• Diabulus In Musica - Secrets (2010)


    There are so many and even way too many female fronted symphonic metal bands out there in the world nowadays and this trend has also reached out for the Hispanic peninsula. "Diabolus in Musica" is a brandnew band with an intriguing and yet rather stereotypical Latin name and a stereotypical occult cover artwork, a rather beautiful singer that varies from more operatic soprano passages to more energizing power metal passages, a keyboarder that takes a lot of place and adds some symphonic and power metal passages to the radio gothic touch of the band as well as some usual death vocals that are not numerous enough to disturb the commercial factor of this record, a guitar player that adds some melodic and addicting solos and a few harsh vocals as well as a bass guitar player and drummer that do some appropriate rhythm works without getting into the center of attention. The band performs rather short tracks with catchy choruses in the style of the usual idols which are "Epica", "Tristania", "Krypteria" and all those other modern symphonic gothic metal bands out there. The whole thing doesn't stand out but is at least technically well done and could get some attention from a few local radio stations. I must admit that some choruses are truly catchy and must not hide in the shadows of the inspiring big names of the genre.

    But then, when I was already ready to find this band full of stereotypes boring, ordinary and simply not outstanding enough to get a place amongst the still emerging genre of symphonic metal, the second part of this record came to my ears and the band suddenly convinced me. After a great instrumental interlude called "The seventh gate", the band seems to decide to throw the commercial aspects over board and stop copying other bands and tried something new. "Ishtar" is a powerful song with some intriguing and atmospheric Asian folk vibes. This may not be something special as many bands tend to include those elements in their sound such as "Edenbridge", "Elis" or "Nightwish" but "Diabulus in Musica" distinguish themselves for the very first time from the less convincing commercial bands and identify themselves with more progressive and intriguing bands of the genre. And with the last two epic tracks "The forest of ashes" and "St. Michael's nightmare", the band breaks out of commercial lengths and boundaries and creates two great and addicting songs full of diversity, joy for experimental music and surprising passages that leave us on a more than promising note. Suddenly the seemingly ordinary hype band gets very unique and leads me to listen to their album again.

    I don't know if the Spanish band will ever read my amateur review but if they do so I especially want to congratulate them for the second half of their album. I know that it's difficult to find a place in such a popular genre amongst the big names and that it was necessary to write some short and catchy songs to get a contract deal and maybe some attention from the medias. But now that this is done and the first step is made the band should focus on their strengths for experimental and progressive passages. They should still include a couple of potential singles on the next records but the number of unique and epic tracks should grow by then and take the majority of the running time for the upcoming records if they want to create something unique. The band should also maintain the two male vocals that add some good diversity to the strong female vocal performances. The last tracks of the record prove that the band has the talent to go that far and I hope they may consider this thoughts and impressions for their future works.

    In the end, the first part of the record is well done but lacks of originality and may only be worth a rating of about sixty percent but the end of the album is worth ninety percent or even more which justifies my final rating. Any fan of symphonic metal should skip the first half and try out the great trio of "Ishtar", "The forest of ashes" and "St. Michael's nightmare".


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