At first sight the Spanish band Diabulus in Musica sounds like yet another upstart in the Gothic / Symphonic Metal genre. Albeit a very talented one judging by The Wanderer, their newest concoction. The name of the band derives from the famous tritone that was banned by the Catholic church to be used in their heavenly concoctions. Or devilish things will happen to the congregation. The goat will appear or something.
Sounds like we got new guys on the block, right? Well kind of – and after their first album Secrets, this second record is good progress. The production has a lot (or too much for my taste) of Epica in it. And they have adopted many elements from early Nightwish and Within Temptation. Like many others have done before them.
The beautiful Zuberoa Aznàrez is doing a very good job in fronting this band, keeping a fresh wind blowing throughout the album. I am usually not a big fan of soprano singers in rock and metal, but here it is a pretty good mix of different styles she masters. Albeit she tends towards the bombastic at time. Too much of a ‘I wanna be an opera, but ain’t’ production in my book. But still good enough to get my juices flowing. But do I really see the terrible Amaranthe raise its ugly head in some of that? Well, kind of, but rest easy: This is by far not the out of control pop culture the latter displays.
Having said that and at second sight, this is really good, complicated and very complex fare. The album sometimes feels like a film sound track, style of Lord of the Rings or a computer game underlay. And that is a pity. I would suggest a harder line, less bombastic for this band and it would really take off. Go and add some spice, guys!
The album is nevertheless an astounding mix of typical symphonic and gothic metal themes, combined with a few stray elements. And you get it all: From very airy stuff to death grunts, all there.
This makes it very complex to listen too and in all honesty, you will need to listen to it a few times to really hear all the different nuances. Not your usual portion of easy peasy music consumption. And the album does not cease to surprise up to the very end.
Looking at it as a whole: Diabulus in Musica created a very good and very compelling chunk of epic Symphonic Metal. Fans of the genre will absolutely love it, whereas adepts of a harder line (like me) will want some more oomph in the production. Even if this is so, I will continue to look for more output from this band.