|Review: Iron Mask - Diabolica|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2016
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 4, 2017
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)
Oh boy, this is fun. Iron Mask have been around since 2002 and this is their sixth full-length. Always releasing decent albums, they have become sort of a pillar in terms of that brand of Euro Power Metal that has melody and heaviness in equal parts. This time is no different, and Diabolica offers a very, very ambiguous display of the genre standing at the lengthy (too lengthy, in my opinion) mark of 75 minutes and offering various dense and sophisticated subjects such as Christopher Marlowe's tragic story "Doctor Faust", Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" and the life of Italian genius "Galileo". Heavy stuff.
In a way or another, Iron Mask succeeds in telling all these stories scattered across the course of the album, utilizing some folk elements here, some keyboard orchestrations there, but never letting the ball drop or losing steam. Those three songs I mentioned earlier are all good, with "Doctor Faust" being my favorite as it's very energetic and has a catchy chorus. Some other highlights include the bombastic "I Don't Forget, I Don't Forgive" and the 13-minute long "Cursed in the Devil's Mill". New vocalist Diego Valdez (of Helker, Triddana and Electronomicon fame) is a powerhouse and his harsh vocals the instruments perfectly. Nevertheless, as I said above, I found the album to be stupidly long, and at least two songs could have been cut off for the sake of continuity.
Power Metal fans in general will find Diabolica extremely fun, and even those who find the genre overly melodic will be able to enjoy this as it doesn't feature those high-pitched vocals – characteristic of Melodic bands such as Stratovarius or Sonata Artica – excess of solos or sugary atmosphere. Recommended.
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