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Diablo are a Finnish group that have been coughing up melodic death metal since 1995, with Icaros being their fifth album. Although the band may not be so celebrated in metal circles, they certainly have names contributing to this release that some metallers will recognise, including band members from Tarot, Rotten Sound and Teräsbetoni.
Icaros sounds like bastard child of Nevermore and Meshuggah with melodic death metal imbued into it. Multiple riffs sound like less technical renditions of ones common to Meshuggah and the pulsating thrash attack that Nevermore utilize is omnipresent throughout the release. Unlike these metal behemoths though, Diablo have employed a keyboard on songs such as ’Trail Of Kings’ and ‘Light Of The End’ to instil an ambience to the music with successful results.
The melodic death metal passages of Icaros are quite astounding and it would have been beneficial if more of these substituted the punchy heavy Nevermore/Meshuggah style riffs. ‘Bad Sign’ showcases some fresh melodic death metal riffs and the closing number ‘Into The Sea’ uses melodic death metal to stir convincing emotions into the song. The title track has touching pure melodic passages created by an ethereal progressive guitar, although the juxtaposition of these passages next to the abrasive heavy riffs is not a successful venture.
To conclude, Diablo would be significantly better if they developed their own ideas rather than leaning ever so heavily on other bands. Their melodic death metal sections are well crafted and they would do good to elaborate these ideas. The intense riffs solely contradict them which leaves the CD quite devoid of unambiguous emotion.
Originally written for www.soundshock.net