Napalm Records (2012)
Diabulus In Musica are a Spanish symphonic metal quintet who appear intent on delivering as much instrumental nuances as they can on this second album “The Wanderer”. It’s a given that keyboardist Gorka Elso brandishes dexterous finger flourishing and also doubles as the heavier, growling vocal element to songs like the power metal-ish “Blazing A Trail” and slightly modern meets riff choppy “Shadow Of The Throne”. Middle Ages acoustic guitar spotlights the dramatic “Allegory Of Faith, Innocence And Future” - with a mid-section that brings the electric proceedings down to a semi-opera level with choir vocals surrounding Zuberoa Aznarez’s feminine gothic charm.
The band understand that most everlasting records need breathers in terms of emotional impact, and thus the ballad “Sentenced To Life” with its dual male/female harmonies and quieter rhythm ambiance sets the stage later for the exotic 8 minute plus “No Time For Repentance (Lamentatio)”- where the opening verses could be a pulsating Machine Head guitar-wise and vocally but then mutates into a theatrical chess match as music and vocals vie for your adulation. The title track concludes the album in a 70’s acoustic manner, the light-hearted, angelic melody and soloing in line with Jethro Tull, Styx or even Supertramp.
“Secrets” from 2010 made a decent impression on me- but I believe “The Wanderer” could separate Diabulus In Musica from the Nightwish/Within Temptation pack. These musicians are willing to push barriers in an attempt to develop their own niche and audience- so give this album multiple exposures to fully engage and grasp their songwriting versatility. Smart move Napalm Records to pick up this group - and let’s hope we have a blockbuster third album in the making.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe