Diabulus in Musica – “Euphonic Entropy” (Napalm Records)
Battle Helm Rating
With a strong, artistic trait and themed on deep emotions like love, beauty and sorrow, Diabulus in Musica are a Basque symphonic metal band who’ve been going since 2006, releasing 4 prior full length studio albums in rising to national levels in Spain as well as being a well recognized name across Europe. Centered around the husband / wife team of Zuberoa Aznárez’s operatic vocals and Gorka Elso’s guitars / keyboards / roars, “Euphonic Entropy” does anything that its title may suggest, oozing symphonic majesty and bliss in every aspect despite the band now being a 4 piece. An extremely tight unit indeed, there’s a lot going on across the 12 tracks here, from the obvious bombastic symphony to suave gothic tinged metal and even folk and cabaret type styles showing the musical versatility of the band, yet keeping to an overall formula that is Diabulus in Musica. After an atmospheric intro, the heavy guitars, double bass drumming and dancing classical keyboard melodies set the appropriate mood on ‘Race To Equilibrium’, a heavy chugging piece definitive of symphonic metal at its best, driven by dominating male and female choirs all of which are contrasted by the exquisite, classy vocals of Aznárez and the beastly roars of hubby Gorka. Even more dramatic is ‘Nuevo Rumbo’ with its ominous guitars and gothic choirs, yet so stylishly contrasted by flowing orchestrals and not in the least, stunning vocals sung stylishly in Spanish by Aznárez, and iced off once here and there by Gorka’s gruff drawls. Increasing the speed on ‘One Step Higher’, whirring guitars, blast beating drums, soprano choirs and synth dance keys form the mix over which Aznárez delivers the emotionally soothing yet incredibly catchy chorus that goes immediately into your soul – wow, talk about a fire and ice mix that is totally riveting from start to finish! Just as aggressive but taking the symphony to the max is ‘Blind Muse’, complete with futuristic keyboard melodies and multiple harsh / soothing male and female vocal styles once again building to the incredibly passionate climatic chorus on this masterful composition, showing the technical prowess of the band, yet also their immense emotional reach through their stirring music. Ending in a brilliant twist is ‘In The Vortex’, a classical piece yet no less powerful thanks to its moving strings and Aznárez’s operatic passion giving way towards the end to a dancing folk melody incorporating stirring choirs! Quite possibly Diabulus in Musica’s best album yet, “Euphonic Entropy” is without a doubt also a contender for symphonic metal album of the year…..