Voyager – Ghost Mile

There is no denying the eager grin which broke upon faces here when the new Voyager album was sent through, having been seriously tempted by the band since their second album uniVers in 2007 and lustfully hooked through their fourth and fifth in the acclaimed shapes of The Meaning of I and V. The later in 2014 set a plateau it was easy to wonder if the Australian band could eclipse thereon in. Hopes and a quiet confidence have just been realised with the release of Ghost Mile, an album which brings a truly fresh breath to progressive metal as instinctively catchy and virulent as it is technically and inventively imaginative.

The success of the Perth quintet’s last album saw the band invited to perform at major festivals such as ProgPower USA, Euroblast Festival in Germany, and the ProgPower Europe Festival in The Netherlands as well as sharing stages with the likes of Deftones, Opeth, Leprous, Protest The Hero, Nightwish, Epica, Oceans of Slumber, and Coheed and Cambria. Voyager ended last year touring Australia with Deftones and Karnivool and being further invitations to play Euroblast and Progpower EU this year, the latter as headliners. Now with Ghost Mile driving things, it is hard to imagine 2017 being anything other than a really busy adventure, one no doubt littered with praise lured by their stunning new album alone.

Mixed by Matthew Templeman and mastered by Simon Strutters, Ghost Mile opens up with Ascension. A golden melody kisses ears first with the warmth and intrigue of a dawn sun, its suggestive air tempting the imagination before bolder rhythms add their bait. Djent teased enterprise is soon joining the blossoming affair, their steely tenacity paving the way for another caress of elegance around the radiant tones of Danny Estrin. As magnetic as ever, his presence is swiftly joined by sturdier textures whilst being the ringleader to an irresistible infectiousness soon fuelling the chorus and body of the evolving encounter. With the suggestive heat of his keytar matched in craft and magnetism by the guitars of Scott Kay and Simone Dow, the song is pure captivation, only increasing its potency as breaks of predacious intent and aggression escape.

The quite stunning start is quickly continued by the equally outstanding Misery Is Only Company. From the off, it has a harder core to its presence, a latent but open intensity which lines jagged riffs and the brooding air of Alex Canion’s bass. There is no containing the instinctive catchiness within songwriting and imagination though, the swinging beats of Ashley Doodkorte inciting similar boisterousness in the resourceful and technical enterprise across the band. Deftones’ Chino Moreno recently likened Estrin’s voice to Duran Duran’s Simon LeBon, something at times easy to agree with and indeed at times the song has something of the British outfit to its pop sensibilities, infectiousness aligning with more predatory essences to masterful effect.

Next up Lifeline initially lays another sunny shimmer on the senses, its progressive aptitude soon courting metallic rapacity though as melodies radiate and vocals warmly croon. Relaxing into a gentle stroll, there is still a constant snarl to the guitars and bass which breeds alluring unpredictability and waiting volatility, the latter never truly having its moment but keeping the calm honest whilst giving the progressive/ pop rock adventuring a threat. As with its predecessors, physically involving the listener is a quick given and with increasingly lust.

The provocative nature of Fragile Serene seduces next, its climate a mix of melancholy and joy with one addictive hook at the heart of a fusion of rich temptations which almost swarm over the senses into the imagination before To The Riverside carries the same fantasy off in its evocative piano led flight towards the waiting more capricious embrace of the album’s title track. From the first second, Ghost Mile has an agitated eagerness which infects body and spirit, the carnivorously laced bass growling beautifully within the fiery but composed roar of the track. Like sonic and melodic alchemy, the song turns four minutes or so into a cauldron of heavy and light, dark and luminous adventure; contrasts uniting rather than battling for the album’s pinnacle.

What A Wonderful Day pretty much sums up the feeling during its three minutes plus, its pop nurtured rock ‘n’ roll as contagious, additive, and arresting as anything heard this year so far. Its warm dance though does have predacious overtones lurking in its shadows, their semi-vocal presence more realised in the tenebrous texture of the following Disconnected, though it is never devoid of the light and vibrancy instinctive to the Voyager imagination. With industrial breath seeping into the track’s progressively nurtured and invasive metal challenge, there is nothing to deter a quick and full submission to its rousing and often caustic incitement.

