Diabula Rasa is an excellent folk metal band from Lugo, Italy. They are active for 13 years now, but I had never heard of them before, something I totally regret, but it also reveals the bad promotion they had so far, since I am into this genre for many years now. Anyway, better late than never! They were formed in 2000, under the name Tabula Rasa by their leader Luca Veroli and with this name they released the debut album “Techno Gothica” in 2005, a folk acoustic instrumental album, without any metal elements. In 2007 they changed name to Diabula Rasa and in 2010 they released their second full-length “Diabula Rasa“, where lyrics and metal elements were added. Actually this second album contained “metalized” versions of debut album songs. Even so, their sound was closer to folk medieval music than metal. Both albums were self-released by the band.
Luckily the band signed a deal with the Italian label Moonlight Records and they have just released their 3rd album “Ars MedioHeavy“. I haven’t listened a lot to their previous works, but the improvement in this album is really impressive! The band has studied, researched and experimented on medieval and ancient music and instruments for many years. For them, reconstruction of music that was written with totally different mediums in a completely different era and environment is almost impossible and maybe meaningless. So they try to unbury all these melodies rooted deep into our culture’s subconscious and give them a new contemporary breath, using metal orchestrations. They call the genre they play MedioHeavy, thus the album title. I believe that “Ars MedioHeavy” is by far the best and most professional work of Diabula Rasa and that they have succeeded their difficult task! It is for sure one of the best folk metal albums of 2013, at least for me. They use many authentic traditional instruments like organ, cembalo, bagpipes, lute and hurdy-gurdy, combining them in a very personal style with the metal instruments. Their production is perfectly balanced and everything sounds so powerful and clear. Their compositions follow medieval forms and the general impression I get is a wonderful mixture of medieval music and heavy / progressive metal. They sing mostly with female vocals, where Daniela and Samantha do a wonderful job and their voices sound like another traditional instrument, totally fitting with the band’s medieval atmosphere! Luca’s male vocals on the other hand have mostly an accompanying role. There are totally 10 wonderful compositions in the album that lasts for exactly 45 minutes. All their lyrics are taken from medieval and ancient texts…
I definitely recommend “Ars MedioHeavy” to all folk metal and medieval music fans. Diabula Rasa is a well hidden treasure that must be revealed! Moonlight Records released the album in a wonderful digipak with a 16-page booklet, including all the lyrics and many band photos, where you can see that even the dress style of the 6 band members follows this marriage of metal and medieval! The brilliant paintings are by Daniela Taglioni, one of the lead members of the band, who proves to be multi-talented! Visit their official profiles for sound samples and try to buy this album as soon as possible.