Diabulus in Musica - Dirge for the Archons (2016)

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As one of the most expected Symphonic/Gothic Metal releases of 2016, today we have Diabulus in Musica and their excellent fourth full-length release “Dirge for the Archons”. Slowly evolving into a beautiful butterfly, this Spanish band’s music has gotten more and more bombastic and explosive over time. Bringing comparisons with Epica, Xandria and After Forever, this release delivers over 60 minutes of captivating music that any fan of the genre will love.

After the traditional warm-up intro, “Earthly Illusions” delivers waves of guitar riffs and orchestral arrangements that are perfectly offset by Zuberoa Aznárez’s signature firm but sweet vocals. As “Marble Embrace” and “Invisible” arrive, we can’t help but notice a very evident similarity to Epica’s music, more than before for the band. This isn’t necessarily bad as there are enough differences in the choir arrangements and song structures to keep them far from being a copycat. And while similar, Gorka and company manage to craft highly memorable songs.

Perfectly balancing between the elaborate vocal arrangements and the ‘heavier’ instruments, tracks like “Crimson Gale” and “The River of Loss” showcase the band’s solid guitar work and crafty drumming. If you are more into ballad-type songs, the band delivers the mellow “A Speck in the Universe”, the male and female alternating vocals of “Hiding from You” and the Folky vibes of “Bane”. With Zuberoa’s vocals being quite diverse, she can go from classical styled passages into more nature and fragile sections for contrast.

After closing with the dramatic “Zauria”, the band has managed to deliver a very solid and well evolved fourth album. While inevitably sounding like other bands in the genre, the band has enough self-identity to clearly stand as one of the powering forces of the genre. The band’s music has increased in complexity and magic, allowing this release to definitely be one of the top Symphonic/Gothic Metal albums of 2016, so be sure to pick up a copy of it.

Band: Diabulus in Musica Album: Dirge for the Archons

Label: Napalm Records

Release: November 18th, 2016

Official Site Social Media

Genre: Symphonic/Gothic Metal

Country: Spanish

Rating: 91/100
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