, vocals, bass, keyboards
Dan Swanö / Drums, backing vocals, keyboards
Ingmar Döhn / Cello, additional bass lines
Marie Gaard Engberg / Flute

About this release

Produced by Dan Swanö with Blakkheim.
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at The Sanctuary April 1998.
Album photo by Matthew Septimus / Photonic / Bulls.
Blakkheim photo by Mala.
Diabolical Masquerade logo by Blakkheim.
Digital design and concept by Blakkheim and Sir Robert Graves (Greylife Research).

All music, lyrics, and concepts written and arranged 1997 / 1998.

Re-released by Peaceville Records in 2007 as a digipack. Comes with the bonus track Cryztalline Fiendz.

Thanks to bartosso, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE is the solo project of Anders Nyström (aka Blakkheim), known for his work as the guitarist of Katatonia. Although he is often cited as the sole performer on this side project he in fact had help from a few friends. Most notably Dan Swanö from Edge of Sanity plays drums and other percussion, additional keyboards, backing vocals and is the the co-producer. Blakkheim handles the vocals, guitars, bass and keyboards. Others handle the cello and flute.

This album takes you on a stroll through the entire metal universe as it is based in old school black metal with the deranged monster vocals but much of the album also has symphonic embellishments. There are thrash metal leanings with galloping riffs, groove metal sections, traditional metal acoustic arpeggios and soloing and progressive time signatures with tons of keyboards and strange inserted extras including spoken words sounding like they are from Satan himself.

The ghostly atmospheric backings give this a really disquieting effect. The sound effects add strangeness such as a scratchy old record lp effect on “The Zkeleton Keyz To The Dead” or avant-garde vocalizations that pop out of nowhere every so often. The formula does remind a bit of Mr Bungle or Sigh in that the styles play for a while and then shift suddenly, however, DM has a smaller palette than the aforementioned groups tending to stick to using the metal genres with only meager sprinklings of non-metal influences which places this firmly in metal territory but because these metal subgenres are usually not sewn together in such a way, also gives this album a uniqueness that I have not heard anywhere else. Cool stuff.
A solid symphonic black metal release from the Diabolical Masquerade side project, Nightwork succeeds in part because of what it isn't trying to do; presenting a brief, compact running time rather than the bloated discs often resorted to by symphonic metal bands means that the over-the-top orchestration of the album doesn't outstay its welcome. Veering deliriously between more traditional black metal sections and more symphonic moments, the album lures you in with accessible melodic black metal before slipping in a range of curious tangents that are easy to miss if the album isn't given your full attention. One that calls for repeated listens, in short, though at points it does feel a little vapid and show-offy.
Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström, lead guitarist of KATATONIA and death metal supergroup BLOODBATH(damn, that always gives me a chuckle) had once a side project called DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE. I really wonder sometimes, if it hasn't been his greatest achievement so far. This project, being deeply rooted in black metal, combine best features of the genre with heavy metal approach to melody and avant garde mood.

NIGHTWORK, is without any doubt, the most popular and accessible DM's record. Very melodic and catchy, this album abound with great riffs, placed somewhere between black and heavy metal convention. Every song is loaded with fantastic twists, symphonic bridges and tempo changes. The theatrical atmosphere of vampiric drama is highlighted with great screaming vocalz - which Blakkheim bawlz out with unparalleled passion and feeling - combined with nightmarish keyboardz, dreamy celloz and flute from the obzidian circuz...

À propos theatrical atmosphere... the ambiance and concept is particularly important aspect in the case of this record. That music is simply dripping with bloody air of some vampiric story set in Transylvania. Having said all that I don't want to mislead you, dear reader. It is not just an atmospheric record with nothing else to offer. The melodies created by Anders are catchy and set in a specific mood, but many of them reach the height of symphonic harmony and beauty which can't be underestimated.

NIGHTWORK is a an outstanding release with dense atmosphere of old-school vampire story. Just under 40 minutes of great melodic black metal with abundance of fantastic melodies and coherent concept.

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  • Anster
  • MetalMirror
  • jsorigar
  • jose carlos
  • (De)progressive
  • sauromat
  • aecht
  • Bartje1979
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  • Sleeper

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