The enchanting fascinating of This Gentle Earth simply beguiles next, the union of piano and vocals alone sheer seduction and only escalated as rhythms probe and drama floods every rising texture and tendril of contagion sharing sound; an infectiousness belying the emotional reflection of disconnection.

The album finishes with the fiercely charismatic As The City Takes The Night, a track growing from an absorbing tango into a blaze of heart and intensity which smoulders, simmers, and boils across its eventful reflection without ever seemingly taking the same route twice. As the album, the song is a fascination giving more and more with every listen, rewards including pure pleasure.

Expectations of Voyager are always high because of previous triumphs but again left short by an album which will take some shifting from being one major contender for this year’s greatest moment.

Ghost Mile is out now via Nova Distribution across most stores.

http://voyager-australia.com/   https://www.facebook.com/voyageraustralia   https://twitter.com/voyagerau

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Meshiaak – Alliance Of Thieves

Meshiaak_RingMasterReview

Formed in Melbourne, Australia and unleashing a debut that stirs up the instincts and passions like the first temptress/tempter encountered by awakening youth, Meshiaak have announced themselves as one essential proposition for all thrash metal enthusiasts. Alliance Of Thieves is one of the most formidable, exhilarating, and accomplished introductions sure to be heard this year; arguably no surprise with its line-up consisting of 4ARM’s Danny Camilleri and Teramaze’s Dean Wells alongside bassist Nick Walker and drummer Jon Dette who lists Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, and Iced Earth in his notable exploits. Together they have swooped into the heart of thrash and given it a fresh injection of imagination and creative energy; not exactly breaking its boundaries but providing the genre and more with a new compelling character to get excited over.

Recorded at the Green Day owned Jingletown Recording Studios in Oakland, California and mixed by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pretty Maids, Destruction, Anvil, Aramanthe, Epica, U.D.O., Primal Fear), Alliance Of Thieves ignites ears with opener Chronicles of the Dead. Initial rhythmic stabs and a drizzle of sonic enterprise coaxes the senses, both soon part of a thumping persuasion which swiftly has ears and appetite eagerly awake. The vocals of Camilleri quickly grip attention too with the backing roars of Wells just as potent, while together their guitar endeavours create a web of inventive infectiousness around the equally gripping rhythmic thrust of Dette and Walker. The track is superb, whether winding teasingly around ears or driving through them like a ravenous juggernaut simply triggering spirit and instincts.

The first track also shows the melodic prowess and suggestiveness of grooves that Meshiaak are also able to conjure, the song a tapestry of intrigue and unpredictable invention which continues in the following It Burns at Both Ends and across the whole of Alliance Of Thieves. Whereas its predecessor has essences of Machine Head meets Testament to it, the second track quickly shares Slayer-esque hues once the listener has drifted through exotic climes into another tide of Dette’s addictive rhythmic craft as rabid riffs crowd around Camilleri’s imposing and rousing vocals. Calm and intensely hungry, the song is a beguiling mix of contrasts and energy, matching the inescapable persuasion and intensive quality of the opener.

art_RingMasterReviewThe dark and sinister I Am Among You follows, its initial lure setting the emotional scene before the band toy with the imagination with a Fear Factory/Metallica like trespass of the soul. Predatory and often demonic but from start to finish commandingly seductive, the track manages to eclipse the might of those before it, setting a new plateau within the album in pleasure and imagination before Drowning, Fading, Falling floats in on orchestral melancholy. Soon the mountainous beats of Dette and another brooding bassline from Walker are courting the sonic weave of Wells, together crafting another encounter which skilfully merges raw intensity with melodic tempers. A slow burner in relation to the earlier tracks, it grows into an easy to get greedy over threat, each listen, as with the album, revealing new layers and nuances within its storm.

Through the harmonic and emotionally plaintive At the Edge of the World, a song as musically vast as its suggested landscape, and the sonically antagonistic Last Breath Taken, band and album simply taken a tighter grip on the passions; both songs in their individual way casting lava-esque melodies amidst thrash fuelled intrusive intensity, though the first of the two is a ‘gentler’ tempting and outshone a touch by its rawer successor. The pair in turn gets outdone by the brilliance of Maniacal. Again Metallica is an open flavouring yet once more a spice to something you can only out down as unique Meshiaak.

