Diabulus in Musica

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Secrets Review

by Alex Henderson

Although English is metal's dominant language and probably always will be, there have been plenty of Spanish-language metal (and hard rock) bands catering to rock en español audiences in Spain and Latin America. Headbangers growing up in Mexico, Argentina, or Colombia buy plenty of English-language metal, of course, but they aren't opposed to hearing metal performed in their own language; in fact, most of them welcome it. So if Diabulus in Musica, a female-fronted goth metal band from Spain, had gone after the rock en español market, there would have been a long list of Spanish-speaking countries for them to pursue. Plus, goth music (whether it's goth metal or just plain goth rock) has a darkly romantic quality that can work really well in the romance languages. But Secrets, Diabulus' debut album, is in English rather than Spanish -- which also makes sense because, again, English is metal's dominant language. Epica are a major influence on this 2010 release; Diabulus in Musica favor the same type of symphonic, classical-minded, prog-influenced goth metal that Epica are known for. Theatre of Tragedy and Nightwish are also influences, but Epica are a more prominent influence. And like so many of the female-fronted goth metal bands that have come from Europe, Diabulus are big on the "Beauty and the Beast" contrast. Lead singer Zuberoa Aznárez, who sounds like she has had a lot of classical training, favors a hauntingly angelic vocal style, while guitarist/backing vocalist Adrián M. Vallejo provides a death metal-ish Cookie Monster growl as well as a black metal-ish rasp. But Vallejo's backing vocals are the most extreme thing about this highly melodic CD, which -- despite the band's name -- doesn't sound anything like Slayer (who gave listeners an album titled Diabolus in Musica in 1998). Secrets falls short of Epica's excellence and doesn't have the killer hooks that Epica are known for, but even so, this is a well-executed and likable debut from these Spanish goth metallers.

blue highlight denotes track pick