Radiance: Undying Diabolyca

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    Every release deserves and needs more than one encounter to fully absorb and understand its triumphs and flaws but there are those which need far more patience and time to make their persuasion than others. Undying Diabolyca from Italian metallers Radiance is one such release, an album which probably needs more time than most to unveil all its vices and glories but one which in turn rewards with something quite unique and unforgettable. The emotional dialogue between band, album, and thoughts is still an on-going discussion to be honest but for all its distractions and uncertainties one cannot help having a keen attachment already for what it offers.

Formed in 2004 by guitarist Federica Viola, the Palermo band began with an all-female line-up playing hard rock and heavy metal covers. The band soon was writing their own compositions alongside a continually energetic live schedule which incorporated festivals and music contests. Debut EP …And The Night Comes Down in 2008 drew critical acclaim and success which encouraged the band to push their imagination further. Eventually the band found its current line-up of Viola and vocalist Karin Baldanza as well as a male bassist and drummer in Fabio Accardo and Elio Lao respectively. From this point the music further evolved to find a distinct blend of progressive, power, and heavy metal coated in the evocative operatic tones of Baldanza. Last year saw the band record Undying Diabolyca as well as the approach of My Kingdom Music which saw the band sign with the label who now release their debut album.

Opening instrumental Towards Doom makes a decent introduction to the release without revealing any of its uniqueness but still Radiance coverawakens attention with its accomplished presence. The following Another Way though is a different matter, its start marked with eager riffs and a velvety dark bass sound alongside crisp rhythms. It is instantly compelling and has senses and feet ready to jump on board. Then the beginning of the challenging intrigue emerges with the vocals of Baldanza. She pierces the air with startling operatic flames which stretch notes to their limits and makes an uneasy companion to the sinewy sounds beneath her. It is a union which takes time to acclimatise to but is tempered by the vocalist switching to a heavier forceful delivery which in turn is interspersed with her fine but unexpected soaring and scorching tones. Musically the song continually manipulates the ear with sharp and inventive enterprise to bring extra pleasing intrigue but certainly for the first encounter to song and album the vocals to distract and shield the impressive things going on, why the need for many confrontations.

The following Behind the Light tempts and teases with a progressive shuffling of its inventive stances with the guitars bringing essences of Karnivool to their melodic flames whilst into its full stride the power metal breath of the song is a seamless co-conspirator to a progressive enticement. Vocally the Baldanza takes a more rock orientated approach but still makes each syllable and note from her body work to find its fullest limits for strong rewards to song and ear.

Tracks like the excellent Storm, a song with a tempest of grand melodic and passionate energy doing justice to the title, and the unpredictable Whirl’s Criterion with its mesmeric classical dazzle and creative fervour, move to impress, if again they take time to reveal and persuade their vibrancy and majesty whilst between them the instrumental Resonance is a delightful and evocative piece of music.

Whether it is due to so much going on musically and the drama of the vocals it is hard to tell, but the album does not trigger the ardour maybe it deserves though the itch to return to its body to hear and discover more is a worthy equivalent.  With the title track emerging late in the album to steal top honours with magnetic and breath-taking  robust and skilled adventure, Undying Diabolyca is a compelling and at times irresistible experience which you can feast on numerous times and find a new taste to enjoy with each bite. Though we would not say Radiance has totally converted us to their rampage of startling sound and experimentation the willingness to be convinced further by the band is eager.



RingMaster 18/03/2013

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Categories: Album, Music

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