Diabulus In Musica – ‘Argia’ (Napalm)
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Spain’s Diabulus in Musica merge a lot of genres into their songwriting, which makes for a diverse listen. With their third release Argia, the band explores classical, opera and gothic elements. They combine a more traditional beauty and the beast style gothic band like old Theatre of Tragedy and Tristania with the pop elements of Within Temptation.
Vocalist Zuberoa Aznárez has an unbelievable range and is incredibly skilled by utilizing all assets of her voice. At times she is overly operatic, which is a slight distraction from the heavy riffing. The guttural vocals performed by Gorka Elso are a tad thin and don’t add enough depth to the material. The inclusion of some thrash guitar riffs is their best attribute and separates them from their peers.
Edge of Thorns – ‘Insomnia’ (Killer Metal)
Killer Metal Records
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Taking their name from one of Savatage’s brilliant releases, Germany’sEdge of Thorns have much more in common with Running Wild and Grave Digger sonically. On their third release Insomnia, the band blends traditional metal riffs, blazing double bass drumming and outstanding memorable vocal lines to full effect. Seven years between records has the band sounding better than ever.
Primal Fear’s Ralf Scheepers lends his huge pipes to the infectious “Metal Unity,” a roaring anthem that will be incredible on stage. Vocalist Dirk Schmitt utilizes a raspy voice that brings visions of Rock ‘n’ Rolf (Running Wild) and Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger). Lead guitarist Dave Brixius is downright amazing; his use of classically inspired leads is jaw dropping.
Ferium – ‘Reflections’ (Transcend)
Genre: Death Metal
Reflections is the full-length debut from Israel’s Ferium. It’s a brutal and punishing effort, chock full of intense guitar. You’ll also hear some metalcore elements like pinch harmonics and breakdowns, and some tech death as well.
The album is at its best when it stays away from the ‘core elements and sticks to groove-heavy death metal. Vocalist Tiran Ezra utilizes a lot of different deliveries, from guttural growls to throat-shredding screams, all of them aggressive and extreme. The musicianship is first-rate throughout, but the songs are more technically impressive than memorable.
For The Fallen Dreams – ‘Heavy Heart’ (Rise)
For The Fallen Dreams’ latest album Heavy Heart finds the band with some different members. Vocalist Chad Ruhlig, who appeared on their 2008 debut album, returns following the exit of Dylan Richter. Andrew Tkaczyk also returns as a session member.
There’s plenty of hard-hitting metalcore with harsh vocals from Ruhlig. Most of the tracks have no clean singing, with only a few having melodic vocals. Those duties are handled by guitarist Jim Hocking, who does a serviceable job. FTFD have had a revolving door lineup, but this one is pretty strong, especially with Ruhlig’s return.