Regnum Caelorum Et Gehenna – Dimersity 02: Votum Servo Orbis Terrarum (2013) (Bonsai Bonus) – Regnum Caelorum Et Gehenna is a Japanese mixture of melodic and progressive death metal and metalcore, respectively. Though I don’t care for (have never frankly cared for) the core sections, the music that Mr. Sweden makes is certainly well worth hearing. Sweden handles all of the keyboards, as well as the bass and guitar along with Nothan Killer and another gentleman whose name is completely written and Kanji symbols, so I cannot replicate it. Just know that he’s also in a band called A.Z.U.S.A.A.A. as well.
I’m assuming the drums are also programmed by Sweden. But it doesn’t matter as the work as a whole does explore many electronic influences in addition to metal. The frontman is Albert Of Joy Toy, who is responsible for a harsh vocal utterance as well as rather thick growl, which he uses more on this release (and I wish he’d use more on subsequent releases, as the harsh vocal can get rather annoying.) The record differs into many interpretations, but stays rooted oddly enough in Touhou metal. “Between Despairs and A Hope 5:31” is where we begin with neoclassical (gothic) influence, pummeling drums and a mix of growl and whatever you want to call the harsh vocal shouts. “Hands Of Immortals 4:54” sounds more like something you’d hear from Thousand Leaves, albeit with the core intrusions that weren’t at all a part of their music until now.
There is a light section with electronics and melodic leads that seems a prominent moment. “From The Sky Untold 4:56” mixes electronics together with Dark Tranquillity/In Flames (and maybe even some Dissection) style musings, ultimately running into a potent solo that makes the core breakdown section in the background much more tolerable. “Orphan Like Me 4:47” hits hard on the chorus, while “A New World Without Us 5:44” utilizes some rather deep vocal croons that definitely make it more listenable on my end. When Albert isn’t yelling throughout the disc and throws into some Glen Benton, I feel progress has been somewhat made.
“Starlights In Nothing 10:21” is the album’s longest track and it comes in with female vocals. She’s no Yui or Liv Moon, but she manages to hold things up until the heavy stuff hits. Mr. Sweden shows his progressive side later in the track, which only serves to dazzle and leave me breathless. That’s the reason for the added length, and I’m much appreciative. Also returning are the low vocal croons (think Corey Taylor), but they don’t say for long as the yelling comes back. “The Glittering Days 4:32” sounds like a chiptune from a Doujin game, but then it goes right into melodic death metal with core elements, as most of the record has demonstrated. The song breaks for another show of shred, but this time with acoustics.
“In The City Of Darkness 5:30” is business as usual, except for an electronic section with growls at the front, which goes into a whisper fronted acoustic before exploding. “Program AWAKE 2:51” is a piano fronted ballad with keyboard electronics. It’s very much an interlude and that’s how I’m calling it. Still, it’s quite nice. Skin crawling organs appear at the beginning of “Fingers Crossed 5:16” and they appear once again during another low croon vocal moment (but why did you have to put the breakdowns in?) as the growls come back in during what I would consider a truly high water mark for the record.
The disc ends with “The Eternal Green 4:28” which is a folky instrumental. It definitely shows Sweden’s love of prog (as he’s shown in various places throughout the album) as he shreds with dozens of beautiful leads. But the piece closes early as an eerie electronic atmosphere seems to prove the true closer for this disc. You definitely don’t want to listen to that one in the dark. When all is said and done, there are a lot of things I truly like about Dimersity 02. The addition of thick growls and the low croons really seemed to add some diversity to what was in the first album, quite nearly nothing but a bunch of screaming and yelling, and the album itself features more experimentation in the progressive and electronics areas.
The gothic touches made by the keyboards were also quite nice. This is definitely more of a Remilia Scarlet kind of disc, rather than a Reimu Hakurei kind of thing; even though there are some bright and happy moments to be found in areas. I’m not sure what I gave the last disc, and although this is considerably better, I’m not so sure I can completely recommend this to everyone due to Albert’s vocal approach alone.
He does utilize the thick growls and the croons, but all of that yelling is going to get on your nerves, regardless of the fact that musically this is an incredibly strong album. Regardless of that, Mr. Sweden is one of the most talented metal musicians that I’ve ever heard from Japan period, so I still recommend at least a listen or a quick overview to see if you’ll like it. But if you do, then you’re probably going to want to check out Dimersity 01 as well. Regnum Caelorum Et Gehenna have probably one of the strangest names in this scene, but they certainly provide a masterful musical effort which is only slightly tarnished by a few unnecessary incorporations.
(12 Tracks, 61:00)