Having recently reviewed Xandria’s latest release, I was given the task of doing the same with “The Wanderer”, the latest work by the Spanish Symphonic Metal Band Diabulus in Musica which, as luck would have it, is also signed under Napalm Records.
Despite its short existence, Diabulus in Musica has managed to cement their presence in the metal scene, achieving what many other bands would only dream of, such as playing with bands of the stature of Manowar, Sabaton and Epica, as well as being a recurrent headliner in the Female Voices Metal Fest in Belgium
The band released “Secrets“, their debut album, already two years ago, receiving a very good response for the critics, despite showing up in a market that, some would say, seems saturated with female-fronted symphonic metal bands.
Despite the quality of“Secrets”, with “The Wanderer” the band has moved a step forward, with a more defined sound and catchy (and heavy!) tunes that, despite being symphonic, don’t come off as overly dramatic, as is often the case in this genre.
The album is by no means monotonous, offering a great range of sounds and styles, from the growling vocals in “Ex Nihilo”, the electronic intro in “Sceneries of Hope” or Mark Jansen’s appereance in “Blazing a Trail”, providing the kind of growling power that he uses in MaYaN, to the use of classical Spanish guitars in ”Allegory of Faith, Innocence And Future”.
Singer Zuberoa Aznárez shows great range and versatility, conveying a plethora of emotions with her voice, particularly in pieces such as “Sentenced to Life” and “The Wanderer”, the mandatory ballads of the album.
All these praises, however, cannot change the fact that, at times, “The Wanderer” seems a bit too derivative. Perhaps it’s the involvement of several people who worked with (or in!) Epica, or maybe that after all these years there isn’t much more to be discovered in this genre, that causes the album to sound too similar to works by Epica or Xandria. This is in no way a constant throughout the album though, since its combinations of symphonic and death metal give it a unique sound (which, perhaps, should have been more exploited).
The bottom line is this: If you like Female-Fronted Symphonic Metal Bands, you’ll definitely love this album. The lack of excessive drama, as well as the masterful inclusion of growling vocals, will also make the album enjoyable for those who like things a little bit heavier.