The album’s title track careers through ears straight after, every second a ravishing crescendo of sound and creative instincts leaving bliss and exhaustion in its lingering wake. There is a hint of Anthrax/Megadeth to the impossible to resist proposal, Dette alone makes the hellacious partnership between band and ears worthwhile but mightily matched by the whole of the quartet here and across Alliance of Thieves, song and album.

The album closes on the shadowy balladry of Death of an Anthem where sultry melodies and a smouldering climate surround the again impressive tones of Camilleri. Its air and emotion though becomes more volatile with every passing minute as the track bewitches and brings easily one of the year’s finest releases to a superb end. As suggested earlier, maybe we should not be surprised the quality of Alliance Of Thieves considering its creators but any hopes and expectations you might have had for the encounter will surely be blown away with swift results.

Alliance Of Thieves is out now via Mascot Records @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/meshiaak-alliance-of-thieves-cd.html and most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/meshiaak   http://www.meshiaak.com

Pete RingMaster 24/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Excalibur: Dusha

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     Emerging from the Russian underground scene, symphonic metal band Excalibur and their excellent new album Dusha make the most agreeable and powerful persuasion as to why they deserve a much wider and heavier recognition. The release is an inventive, dramatic, and beautiful sounding album which without opening up new avenues for the genre captures the imagination with craft, grace, and melodic temptation.

From the city of Oryol, Excalibur incorporates the rich essences of bands like Nightwish, Epica, and Within Temptation within their own warm enveloping voice. Formed in 2009, the quintet of vocalist Valerya Nikiforova, guitarist Vitaly Okoneshnikov, bassist Svyatoslav Bykovsky, drummer Andrey Nazarov, and Ksenya Aranchey on keys, has made a strong mark within the metal underground of their homeland through the In the Fate Hand’s EP and their debut self-titled album, both in 2011. Now with the release of Dusha, translated as Soul, the band is looking to push the envelope of awareness around them further afield, something the accomplished sounds and open grandeur of the release should find as no obstacle.

With each song sung in their native song it is hard to fully absorb the full strength and depth of songs, the lyrical inspiration we are6FHedJ4CvEk led to believe coming from inner feelings and experiences for a personal passion, but the emotive strength and descriptive quality of the music goes a long way in inspiring imagery and thoughts in the listener, their relation to the songs unimportant but wholly connected to the melodic warmth and stirring passion created by the band. The opening track Kadans Vremeni is a prime example, the portentous brewing whispers of the instrumental a haunting and striking sense of foreboding and suggested bedlam to leave emotions startled, unsure, and enthralled. There is a deep sinister breath to its presence which intimidates yet seduces as it makes way for the following Zhazhda Zhit’, a song with a core of sinewy riffs and testing rhythms wrapped in a heated and bewitching melodic expanse driven by the outstanding voice of Nikiforova, her tones as mesmeric and golden as the sounds surrounding her. With the keys adding their own distinct enchantment the song is a vibrant and captivating pleasure matched impressively across the whole release.

The likes of sonic temptress Doch ‘Vampira and the magnetic title track lead the senses and thoughts to the same dawning rapture instigated by the previous tracks whilst Zakroy Glaza and the excellent EVOE give and reap even greater rewards. The first of the pair has a fiery surface and intent to its almost operatic stance with the vocals for once adding a darker shade to the melodic flames whilst the second is a powerful instrumental which ignites a furnace of satisfaction. From an opening emotive piano touch the piece erupts into a reign of dramatic aural narrative sculpted by a hungry intensity, highly charged riffs, and colourful keys. The song is a canvas for weaves of imagery and emotions and with each immersion into its stunning richness inspires a new journey of thought each and every time.

Further highlights emerge in song such as the commanding Simfoniya Zabveniya and the slightly bruising muscular Labirint as well as a final triumph Kto Logo with a delicious snarling bass chewing at the senses to bring a darker edge to the sonic fire. There is no real weakness on the album though, each track a rewarding and thrilling companion to which returning is as easy as walking.

Whether Excalibur will have to embrace the English language to fulfil their already flourishing potential time will tell but with Dusha you sense the band will at some point find a much larger enthusiastic awareness.

