Released: 2012, Napalm Records
The importance of Nightwish on the evolution of and influence on symphonic, gothic, operatic type Metal cannot be understated. With their explosion of global popularity, this particular sub-genre has been one of, if not the fastest, expanding sub-genres of Metal in recent years. Every month many of these types of bands from around the world enter onto the scene. This month (in honour of International Women’s Day, March 8th) we are going to have a quick look at seven newer bands, all of whom have a female vocalist, and all have released new albums recently. They are Diabolus In Musica (Spain), Evenoire (Italy), Meden Agan (Greece), Scarleth (Ukraine), Silent Opera (Italy), Sin Heresy (Italy), and Xandria (Germany). If you like the neo-classic, symphonic (etc) sub-genre, feel free to read the reviews in this series.
Of the seven bands in this series, Diabulus In Musica is probably the heaviest, just by a hair. This Spanish band have just released their second album called THE WANDERER on the venerable Napalm label that just thrives on these types of bands. 10 songs and a pair of intros comprise this 55-minute album. After the obligatory bombastic opening the band launch into ‘Ex Nihilio’.
Diabulus employ the oft-used device of a dual male/female vocal trade off. Main vocalist, Zuberoa Aznarez goes toe to toe with Adrian and Gorka who provide the heavier male counterpoint sounds. It is the classic ‘beauty and the beast’ scenario, and they guys are truly beastly indeed with some heavier Death vocals, heavier than one usually finds on this kind of album. Aznarez utilizes a soprano style although I’m not classically trained so I don’t know if she is a mezzo-soprano, or Spinto soprano or what, but I do know she has a very sweet high voice. The full sweetness of her voice comes through on the title track where she songs accompanied just by an acoustic guitar.
Diabulus is heavier than Nightwish if you need a frame of reference but only marginally so. The guitars are pretty thick and there is lots of nice atmospheric sections as heard on the intro to the longer track ‘No Time for Repentance’, with it’s slight middle-eastern vibe created by the innovative drumming. There is lots of symphonic orchestration to fill out the heavy song structures.
The whole album THE WANDERER has an excellent intensity about it, very soundtrack like, very calculated and even foreboding. I wouldn’t say it’s a fun, casual listen, there is lots and lots going on, it’s very layered. Diabulus In Musica is an intense band and one to watch.