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Diabulus in Musica - The Wanderer
CD Reviews
Written by T.S. Johnson   
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Diabulus in Musica - CD Review
The Wanderer
Diabulus in Musica - The Wanderer
 

CD Info
2012
Napalm Records / Austria
12  Tracks
English Lyrics

 

Diabulus In Musica is a symphonic metal band from Spain that features the operatic vocals of Zuberoa Aznárez . Also included, and should be noted, are Xabier Jareño on drums and Alejandro "Alex" Sanz on bass, who form the backbone of the band, which give the band its signature sound. I have never heard their first album entitled Secrets, that was released in 2010 so my introduction to this band's music was with The Wanderer. I approached this album with a clean slate, so to speak, concerning this band.

Some songs that stuck out for me were the title track "The Wanderer". It's this lovely acoustic song that showcases Zuberoa's voice. I was happy to hear this gem hidden at the end of the album. I always like finding things in an album that I was not expecting, and this was a good bonus track. It's great in its simplicity and includes some great guitar strumming by Adrián M. Vallejo and a cool acoustic beat box, which gave it a unique sound, although some listeners will just skip over this because it does not sound metal enough. But there is enough metal to go around on this album.

I also liked a song called "Sceneries of Hope" which has a nice driving riff and has an Amaranthe type feel to it. Good use of a catchy keyboard riff by Gorka Elso woven in the song catches your attention and also the massive choir parts throughout the song as well. The rhythm section of the band stands out in this song too which is one of Diabulus In Musica's trademark elements.

I was moved by an intro piece called "Call of a Rising Memory" which is a serene chant, and I can remember putting this one song on the repeat feature and listening to it for about 3 hours straight one night when I had a lot on my mind. It's a great piece to meditate to, and the beautiful haunting vocals will stay in your heart. I also liked another intro piece called "A Journey's End" which is at the front of the album, so it makes one wonder why the end would be at the beginning which is a deep thought in itself.

There are a few songs on the album that will make any male growler fan happy. "Blazing a Trail" is a good mix of male growls supplied by guest vocalist Mark Jansen of Epica fame,  Zuberoa's voice and an awesome choir. This song has a heavy guitar riff and great drum parts, upbeat in its approach. "Shadow of the Throne" is the heaviest song on the album, and is full testosterone power with male growls and even incorporates an all-male choir. There is a great bridge in this song that reminded me of some old school metal riffs and it was refreshing to hear this salute to the past. This song is sure to fire up any metal head crowd with its very ominous chant. Also included on the album is a song called "Sentenced to Life" which is a slow piano driven duet with John Kelly of Elfenthal. This was not a strong point on the album for me, but the song received a great ovation at the 2011 Metal Female Voices Festival, which seemed to be a crowd favorite. Zuberoa and John have a good stage presence with each other.

Overall, The Wanderer is a great album that puts Diabulus In Musica on their way to being in the upper league with bands like Therion and Epica. But keep in mind that this is only their second album. They capture all of the classic symphonic metal elements and make them their own, and it is very refreshing to see newer bands in the genre carrying the torch to the future. This album is a good representation of the Symphonic Metal genre that is delivered with great musicianship and skill. Even though every song on this album did not touch me in a way that I was expecting, it does have some unique songs that grab the listener and lets them know that only Diabulus In Musica can make songs like these.

8.5 / 10

 

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