CD Reviews

Diabulus In Musica - 'Dirge For The Archons' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 13, 2018    
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Involving, inviting and inspirational.

In its most literal sense, 'Dirge For The Archons' is a lament for the dead – a mournful song of sadness and grief for the nine chief magistrates of ancient Athens. In a more symbolic sense, it's the title of a collection of songs (many representing the characteristics of dirges) from this Spanish Symphonic Metal quintet who have been quietly positioning themselves at the bottom of the threshold of European Symphonic Metal, ready to take charge, win the war and come out as the kings and queens of the Euro Symphonic scene.

This, their fourth opus, introduces itself with the movie-like, opening-credits soundscape of choral chants and beautiful music, 'Dirge ....' is every bit as cinematic as it is Operatic. A call-to-arms for a wider audience to embrace their film-like storyteller narratives that trickle out throughout the thirteen tracks. The aforementioned soundscape 'Battle Of Atlantis' explodes into the battering ram-like, bass-heavy riff-rolling machine gun stomp of lead single 'Earthly Illusion'; its Operatic female vocals colliding head-first beautifully with male-only traditional choral harmonies, hinting at the rest of the album's sonic direction. Of course, following in the footsteps of their critically-acclaimed spotlight-shining breakthrough, 2014's 'Argia', is no mean feat and so DIM keep us on the edges of our seats throughout, from the dubstep-aping flash-bang riff-and-synth of 'Marble Embrace' to the stripped-back acoustic stroll through the realms of the universes during 'A Speck In The Universe'.

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However, there is only so much straying from the path one can do before it becomes an exercise in crossing the line on what is good and what isn't and unfortunately for DIM, their paces drop as the album drifts from beginning to end. In truth, there isn't a bad dirge on offer – apart from, perhaps, the two-minute Spanish-language drawl-of-a-closer 'Zauria'. There's a noticeable difference between where they shine brighter than their scene-leaders (Nightwish and Within Temptation et al), and where they slide solemnly into the rest of the pack, most noticeably on the fairground themed creep-and-roller 'Ring Around Dark Fairies Carousel'.

Through circling, looping riffs, bombarding bass lines and an Operatic vocal performance courtesy of commanding vocalist Zuberoa Aznarez (worthy of an award greater than a Grammy), Diabulus In Musica continue to move ever closer to taking the Symphonic Metal scene by storm, having built a record so powerfully symbolic of the Symphonic sound. Involving, inviting and inspirational.

Jack Press

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
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