Diabulus In Musica – Argia
text: Frans Neelen
Diabulus in Musica is a Spanish Gothic Metal band whose star is rising quickly. Their 2010 debut “Secrets” on which they worked together with Sasha Paeth and Ad Sluyter (Epica) was received well in the media.
Almost immediately opened doors to prestigious concerts like Metal Female Voices Festival and as support of Manowar, Theatre of Tragedy, Doro, Therion to name a few.
Not surprisingly, if you look at the names they worked with, many called them the Spanish Epica. With follow up “The Wanderer” they proved to be more than that introducing subtle versatile elements like folk and bombastic choirs into dark but catchy songs.
The fine production and mix by Jacob Hansen did a fine job and definitely catapulted them to the top of this genre. Now there is this third album called “Argia” and the only thing I can conclude is that it’s again a huge step forward. With Jacob Hansen again responsible for mix and production this album has a fantastic sound.
Surprisingly on the contrary the line up shows a lot of changes. Female singer Zuberoa Aznrez and keyboardist Gorka Elso are the only two members remaining. However this certainly make my eyebrows frown (a stable line up seems to be very heard these days), it didn’t have any impact musically. In my experience Diabulus in Musica is a band who listens carefully to other bands, takes out the best influences and has the capability to create all this into the best you can get in this genre.
That may sound a bit negative , but that is not what I am trying to say. It’s more common in the scene to do that. And to deliver something really original is a hard call nowadays. Therion was, and is, one of these bands. Diabulus in Musica has succeeded in delivering one of the finest Therion songs that Therion didn’t wrote.
“Encounter At Chronos Maze” is a fantastic epos in which guest singer Thomas Vikström (indeed from Therion) duels vocally with Zuberoa resulting in an impressive, theatrical piece of opera. Claiming Diabulus in Musica hasn’t a sound of their own, would be unjust to their musical craftsmanship.
This album is a damn fine musical journey providing you the versatile faces of female fronted gothic metal.
As said, this album shows more influences and use of folky instruments like for example Leaves’ Eyes “Meredead” album, which are handsome intertwined in very good and versatile songs.
The instrumental opener “Et Resurrexit (Libera Me)” sounds like a movie sound track like Crimfall and takes you back into the medieval ages. Follower “From The Embers” offers all you can expect in this genre; bombast, choirs, pointy riffs, classic vocals versus death grunts and a pounding protrusive centerpiece. It wouldn’t surprise me, when these two songs open the live shows because this certainly will set the crowd on fire.
“Inner Force” shows the bands most catchy side and is the perfect choice for a single. This one is hammered in your head after two times listening so it will be an audience favourite. The album uses the proven formula of alternating bombastic heavy songs with catchy dreamy ones and that makes it an enjoyable ride.
Folklore on “Maitagarri” and ‘Indigo” and headbanging on the heavy, merciless pounders “Mechanical Ethos” and the sublime “Spoilt Vampire”, it’s all present. Playing that last song live guarantees a damn fine bunch of hairsweeping fans. Worth mentioning is the vocal contribution of Ailyn (Sirenia) in the Spanish “Furia De Libertad” which may sound sweet and poppy but keeps hanging in your head. This song would be great as a contribution for the Eurovison Songfestival.
Diabulus in Musica again delivers a fine album in the, nowadays, over flooded Symphonic Female Fronted scene (not that I personally mind that by the way) which marks itself with a great production. The songs characterize themselves with clear influences from Therion and Leaves’ Eyes, but the band certainly has it’s own characteristic sound.
Lead vocalist Zuberoa Aznrez is the main reason for that sound. Not that she is real characteristic but always – and in all diversions – intense, passionate and professional. Her voice on this album shows even more progress and is simply incredible. Now she also highly impresses in the operatic parts like “Encounter At Chronos Maze” and “Healing”. A wonderful job performance.
This album is a very enjoyable one and will finds it ways to the fans. It also shows the bands versatility and when they should play the whole album live, it represents exactly where they stand for and it’s a fine anthology of Symphoninc Gothic Female Fronted Metal.
1. Et Resurrexit (Libera Me)
2. From the Embers
3. Inner force
4. Furia de Libertad (feat. Ailyn Giménez)
6. Sed Diabolus
7. Eternal Breeze
8. Mechanical Ethos
9. Spoilt Vampire
10. Encounter at Chronos’ Maze (feat. Thomas Vikström)