8/10

RingMaster 06/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ashes You Leave: The Cure For Happiness

Croatian band Ashes You Leave as shown by their new album The Cure For Happiness, just get better and better. The release is their best to date and looks set to thrill many more new hearts with its muscular doom and gothic metal sounds. Following their acclaimed album Songs of the Lost of 2009, the new album sees the band unleashing their heaviest and arguably darkest collection of songs, reaping the energy and intensity of darker heart borne realms without losing the melodic invention and shadow fuelled passion they are renowned for. It is an impressive return for a band which is no stranger to strong applaud and enthusiastic attention.

Forming in 1995, the Rijeka band has risen from a time when music let alone metal had no expectations or credible chance of success in a worn torn country, to the biggest metal band in their homeland and leading force in the whole of the Eastern European region. Through the likes of Desperate Existence, Fire, and Songs of the Lost, all albums making big impacts, the band has forged itself as a name with wider recognition well beyond its borders but The Cure For Happiness, their sixth album, should be the one to thrust them to an even greater standing in world metal. It is a release which is as intriguing as it is immediately and forcibly engaging, offering new experiences and whispers with each and every journey within its imaginative sounds and melancholic breath.

Over the years the band has gone through line-up changes, especially with the position of lead vocalist, and the Rock N Growl Records released The Cure For Happiness is no exception. Despite having to search for a new voice three times, the band always has had the insight and skill to choose ladies which have added something different whilst contributing an impressive level of vocal craft and expression recognised with their sounds. The new album is the first with new singer Giada “Jada” Etro and again the result is openly rewarding for them and us. Italian songstress Etro has a riveting voice which can mesmerise whilst nipping at the senses within songs which do exactly the same, and alongside the snarling and ravenous additional vocals of guitarist Berislav Poje and bassist Luka Petrovic, makes the perfect enchanting conspirator and foil.

The first touch of the album comes with lone keys within a brewing atmosphere which soon expands into a busier yet still graceful presence. Opener Devil in Disguise again steps back into the shadows as the voice of Etro accompanied by the impacting piano begins the unveiling of the heart of the song. It is with the emotive violin of Marta Batinic though where one is truly inspired to accompany the song with personal feelings upon its journey in answer to his impassioned caress upon the ear. The track is soon evolving and moving through melodic enterprise, powerful energies and notable invention to escalate the engagement and as the song emerges as a stirring blend of metal and melodic rock with symphonic leanings and gothic intent it leaves on engrossed and open for the rampaging climax with the scything guitar riffs of Poje and Matija Rempesic pushing the intensity further to a thrilling finale. To be honest the first time the song played it did not capture the imagination as instantly as other songs further on but given time to make its persuasion it becomes one potent pleasure.

Only Ashes You Leave and For the Heart, Soul and Mind step up next and take the enjoyment even deeper, both a continuation of tone from the first song whilst bringing different shadows and depths into focus emotionally and musically. The first is a heated expression of melodic and sonic craft driven by charged riffs and the intimidating rhythms of drummer Sasa Vukosav. Again the strings of Batinic play with emotions whilst the keys of Darko Terlevic explore their deepest corners within the inciting creativity. The rabid ending of male vocals and riffs makes way for an irresistible bass welcome from Petrovic for the beginning of the second of the two, a track which delves into the black of life further and with relish.

As a whole the album flows perfectly with a linking atmosphere across its expanse though there as to be expected are particular peaks. The first is the just mentioned track which is equally matched by the glorious Summer’s End, a song where the band pus everything they have into an imaginative wrap of melodic beauty and triumphant enterprise. Both though are surpassed by easily the best track on the album, Reality Sad. This song opens up the shadows pervading the album to draw even darker energies and emotions forth. It is a haunting and almost insidiously seductive embrace which ignites the fullest passion. Rippling with danger and venomous essence the song is immense and a flavour one hopes the band use more of ahead.

Reality Sad does highlight that for personal tastes the album falls a little short of being the classic the track suggests was within their grasp, the other songs despite their might in the shadow of this particular magnificence, but without doubt The Cure For Happiness is a thoroughly enjoyable and openly impressive album which fans of bands such as Within Temptation, Epica, and Nightwish will eagerly welcome into their dark bosom.

www.ashesyouleave.org

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RingMaster 29/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

DreamCatcher – Never Look Back

The upcoming weekend is going to be as busy for UK melodic metallers DreamCatcher as the sounds in their new single Never Look Back which is released this coming Monday August 13th. Before then the Leeds sextet have a double appearance at Bloodstock to enjoy, Saturday the 11th seeing them play an unplugged set on the Acoustic Stage followed by their full high energy show on Sunday. The single caps things off with fine accomplishment in what will be a notable three days for the band.

