Diablo - Icaros
Sakara Records
Melodic, Thrashy Groove Metal
10 songs (44.54)
Release year: 2008
Diablo, Sakara Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
I had certain reservations concerning Diablo’s fifth studio offering, Icaros, as their previous album Mimic 47 left me quite cold in a hurry and rarely makes its way into my stereo system at the pace that Renaissance or Eternium still do. Because of this I am very glad to say that their new release improves in just about every field that I hoped it would, and kicks my yellow arse raw!

A deceptively soft intro played on the Finnish zither opens Trail Of Kings in a highly melodic fashion, until the guitars come bursting in with majestic lead playing setting the stage for a grand number of furious riffs and seething aggression. One of the biggest dislikes I had with Mimic 47 was its relatively heavy leaning on mid-tempo tunes, and almost like granting my wishes the band kicks the new record off with a nicely quick tune that forces necks to spin with reckless abandon. The final yells are magnificently beefed up by traditional heavy metal -wails courtesy Tommi Salmela of Tarot and Jarkko Ahola of Teräsbetoni. Their voices are also found in the brilliantly bad ass Bad Sign. Their soaring voices fit Diablo’s grooving, harsh style very well. I hope this isn’t the last we hear of this element on the group’s material.

Even the tunes that do venture for the steamrolling pastures of mid-tempoland, are much, much catchier and crushing, like the excellent title track or Living Dead Superstar. Marko Utriainen shoots forth quite simple yet impressive guitar solos that never turn self-indulgent or boring. Rainer Nygård’s bark is in fine form and the feeling of a dangerous presence ready to whoop you silly oozes out of his voice. Drummer Heikki Malmberg shows off his mighty chops and dynamics in very various ways. Many could pick up some Meshuggah-vibes from the rhythmics, but in comparison the skins stay fairly straightforward, more to-the-point metal-style. Chagrin and Into The Sea use a slow pace and some atmospheric keyboards to create a melancholic, slightly doomy feeling, that I consider new for the band. Hammer is probably my favourite tune off the whole record – just a very fast brutalizer with great riffs and a killer groove.

Icaros is a very versatile album with many different sides of the band on display, from furious to thoughtful. Where Mimic 47 felt like just doing what the first three albums had proven effective, this new one is much more adventurous while maintaining the signature, grooving attitude that the band has grown over the years. Right now, I wouldn’t go as far to call this the best disc Diablo has ever done, but definitely one of the best. My enthusiasm for the band has been considerably restored.

Killing Songs :
Trail Of Kings, Living Dead Superstar, Bad Sign, Icaros, Light Of The End, Chagrin, Hammer & Into The Sea
Aleksie quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Diablo that we have reviewed:
Diablo - Renaissance reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 89 / 100
Diablo - Mimic 47 reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 78 / 100
Diablo - Eternium reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 92 / 100
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