K17, Berlin - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Diabolical, a thrashy death metal outfit from Sweden, was the first out of two bands supporting Borknagar this evening. It’s a band that has, under this name, existed since 1998, and yet this was my first time hearing about them.

“Thank you for coming out early tonight!”
- Sverker ‘Widda’ Widgren (vocals/guitar)

Not many Germans had shown up by the time Diabolical began playing, but that didn’t stop them from demanding full attention. All dressed up in worn outfits and grim expressions, they at least were ready to deal some death to Berlin.
Musically, Diabolical was fast, heavy, and relentless in their effort to pummel us, and thankfully, they had a performance that followed in the same track. Fair enough, bassist Dan Darforth may have looked a bit too happy for the general atmosphere, but all three in the front were lively and full of attitude. Drummer Per Ivy was for good reason not moving about too much on stage, but on the other hand, he was still heavily into headbanging while drum banging, so his presence was also obvious, and helped create the general atmosphere of the show.

“C’mon, where’s our motivation?!”
- Widgren (vocals/guitar)

While Diabolical worked hard to warm the venue up for the upcoming bands, the Berlin crowd was apparently a tough nut to crack.
Even though more people were coming in during the show, the hall was still far from packed, and everyone was keeping a respectful distance to the stage. Adding to this, that the people who had shown up, weren’t exactly exerting themselves at this point of the night, made for a slow start of the evening. At least on the crowd side of things.
Widgren and guitarist Carl Stjärnlöv tried really hard to get in contact with the crowd however, and even though it only met with limited success, every neck swung helped. Darforth joined in on the campaign towards the end of the show, where he tried to instigate a chant along in the band’s last song of the night.
Again, it met with limited success, but the crowd did warm up a little bit to Diabolical in the end, even though it was more nodding than actual headbanging.

“It’s Friday night, let’s have a fucking drink together afterwards!”
- Widgren (vocals/guitar)

More beers would probably have helped, something that the band clearly acknowledged from the stage.
Musically, I wasn’t completely sold to the band, I will admit that, but I recognise and applaud them for their effort in getting this night started.
Those of the crowd who had picked up an interest in the band were in luck, as Widgren and the rest of the guys made good on their drinking promise, and spent most of the rest of the night in the combined bar and merch area in the other room of the venue.


Into Oblivion
Reincarnation Of The Damned
Wolves’ Choir


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