Rating:
7.1
Diabulus In Musica - Argia
15 April 2014


01. Et Resurrexit (Libera Me)
02. From The Embers
03. Inner Force
04. Furia De Libertad [feat. Ailyn Giménez]
05. Maitagarri
06. Sed Diabolus
07. Spoilt Vampire
08. Eternal Breeze
09. Mechanical Ethos
10. Encounter At Chronos' Maze [feat. Thomas Vikström]
11. Indigo
12. Healing
13. Horizons


As a huge lover of symphonic metal, I've been curious about Diabulus In Musica ever since they emerged, but the truth is they never really captured much of my attention and Argia proves there's a reason for that.

The biggest effort in this third offering of the band is listening to its entirety, or at least listening to it in search of true aesthetic fruition. There sure are a handful of songs in this album I'd enjoy listening to in my iTunes on shuffle; but listening to the whole ensemble just comprises an utterly boring experience. And I'm not being harsh just for its own sake. There are two major factors that make me rate this album quite low:

1: The instrumentation throughout the album gets frequently subjected to serve as a rhythmic excuse for the vocal lines, which, more often than naught, do not deserve such sacrifice. The vocal lines are most of the time insipid and predictable even if melodically enjoyable. As for the occasional grunts, I'd rather not have them there, for this grunter is, simply put, really awful in my opinion. Thus, the instrumentation gets really unmemorable and even, I daresay, non-significant in the majority of the album.

But not all is lost; there are actually a couple of songs that manage to establish a good balance between vocals and instruments, namely "Spoilt Vampire" and "Mechanical Ethos" since both gather some strong instrumental moments and catchy riffs, and "Encounter At Chronos' Maze" which showcases a perfect symbiosis between epic instrumentation and beautifully performed vocal lines (and of course the very welcome freshness that Thomas Vikström's guest vocals bring in).

2: The lyrics and overall attitude of the album is quite bland and uninspired, full of cliche lyrics, common place topics and lack of general artistic and lyrical craftsmanship.

But even if this album is a prototype of a straightforward, subtlety lacking and general symphonic metal release, it still has its virtues, namely some variety quality to it. This isn't one of those albums where one gets the feeling of listening to several different versions of the same song. Each song in Argia is quite distinguishable from each other, and tunes like "Maitagarri" with its interesting sound twist in the bridge and "Heal" with Zuberoa's pleasant vocal show-off in the bridge also (bridges seem to be quite interesting amidst an abundance of pre-cooked songwriting formulas here) surely make for some great moments.

To conclude, this is surely an album to please every big fan of Diabulus In Musica and typical symphonic metal records in general, but I'm afraid it might disappoint those listeners looking for a fully aesthetically fulfilling release.

Highlights: "Maitagarri", "Spoilt Vampire" and "Encounter At Chronos' Maze".

PS: The performance would be 9 if it weren't for the grunter.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Band profile: Diabulus In Musica
Album: Argia


 


written by ChainOfSorrow | 02.06.2014


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Ag Fox

Rating:
8.2
Diabulus In Musica seems to be one of those low-key bands that do things in a subtle way. There isn't much gushing or complaining about them, and their latest album had almost slipped by me. Perhaps it's the rather generic sounding band name, most potential listeners would dismiss them and not give them a chance when they actually already have two (TWO!!) much coveted nominations in the annual Metal Storm Awards under their belt.

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published 01.07.2014 | Comments (6)



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The Shape 1973 - 04.06.2014 at 22:23  
Each to their own I suppose. You picked out my favourite songs, but I don't agree with the rest of your review. I really liked the whole album and often sit through from beginning to end, never bored. I think it can hold its head up along side Epica and Xandria's latest. Enjoyed vocals, including the harsh vocals, especially during Spoilt Vampire and From The Embers and thought the orchestrations were top notch.

I have had some funny looks listening to this in the car, sat at traffic lights doing the harsh vocals to Vampire.
Laneth - 05.06.2014 at 07:15  
I agree 100% about the grunts. He sounds like cookie monster and I can't get that comparison out of my mind...
Migtanteot - 11.06.2014 at 19:37  
I don´t really find that bad the instrumentation being subjected to the vocals, but I thing It would be much better if they weren´t. In general is a quite good album, the best of their career till now.

...and yes, fuck the grunts.

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