Formed in 2008, DreamCatcher has gone from strength to strength with their live performances which has included sharing stages with Delain, After Forever, and Pythia, and their acclaimed SoulDesign EP of last year accelerating an already steadily growing dedicated following.  Never Look Back is taken from the album released through Rising Records and is available via the Bandcamp profile of the band as a free download in exchange for a Facebook Post or Twitter tweet, a barter which is certainly one of the best deals this year. The three track single is a treat which not only cements the band as a growing force but makes a satisfying celebration of where they and their sound are right now.

Never Look Back is a storming maelstrom of sound and invention which teases the borders of chaos whilst roaring with heated elegance and sure confidence to pull it all into a striking and enveloping presence upon the senses. Bringing the best aspects of major influences like Nightwish, Epica, Powerquest, and Anubis Gate into their own distinct muscular riotous form of metal it is a heady fusion which consumes every pore. There is a distressed clarity to it all which works a treat and adds that extra intensity which marks the band from other melodic metal bands. The track is a scorching amalgam of excellently crafted melodic imagination and rampaging power metal borne energy. The mesmeric keyboard skills of Adelé Pease flow with ease and understanding alongside the melodic play from guitarists Ben Scott and Alexei Green whilst their raging riffs bounce off the bruising rhythms of bassist Matt Hudson and drummer Rossi Lavery. Vocalist Lukas Jackson soars amongst it all with a craft and power which is never swamped or lost within the expansive sound, full credit going to the songwriting and the production from Jacob Hansen (ex-Anubis Gate, Mercenary), as well as the skill of the band itself.

Track one is an edit of Never Look Back with the closing song the original version though there is nothing to choose between the two, the thirty second difference neither improving nor detracting from the song. In between there is new instrumental Foresight. It is a muscular charge of creativity further exposing the individual skills of the band and the sure melodic craft which pervades their invention. The piece stirringly ruffles with crisp rhythms and explosive enterprise whilst showering the ear with equally marked melodic radiance and flair.

If SoulDesign eluded your attention then Never Look Back is the open invitation into the progressively symphonic metal world of DreamCatcher, it would be rude to refuse.

http://www.dreamcatcherofficial.com/

RingMaster 08/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Interview with Zuberoa Aznárez of Diabulus in Musica

photoshoot by Nat Enemede, edited by Heile

Symphonic metal has had an impressive start to the year so far with firstly the excellent album from Xandria and as equally impressively with the release of the new Diabulus in Musica album The Wanderer. The follow-up to their acclaimed debut Secrets the new release shows an even more defined and wonderfully structured sound from the band and a stronger and more dramatic combination of gloriously flowing orchestral symphonic sounds and formidable aggressive intensity. Needing to know more about the release and band itself we had the pleasure of having vocalist Zuberoa Aznárez answer our questions and tell us more about Diabulus in Musica.

Hello Zuberoa and welcome to The RingMaster Review. Thank you for talking with us.

Could you start by introducing the band members and give some history to the band?

Hi! Thank you for the interest and questions!

photoshoot by Nat Enemede, edited by Heile

Gorka (keyboard player) and I founded the band in 2006. We played together in another metal band and Gorka also played with Adrián (DiMs guitar player) in another band, we immediately thought about him when we founded. We started to write songs and we won some contests with them, so we decided to record our first album, Secrets. It was in that moment when our drummer Xabi joined us and a few months later Alex, our bass player. Secrets was released by Metal Blade Records in 2010. It received many great reviews and we had the chance to play in big fests such as the MFVF or Metalfest. Now we have just signed a contract with Napalm Records and our new album The Wanderer has just been released by them on February the 29th.
I am sure you are asked in every interview but please tell us about the band name Diabulus In Musica, the inspiration for it.

