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'Ars Medioheavy'
(Moonlight Records)

jools green

Jools Green

diabula rasa

There are some albums that are so far outside my comfort zone of face ripping mayhem that they should not appeal to me at all and 'Ars Medioheavy' the third full length from Diabula Rasa, from Lugo (Ravenna), Emilia-Romagna, Italy is just such an album.

Firstly they play Folk Metal, a genre that has previously held no appeal and they have three females covering the vocals and I am not a fan of female vocals, usually, but there is something slightly different about this for me which gives it appeal.

The fascination comes from the fact that the vocals are all sung in Italian which gives an air of mystery and also although it is folky there is a strong and ballsy Metal edge to the sound. The vocals aren't high or screechy either which is also good.

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The six piece outfit draw their influences and lyrical themes from ancient and medieval music and 'Ars Medioheavy' is the follow up to their 2005 album 'Techno Gothica' and their 2010 self titled release 'Diabula Rasa'.

The album spans ten tracks and forty-five minutes beginning with 'Ghirondo', which is an instrumental, save a few backing vocalisations. Immediately the contrast between the folk bagpipes and the heavy riffing has an immediate appeal. There is also a hint of the symphonic/progressive to the track also.

Wailing keyboards do battle with intense riffs as 'Tsanich' opens and what I particularly liked about this track was the strong contrast and balance between the female vocals and the harsh deep male backing vocals.

diabula rasa

On 'Cataclism' again the heavy riffs are contrasted against the bagpipes and the vocals take on an almost choral leaning.

'Congaudentes' is predominantly male vocals so a big favourite with me, also more of a Metal leaning to the sound than its predecessors. 'Madre de Deus' is an interesting mix of medieval choral style female vocals and intense riffs, overlaid with the folk bagpipe and keyboards.

On 'Astarte', chugging riffs are offset against keyboards and the ever present female vocals. 'In Taberna' has an exotic, medieval, folk feel with heavy riffs that slice through to give a harsh contrast and added interest while 'Vermell' is a mix of the hauntingly relaxing and the intense.

'Malediccantur' is a complex mix of medieval and folk, held together with a grinding riff in the background and final track 'Ahi Amours' is, to the greater part, a haunting, wind-down track, but for the regular interjection if the grinding riff.

'Ars Medioheavy' is an easy listen that won't overtax the mind and although it is a bit light for my tastes and I may only listen to it occasionally, it is a very interesting and well constructed album.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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