Diabulus In Musica – “Argia” (Napalm Records)
Although still centered around the beauty and the beast vocals of founders Zuberoa Aznárez and keyboardist Gorka Elso, this Spanish symphonic rock / metal band is now with a new backing line since 2012’s “The Wanderer”. Musically though, it’s not much different being steeped in Basque romanticism and red blooded Latin passion as reflected by Aznárez’s angelic vocals, and stylishly contrasted by Elso’s growls n grunts amidst his suave keyboard work that resonates majesty as well as delicate emotion, at times gracing the realms of filmscore metal. Heavily influenced by the classics songs like the Spanish sung ‘Furia de Libertad’ (with Sirenia’s Ailyn Giménez on guest vocals) and the theatrical ‘Encounter at Chronos’ Maze’ (featuring Therion’s Thomas Vikstrom) almost play like mini operas especially when adding in the backing sounds of violins, flutes, and choirs although it all flows magnificently, blending modern instrumental elements with the more orchestral sounds. When the band chose to be conventional like on ‘Spoilt Vampire’ they really bear their claws and ramp it up with crunching goth / rock riffs, double bass drumming and Elso’s growling vox prominently featuring in the mix, once again splendidly contrasted by deep choirs and a funky dance like keyboard melody that brought to mind the Merovingian’s bar in “The Matrix”! All in all a highly entertaining album that I would say is Diabulus In Musica’s most mature to date, and despite being underrated, Aznárez and Elso’s talented eclecticism deserves much more attention that “Argia” should shine the light on.