There are two reasons why I chose this name for the band. On the one hand, because Early Music is my favorite period in music (and what I usually sing apart from metal), and ‘Diabulus in Musica’ is a medieval music term. On the other hand, it sounds a bit dark, as our music sometimes. We like this dark romantic aesthetic as well as Early Music, so we thought Diabulus in Musica was the name that fitted us the best. The duality of our music is perfectly described with the term.

You have just released your excellent new album The Wanderer, what were and are the emotions as it takes its early days in public view?

Thank you! We feel very excited about the release! The reviews are being really awesome and the feedback from fans could not be better, we are very happy with the reactions so far! Now we cannot wait to spread our music live everywhere!

Did the album turn out as you envisaged going into the studio or did it hold some surprises for you too?

The result has been as we expected in almost every field. We did the recording in our home-studios. We learnt a lot during the recording process of our first album Secrets, so we decided to work on our own on the production and recording of the new album.
For the mixing and mastering process we sent the tracks to the great Jacob Hansen, a guarantee of a powerful sound! He did great!
For the new album, we wanted to try a different way of working and it worked out really well. Before writing any song we sat all together around a table and we discussed about how we wanted the next album to be. I think it is easier to work when you know exactly what you want to achieve. This way everything flows much better.
How has your sound evolved between debut album Secrets and The Wanderer?

Being a conceptual album, the way we worked was totally different from what we had done before. It was much more challenging because we were searching for something more like a soundtrack. Music had to fit what we wanted to tell in each song, it had to recreate the atmosphere we had in mind in each scene.

I think The Wanderer is a very passionate album. All the feelings are perfectly captured. I would say that ‘The Wanderer’ is denser, more bombastic… but also more refined than Secrets. The arrangements play a very important role in all this, so we paid special attention to them.

I would say that this album is more eclectic, the orchestra and the choir are bigger, the guitars are harder and there are new instruments (lute, flutes, percussions, acoustic guitars…).
We tried to give space to each section in order to be heard in the right moment and let sound the other instruments when needed.

Can you tell us about the premise behind The Wanderer?

The whole concept is an allegory of Mother Earth, Humanity and Corruption and the shock between people who stays pure (and linked with nature) and modern society. It is not easy to reconcile this way of being with all the changes that society is suffering, and above all, with human corruption. All these special people are unfortunately starting to disappear and in my view, they are the last hope to change the World. It is so sad that human beings are forgetting where we come from!

It is also kind of odd that after thinking about the concept, I’ve seen many artists talking about something similar in their works. It seems that many people perceive that society is not walking towards the right way… It is clear that some of us have this kind of apocalyptic thoughts… Maybe that’s a good sign and we can still change?
The blend of a harder metal and symphonic sounds lies easily side by side, has this emerged naturally or do you have to layer it carefully?

Yes, the album is plenty of different feelings. We prepared each song before writing it, I mean, we didn’t start writing only songs, but also the idea of how they should sound, what was the feeling we wanted to transmit with each song… Then after one of us wrote a complete song, we started to work on the arrangements all together until we all felt the song was completely finished.
In short, the music came naturally when we thought about the feeling needed, but after that, we worked carefully on the arrangements.

There is an eclectic range of sounds on the new album which offers multiple possibilities for your sound ahead. Do you have a defined direction for your music or do the songs evolve it themselves?

I would say the second. I sometimes have a clear idea about what I want, but sometimes it turns into a very different thing hehe.
Our music is eclectic, because all of us are so. I mean, we don’t have only a musical influence, we like different stuff and we have no boundaries in creating music. Besides, all of us have a different musical background… You cannot imagine how many different music styles we listen to.

It sounds like a cliché but we do what we want to do and we don’t think whether it’s going to be too hard, too poppy… We only think if we like what we have done or not. Music is above all self-expression, and you do not feel always in the same mood, so does happen with our music…

In our review we got the impression that your more aggressive edge attack was kept more subdued in the symphonic glory of songs like Sceneries of Hope and only allowed to be really unleashed in the likes of No Time For Repentance and especially in the mighty Shadow of the Throne. Are we being slightly unfair?

