Pamplona, Spain is home to gothic cathedrals, a sprawling citadel, and, most notably, for the San Fermin festival with its running of the bulls—but the picturesque city is also the birthplace of Symphonic Metal band Diabulus In Musica.
After being formed in late 2006 by Gorka Elso and Zuberoa Aznárez—who were later joined by Drummer David Carrica and Guitarist Alexey Kolygin in 2013 to form their current line-up—released their demo Secrets in 2009, a compilation of the best recordings they had, thus far. Their first full length, also titled Secrets, was unleashed to the world in 2010, an album that had nine additional tracks to the original 2009 EP.
After being signed to their current record label, Napalm Records, their second full-length, The Wanderer, released in February 2012, and featured the likes of Mark Jansen and Spanish Vocalist Maite Itoiz. Over the next few years the group traveled through Europe on several tours before becoming a headliner and releasing their 2016 album Dirge for the Archons, the followup to 2014’s Argia.
Now, after nearly four years in the making, Diabulus In Musica are set to unveil their newest album, Euphonic Entropy, a twelve-track wonder that releases on February 14th via the aforementioned Napalm Records.
The album’s first track, “Race To Equilibrium,” opens with a crashing bang. Choral voices fill the air like a storm on the crashing seas as rapid fire drums fuel the track forward. All this as the guitars crunch and crackle with an air of foreboding that builds throughout until the song’s wondrous crescendo. The next track, “Nuevo Rumbo,” contains a breathtaking Spanish lyrical work that switches between the lush singing of Aznárez and diabolical male growls.
Radio static crackles in the air in the intro to “The Misfit’s Swing” and is quickly joined by Aznárez’s dramatic vocalizing and the bright upswing of the band’s instrumentation. At times, the track feels like a vintage Big Band offering with its fast-paced orchestra in the background, the rhythm guitar that never relents, and, most notably, its drums.
Next, “Otoi” arises into something majestic, made so by flute and tribal percussion that fades in and out of the rack. In the chorus the guitars chug away, melding with Aznárez’s floating vocals and a near primal expression in the growls. Sung entirely in Basque, the song is powerful in its meaning with ‘otoi’ translating into ‘prayer,’ symbolizing the struggle of the culture and beliefs behind such an old language.
Following up, “On The Edge” takes a futuristic tone with whirring and bouncing synth patterns. Here, the guitar work is interwoven and speedy, and alongside the drums it creates an insurmountable tension. Meanwhile, the ninth track,”Our Last Gloomy Dance,” slows down the overall pace in favor of a sensational waltz. The vocals are tinged with operatic finesse, the guitars rumble, and Carrica’s percussion never misses the unraveling evolution of the song.
Ultimately, the grand finale of Euphonic Entropy is “In The Vortex,” a slow burn but one worthy of its placement. “In The Vortex” is a simple grouping of Elso’s keys and symphonic array as Aznárez croons and belts with every breath of her lungs.
Overall, Euphonic Entropy is a well-crafted soundscape overflowing with choral vocals, wicked guitar work, and astounding symphonic elements. Aznárez has a distinct voice full of vigor and grace, one that never hesitates whether she soars in a Classical style or harmonizes with a simple melody. Meanwhile, Elso creates stunning choirs and earth-shattering orchestras in each song, along with synth that accents its respective track with just the right tone.
Every song is bold, with many of the elements used in each construction being similar, thus, on occasion, it’s easy to get lost between tracks. Because of this, at times the instrumentation can muddle together, and one has to listen a bit harder for more distinct sounds, but the melodies and rhythms are always without flaw. For this, Cryptic Rock rates Euphonic Entropy 3.5 out of 5 stars.