Diabula Rasa – Ars Medioheavy

DIABULA-RASA

The name may be new to most but such the impressive voice and mighty of their album Ars Medioheavy, it is hard to imagine Italian folk metallers Diabula Rasa will be a secret for much longer. The ten track release is stunning; a scintillating multi-flavoured expanse of traditional and modern essences honed into an encounter which lights up the senses and leaves an eagerly potent depth of pleasure in its creative wake. The album is the best the genre has offered over the past year and it will take something special to replace its status across the rest of 2013.

Formed in 2000 as Tabula Rasa by Luca Veroli (guitarist, vocalist, bagpipe, songwriter/producer), the Lugo based band played traditional folk music which took its ideas and heart from medieval and traditional music. Their debut album, the acoustically instrumental Techno Gothica was released in 2005 before the band two years later changed its name to Diabula Rasa and re-invented its sound. Still seeded by their medieval and traditional experimentation the sextet brought in stirring metal elements as they continued to look to revive ancient music through instruments and sound seeded in the time whilst blending it with the presence of more modern ones. 2010 saw their second and self-titled album containing versions of tracks from their debut re-invented with the new metal intent released. It set the band to the fore of folk metal in their homeland which Ars Medioheavy will surely replicate across the world given the opportunity. Out on Moonlight Records, it is an irresistible instigator to fun, adventure, and expertly crafted excellence, sounds with a nostalgic breath from before our time and the energy and aggression of today.

The album has the passions secured by the opening instrumental Ghirondo alone, the vocal sweeps of harmonies which open up a1458153037_2song and senses simply delicious whilst the compelling bass lure of Samantha Bevoni skirted by the teasing touch of keys from Daniela Taglioni fire up intrigue and temptation another clutch of degrees. With the beats and concussive percussion of Moreno Boscherini adding a firm and appealing frame for the stringed skills of Stefano Clo and Sonia Nardelli to invigorate the already persuasive call with their melodic flames, submission to its lure is complete and cemented beyond doubt with the dance of traditional sounds and instruments making the final seduction.

Tsanich takes its lead from the incredible introduction, feeding off of its stance to raise bars and temperature to new raging pinnacles of invention and craft. A stirring and eagerly pressing charge of riffs locked in the arms of atmospheric keys lay out a potent temptation before the striking female vocals of either Taglioni or Bevoni, both contributing vocals upon the album but without any indication whose voice is whose, stand astride the sounds with teasing adventure and expressive quality. The excellent grouchy growls of Veroli add their additional roar behind the lead call before both girls combine for another warm caress of harmonies. With a chorus as anthemic and infectious as the body of the track, and the Italian delivered lyrics easy to join in with at that moment, the song has a swagger and mischief that is irresistible and a poise that takes it elegantly through the ear to energise thoughts and emotions, let alone limbs and voice.

The track gives the following songs a tall order to replicate with its stunning presence but both Cataclism and Congaudentes make light work of the challenge, the first flexing formidable sinews around another sun of vocal glory and evolving into a blaze of evocative aural expression and descriptive melodic colour whilst its successor is a boisterous and captivating play of metallic endeavour and folk festivity. The male and female vocals are scintillating within the walls of earnest keys and around the carousel of seductive strings, acoustic and electric, whilst the latter sirenesque call of the female vocal swoons is heavenly in its touch and presence. It is another feast of imagination and skilled craft which only lights further lustful ardour.

Through the passion exploiting heights of Madre de Deus, with its opening celestial wash of strings and soaring vocals a virulent temptress and evolving rapacious metal seeded hunger, the ambrosial Astarte, and the mouthwatering In Taberna, the album stirs up every corner of the senses and appetite whilst the glorious Vermell is manna from the melodic gods complete with expressive shadows, emotive atmospheres, and ravishing vocal beauty sending extra tingles down the spine of passion.

Stepping out clad in medieval suasion the sensational Maledicantur takes the listener back to simpler but openly energetic and passionate times with again a chorus which is impossibly contagious and enchanting in its simplicity. It is an exhilarative escapade to leave the listener on a high for the closing Ahi Amour and its emotional spellbinding and smouldering red skied sunset. It is an engrossing conclusion to an ingenious triumph from Diabula Rasa. Ars Medioheavy is an album which will feed all your needs and desires in a folk metal release and then some, an offering all should and will embrace with greed.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DIABULA-RASA/240832555948820

10/10

RingMaster 07/06/2013

 

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Artaius – Fifth Season

Artaius pic

Merging an enterprising and imaginative mix of metal, folk, progressive rock, and various other mischievous flavours, Fifth Season the debut album from Italian band Artaius is a release which dances with the ear and stokes up the passions to the recognition that this band is an awakening force. Across its absorbing length it would be fair to say that the sound is seeded and bred in recognisable organic beds but throughout Artaius involve intriguing and unexpected twists as well as invention to set them apart from most now and as an appetising prospect of the future.

