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Diabulus in Musica – Dirge for the Archons Review

Band: Diabulus in Musica
Album: Dirge for the Archons
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Symphonic Power Metal
Country: Spain
Release Date: November 18th, 2016

After Nightwish was formed and made waves in the Metal community, there has been a wave of female fronted Symphonic Metal bands. That’s fine and dandy, but with that wave of new bands, there aren’t many that actually stand out and sound different, as it is with other subgenres of Metal. I could switch out Nightwish for Cannibal Corpse for example and there are many Death Metal bands that just don’t stand out.

Anyway before I go totally off topic, let me bring this back to the topic at hand and that’s the new Diabulus In Musica’s album, “Dirge for the Archons”. Is it a good album? Well, yes and no. What do I mean by that? Let me explain. The album title references one of the creators of the city of Atlantis, the fictional sunken city that some people believe really did exist. Once again, I went off topic. Let me get back to reviewing this album.

The album begins with the usual Symphonic Power Metal intro track with orchestration which is kind of boring. Don’t get me wrong, I love orchestration in Metal, but listening to this made me want to go to sleep, and that’s not a sign of a good album. Then comes the first song “Earthly Iliusions”, which woke me right back up. It’s a nice, fast paced song with a killer riff and Zuberoa Aznárez has a great singing voice. I had high hopes for this album after the first song but then came “Marble Embrace”, which dashed my hopes. It’s an okay song, but it just didn’t get a reaction out of me the way the previous song did. It’s not like it was poorly constructed or the musicianship was bad, it was just okay. The song suffers from what the majority of the other songs suffer from on this album. It sounds like every other Symphonic Power Metal song you’ve heard before and really doesn’t stand out. That being said, it doesn’t make it a bad song.

“Invisible” is another heavily orchestrated song which is just plain boring. I’m really trying to like it, but I can’t. I’m almost falling asleep while I’m listening to it. Yes, it’s that boring. I was hoping it would get better with “Crimson Gale”, and it did. It’s a nice uptempo song and once again, I was thinking this album isn’t so bad after all. I’m getting my hopes up again! Then “Ring Around Dark Faires? Carousel” comes on and my hopes are dashed. It’s not a bad song, but it just doesn’t stand out from the slew of other female fronted Symphonic Metal bands.

And now, here comes the lowest point in the album with “A Speck in the Universe.” It’s slow and boring. This would be a song I would put on if I wanted to go to sleep. Now don’t get it twisted, I’m not one of those Metalheads that needs every song to be uptempo, fast, and brutal. I enjoy slower softer songs too, but this song doesn’t do it for me it suffers from what most of the songs on this album suffers from. It just doesn’t stand out. “Hiding From You” has a male counterpart singing, but it doesn’t help the song from being too generic lyrically. I went from having high hopes for this album to counting down the time until the album was over.

“The Voice of Your Dreams” brings another small ray of light because it’s a good, well constructed song. After a small interlude, “Bane” comes on and that small ray of light is smothered again. It’s not bad, it just sounds like so many other Symphonic Power Metal songs I’ve heard before. “The River of Loss” is another highlight of this album with a brilliant mix of clean and harsh vocals that meld perfectly and it stands out. It’s clear that Duabulus in Musica can make songs that stand out from the rest of the Symphonic Metal crowd, but they didn’t do it often enough with this album. The album does end strongly with “Zauria”, which is a fitting end to an album of this kind.

I know it sounds like I hated this album, but I really didn’t. It has its high and low points and is a decent album overall. It’s just that “Dirge for the Archons” sounds like every other Symphonic Metal album you have heard before. For some people, that’s not a bad thing and they’ll love it. For me, it’s different. This is a band that I know can do better and has done better with previous albums.

Rating: 6/10

Tracklist:
1. Battle of Atlantis
2. Earthly Ilusions
3. Marble Embrace
4. Invisible
5. Crimson Gale
6. Ring Around Dark Fairies? Carousel
7. A Speck in the Universe
8. Hiding From You
9. The Voice of Your Dreams
10. The Hawk’s Lament
11. Bane
12. The River of Loss
13. Zauria
14. Lies in Your Eyes (live)
15. St. Michael’s Nightmare (live)

Total Playing Time: 01:06:41

 

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