Hehe not at all! Being a conceptual album, every song was made to tell a part of the story. We used aggressive sounds when the story needed it and the same with the soft parts. The climax of the story comes with No Time for Repentance that’s why it sounds darker. Shadow of the Throne is the song when the bad character of the story and his slaves are introduced, that’s why there are only male voices… Anyway, I think the duality is well represented in other songs too and when they are not it is because it didn’t fit the story.

photoshoot by Nat Enemede, edited by Heile

At the beginning it was only Adrián, Gorka and me who did the songs. Now all the band-members are involved in writing the music. It is usually one of us who writes a complete song and then forward it to the rest. It’s in that moment when we start to work on the arrangements all together until we consider the song is completely finished.
As for the lyrics it is me who writes them, although in the new album there is one song written by Alex.

Where do you draw your inspiration, lyrically especially?

My inspiration comes from the World itself and I usually write about my personal worries usually related with Nature, Freedom, spirituality and social problems. I am a very nonconformist person and always think a lot about every aspect in life, although I rarely arrive to a clear conclusion hehe
I consider myself as a complicated personality, with sometimes rare ideas rounding my messy brain (I suppose this is normal among artists? hehe)

Your vocals as always are amazing on The Wanderer, at times even more staggering than ever before. With such a powerful and skilful voice does it bring an extra element to the song writing to consider?

Thank you so much for the compliments! It is weird but we rarely think about the voice when we are writing a song hehe Well… in my case, I usually start a song with the vocal-line, but the guys usually start by the music, so the vocal-line is the last thing I make in those cases. Sometimes it’s even more challenging for me, because I have to adapt to the tones they chose.
It appears that a comparison to Epica is inevitable when you are reviewed or talked about. Has it got to the point yet where the generally well meant compliment is wearing thin and you wish they heard you as distinctly Diabulus In Musica?

Comparisons are always inevitable when you are a young band. The same happened to Epica when they started. Everybody compared them with Nightwish or After Forever. Now they are a big band, so smaller bands are compared with them. It is the logical process, although I don’t understand very well why it must be like that… I think people should enjoy music if they like it and forget about so much tagging. We can be similar to Epica because we play the same genre: symphonic metal which is obviously metal, with choirs and orchestra. We could also say that a death metal band is similar to another death metal band, or a hard rock one similar to another hard rock band. Sure! They play the same genre! Then, for people who compares: does only one band per genre has the right to exist? Hehe I do not think so!
Anyway, it does not bother us… We like the music Epica does. I think that maybe we were compared because Ad Sluijer and Sascha Paeth worked with us in our first album. Anyway The Wanderer sounds pretty different (it was mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen). Besides, I think we have many other differences: we use more electronic and ethnic sounds, we use different instruments as for example the Renaissance lute, the baroque flute, whistles, the cajón, Early music choirs… So I guess there are enough elements to have our own sound.

Secrets had notable guests on it does The Wanderer also hold extra talent alongside the band?

Yes! We were honored to have Mark Jansen from Epica grunting and screaming in the track Blazing a Trail. We invited again our friend Maite Itoiz (for the choir, for a duet and to play the lute in one song) and her husband John Kelly (Elfenthal) who is singing in the beautiful ballad Sentenced to Life.

We also invited some great classical soloists for the big choirs, most of them colleagues from classical ensembles I sing in. And well, I invited myself too hehe to play the baroque and traverse flute as well as some Celtic whistles.

What is the Spanish music scene like for not only symphonic metal but metal in general? Other rock bands seem not to be impressed with it right now.

Metal in general is not the most popular style in Spain. I guess the same happens in the rest of Europe…  Also Spanish metal-heads like better the national old school heavy metal, sung in Spanish. Nevertheless, there is a rising new metal scene, although these bands aren’t well-known.

Do you see Spain as always your base or could there come a time as success follows you that you may have to relocate to be able to grow as a band?

We hope so! Haha just kidding, of course our dream would be to live on the band and be successful, but nowadays I do not think it is necessary to move. Europe is very small if we compare it with North and South America and there are also many low cost flight companies, so we could manage it.

photoshoot by Nat Enemede, edited by Heile

The 31st March it will be The Wanderer official release party in our hometown. We are also working in a European tour. We hope we can visit many countries this year!

Many thanks for talking with us and good luck with the album.

Would you like to leave us with any last thoughts?

Thank you so much for your questions. Of course thanks to all the readers and fans! We hope that you like The Wanderer and we hope to see you all on the road!

