Divino Disturbo – Op I
Divino Disturbo – Op I (2013)
Reviewed by Allyson Kenning
Spain seems to have a few things going on besides Diabulus In Musica, which is a relief since I always found that band a little overrated. Recently, I reviewed another Spanish band, a Gothic outfit by the name of Rainover, and their 2013 release made my top 10 for the year. At the tail end of 2013, I discovered Divino Disturbo, which hails from Madrid. This is a symphonic power metal quartet that is heavily influenced by classical music, and whose sound contains a ton of neoclassical elements. It’s powerful, complex stuff, and has become one of my top recent discoveries.
Their debut album, Op I, is big, bombastic, and theatrical. It brings to mind another great discovery I had last year, and that is Polish symphonic/Gothic outfit Victorians – Aristocrats’ Symphony, which seems to be gaining some traction lately, especially as they made an appearance at 2013’s Metal Female Vocals Festival in Belgium. Divino Disturbo, which I assume (but stand to be corrected) translates into “divine disturbance” or something along those lines, has similar operatic vocals, elaborate orchestral arrangements, and a sense of “spectacle”. What I most love about this album is that sense of spectacle, because I can easily imagine this band playing in a huge concert hall with a full orchestra backing up the metal elements of the band. There are some gorgeous choir arrangements in here, too, adding to that bigness of sound.
This is a particularly keyboard-rich album. I’m not exactly sure who performs the keys as there isn’t a keyboardist listed in the band’s line-up, but Matías is my guess as he took care of the compositions and orchestrations. Whatever the case, there are fantastic keys all through this album, from sweeping harpsichords, to tinkly synths. Interspersed with them are a host of other instruments that all have their say in the sound of Divino Disturbo: the xylophone, the harp, the violin, and the flute. Make no mistake however, this is a metal album. Guitars are ably handled by Alan Cueto, who pounds out some great riffing and shows off some fancy fingerwork with full neoclassical flare. Drummer Dani Pérez acquits himself well, too.
The vocals of Raquel are adequately powerful, and her soprano has a bit of a different tone than what I’m used to in this genre. She’s a little more melodramatic than some of the big names out there, and that took a bit of getting used to. Her non-classical voice is very pretty, as heard in the acoustic version of “Morrigan”, but at times I found her opera vox a bit sharp for the music. This is a fairly nitpicky detail, I must say, because she does a great job throughout the album; it just took a bit of time for me to adjust to her tonality and style.
Favourites on the CD include “Lux Aeterna”, which starts out with a great harpsichord intro and has some beautiful choir arrangements in it. It’s also a good headbanging song, to boot, and introduces us to the things we can expect from the album: the bombast, the drama, the impressive guitar work, and the orchestral elements. I also really enjoyed “Nirmia” (which, incidentally, used to be the band’s name until 2011), which really shows off Raquel’s range. Track 8, “Wolf Song” is the album’s longest offering, and its most catchy as well.
And it looks like the band is thinking ahead, too, because the last track on the album is “Oniria (Prelude To Op II)”. Divino Disturbo recently signed to Art Gates Records, a small Spanish label. If you’re a fan of this genre and like bands like Whyzdom, the aforementioned Victorians – Aristocrats’ Symphony, or you like theatrical, dramatic metal in general, Op I is definitely worth checking out.
3.75 // 5