Formed in early 2008, the sextet from Sassuolo have forged an impressive in their homeland with their previous a self-produced EP and live performances which has seen them leave strong impressions alongside the likes of Furor Gallico, Kalevala, and Diabula Rasa. There is a strong Celtic breath to the folk part of their sound whilst progressive whispers call loudly throughout the weave of melodic beauty and muscular energy with metal forged riffs and rhythms adding their rage and driving attack from an opposite extreme. The striking and inspiring vocals of Sara Cucciniello wrap around the senses with warmth and elegance, though equally she can sear and elevate notes with beauty and strength upon the compelling narrative, whilst the phlegm caked growls of guitarist Andrea La Torre bring textured shadows and malevolence to the welcoming landscapes to match the music in merging extremes. His vocals do take time to grow into and at times are a limit too far and detract from the otherwise rich persuasion but never to leave a song or moment distinctly unappealing.

The Moonlight Records released album opens up a brewing emotive ambience as Make the Iguana gentle enters into view. It Artaius-TheFithSeason500_zps1e0739f9initial beckoning an atmosphere mist where from within bold beats from Alessandro Ludwig Agati begin to build a frame for the mesmeric whistle tempting of Mia Spattini to wrap around, both soon joined by the resonating throat of the bass of Enrico Bertoni. Once Cucciniello unveils her vocal beauty the song lifts its head further to stretch melodic smiles and temptation to new heights, though it is when the track fully slips into its eager stride and the guitar of La Torre, as well as his growls add their predatory touch that the full union seduces emotions and limbs. Continually switches its gait from gentle and inviting to charged and infectious whilst the folk and progressive wash led by the excellent and fizzing key sounds of Giovanni Grandi hones all its aural colour into a compelling narrative, the song is an absorbing and deeply pleasing start immediately continued by the next treats.

Gates of Time has sinews stretching and fires blazing from the off, riffs prowling around the ear whilst the low growls of La Torre add their own distinct menace. A magnetic groove spears the challenge, its lure twisting into a niggling yet magnetic hook with the soaring vocals of Cucciniello looking down as they touch the roof of the song and leaving scorch marks on its surface. The track swoops back into the heavy energetic crawl again but then opens up a bloom of expressive melodic revelry which is quite irresistible and has feet shuffling intently along to its call. Continually mixing up its stance and adventure as it brings the harsh and beauty of the scenario into a descriptive sonic tale, the track leaves a smile on the passions before making way for the outstanding Over the Edge to ignite ardour.

This track takes a mere second to pick up the senses and thoughts and expose them to a romp of bold frivolity and passionate merriment, the violin of guest Lucio Stefani taking charge of the virile waltz whilst group shouts and enthusiasm powers alongside the again exceptional voice of Cucciniello. The track has full recruitment of limbs, heart, and lust within mere moments but ignites that to furnace proportions by stepping into a piano sculpted jazz fuelled aside of schizophrenic enterprise. Totally unexpected and wholly devoured with greed by the ear and beyond the song soon drives back into its core attack as if nothing happened, before again flirting with the bedlamic fascination for a more intensive devilment. The track is quite brilliant and you can only wish other songs had taken their bravery of adventure as far to turn the album into a real classic.

The progressive tempest of Horizon keeps things burning brightly though the vocals of La Torre arguably have one of their less inspiring moments compensated by the keys and dramatically confrontational riffs whilst both Stairway’s End and the hungry Prophecy offer more variation and satisfaction, even if without lighting the depth of fires as their predecessors. The second part of the album does slip from the plateau earlier founded but equally there is never a moment through the likes of La Vergine e il Lupo, Wind of Quest, and Wind of Wisdom that the temptation waivers and in songs like Wind of Revenge further blazes of drama coated magnificence erupt, the song complete with a virulently addictive groove and melodic toxicity an uncompromising yet rapacious slice of folk metal.

      Fifth Season is a strongly pleasing album which has moments of insatiable splendour leaving its recipient breathless. Artaius have delivered an impressive debut album which only makes you think the band will go on to greater and more startling things, and stake a claim as one of the more imaginative and exciting bands in the genre.

https://www.facebook.com/artaiusofficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 07/06/2013

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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