Dark Funeral Diabolis Interium

Finally, a new KISS studio album...oh, sorry, that face paint threw me off. That's not Gene Simmons, it's Dominion! Give me a break. Immature visuals aside, this new full-length from Dark Funeral is actually a fairly impressive piece of black metal. The band manages to create an enveloping atmosphere without keyboards ruining the sound. Drummer Matte Modin can blast with the best of them, and his drums sound like real drums, not keyboards. Too bad the band gets stuck in the usual black pitfalls: a hellish production serving to blend everything together, lame vocals and a general negative vibe. It just goes to show that no one can even touch Emperor at this sort of thing. So Diabolis Interium is impressive because it doesn't suck, but really, we need more than that to keep us listening. (House of Kicks)