And finally could you give us an idea of the sounds that fire up your day the same way The Wanderer does ours?

Thanks! Well what usually fires up my day unfortunately is my clock alarm! Hehe Well… It depends on the day and on our mood… as I said before we listen to so many different styles that it would be difficult to select them! If I need energy I usually listen to any kind of metal, but if I need a rest, then classical or ethnic music are my faves!

Read The Wanderer review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/diabulus-in-musica-the-wanderer/

The RingMaster Review 14/03/2012

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Diabulus in Musica – The Wanderer

Building on their well received debut album Spanish symphonic metal band Diabulus in Musica return with their new album The Wanderer. Carrying on where Secrets left off but taking things to a higher and more defined level, the quintet from Pamplona have unveiled a release which stings and bites whilst taking the senses into dramatic realms full of melodic beauty and soaring harmonies. The album is often majestic, constantly absorbing and overall deeply satisfying.

Diabulus in Musica show two sides to their sound on The Wanderer in similarity to the recently released album from Xandria.  The difference though is where the majority of tracks from the German band wonderfully combined highly aggressive and harder metal intensity with their symphonic creativity within each song, the Spaniards apart from within No Time For Repentance use this blend either to just steel up the symphonic flows or to create distinct metal tracks which keep the grander sound at bay. This works well in an album that is eclectic in sound though at times one wishes the two elements actually clashed at full might to see what would emerge.

Formed in 2006, Diabulus in Musica are instantly notable for the great vocal range and skill of Zuberoa Aznárez, her voice wonderfully taking flight to impressively varying heights and depth. Complimented by the striking guitar play of Adrián M. Vallejo and the emotive and atmospheric keys of Gorka Elso the band frequently soar like eagles or swarm around the ear in persistent harmonious waves. Powerful though the guitar and riffs are the intensity is raised higher by the muscular bass and commanding rhythms of Alex Sanz and Xabi Jareño respectively. All components combined their strength and musicianship ensures the band is a formidable treat which even with seeds grown from the likes of Nightwish and more so Epica, forge their own enjoyable sound.

Released via Napalm Records, The Wanderer opens with the intro A Journey’s End and the sound of waves lapping gently as a storm brews before the idyllic calm is moved by an impending sense of menace and a crashing climax. This leads into the rampaging Ex Nihilo, a track unrelenting on pace and eagerness to consume the ear with glorious harmonies and enthusiastic riffs. With guitar, bass and drums pressuring, the vocals of Aznárez alongside the keys, rise and sweep around the senses to dazzle and caress. The melodic operatic tinged harmonies radiate and even the harsher male growls can only add an edge rather than over power their grace.

Sceneries of Hope comes next to show the diversity within the album, offering an electronic vein through and beneath the euphoric keys and voice. Only two songs in and one realises Diabulus in Musica with their large gothic sound and orchestral weaves know how to avoid straying into indulgence and excess, each song no matter the size of its design is tight and restrained, this ensures the likes of this song and the impressive Oihuka Bihotzetik never out stay their welcome or disengage focus.

Continuing the diversity the band brings in a classic rock edge for the explosive Blazing A Trail and then dip into folk metal with Hidden Reality each carried off with a confidence and surety in the results. With the terrific vocals ofAznárez as well as the skill of everyone else it does not take long to realise the limitations of the band is only defined by their own belief in what they are doing. An already pleasing album is elevated into impressive the further one ventures into it especially with the mighty assault of Shadow of the Throne. Here the band go into battle with metal alone. Crushing riffs march through  the ear like battalions whiles rhythms demand subservience. The vocals are solely male and delivered with a growl dripping venom and violence showing that the band can do metal as well as anyone and with invention as the teasing melodic extras and male vocal harmonies raining down upon the song show. It is glorious and despite the lack of Aznárez and her cultured sound is a big highlight even if they sound like a different band.

With the fiercely creative and almost experimental progressive No Time for Repentance (Lamentatio) and the simple but stunning folk driven title track, Diabulus in Musica reveal deeper pools  of aural nectar to feast upon. Though not perfect with the similarity to other bands unavoidable at times and a closer union between the majestic and metal side of the band maybe needed, The Wanderer is an excellent album which feels and sounds better play after play.

RingMaster 01/03/2012

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