Published on November 27th, 2016 | by Justin G.
Iron Mask: Diabolica
Belgian power metal band Iron Mask is back with a new album, titled Diabolica. It’s the band’s sixth offering, and the first to feature powerhouse vocalist Diego Valdez (Helker, Electronomicon). The band is led by guitarist Dushan Petrossi (also of Magic Kingdom), who once again handles all songwriting and production.
Diabolica is a pretty typical Iron Mask album. Well, typical in the sense that it sounds like the previous Iron Mask albums. It’s full of bombastic arrangements, wickedly intricate guitar solos, soaring melodies and plenty of fantasy/historical/literary themes. You can’t really call any album with Diego Valdez on vocals “typical” though. His Dio-meets-Russell Allen style is a big departure from previous Iron Mask vocalists, but he fits this sound perfectly. And of course the musicianship is super-tight. Petrossi’s style is over the top, in a good way, and he’s fantastic here.
Where Diabolica falls short a bit is that even by power metal standards, some of these songs are kind of silly. “Dr. Faust” should be dark and sinister, but the melody and chorus are kind of clunky. Likewise “All for Metal” should be a great metal anthem (and theme song for their label), but it’s really cheesy. Other songs though, are just fantastic. “Galileo” and “The Rebellion of Lucifer” are as heavy and epic as you could hope for, and while at 14 minutes “Cursed in the Devil’s Mill” runs a bit longer than it needs to, it has some very powerful passages.
Diabolica is a very solid, very satisfying power metal album. Longtime Iron Mask (and Magic Kingdom) fans will find a lot to enjoy here, as will fans of Diego Valdez’s other projects. Fans of over the top power metal in general, like Cryonic Temple, Narnia, Yngwie Malmsteen and Impelliteri, should also be into the Iron Mask sound.
Summary: Silly and over the top, but come on...DIEGO!!!