DiabloSilvër Horizon’ is the sixth release by the Finnish quartet Diablo and the first time I have encountered this 20 year old band. Once again I am immediately compelled to comment on the packaging of the CD. It’s in the form of a little hardback book and exquisitely bound to look like a sci-fi novel with nebula on the cover. Now this is rather apt since the concept of the album is loosely based on an old science fiction novel called ‘Aniara’, written by Swedish Novelist Harry Martinson during the Cold War in 1956.

It all launches with “The Call” where the ship is sent from the earth on its journey to the heavens and in much the same way the song explodes before having a couple further stages where the guitars and drums build up again with fervour.

Rainer Nygård’s vocals are predominately clean thrash vocals with plenty of harmonies thrown in by the 10 other backing vocalists on the album but in “Isolation” he seems to do it pretty much all by himself. His and Marko Utriainen’s guitar work is also rather impressive with rapidly played leads soaring away effortlessly.

There are plenty of intricate timing signatures on “The Serpent Holder” played by Heikki Malmberg with delicate cymbal strikes accompanied by viscous snare pounding.

“Into the Void” has no relation to the Sabbath song of the same name as this one is substantially faster and flows expertly into “Illuminati” which keeps up the tempo before slowing down for the epic lead that takes off at a pace all its own.

Taking a far more ambient approach is “Prince of the Machine” with its mellow intro where Aadolf Virtanen’s bass is clearly audible before the leads wind their way through the riffs and drive the song along.

Title track “Silver Horizon” picks the pace up again as it works its way towards the ethereal keyboard intro for “Savage” which remains as a backdrop for the guitars to play over as Rainer’s vocals vary from angry to pleading.

“Corium Black” has a lead that feels like it lasts the song’s entirety including while there is singing happening.

The final track “Voyage to Eternity” has a really sharp snare sound which cuts through the shouted multi-voice chorus. The harmonious female vocals are really gentle on the ears and soften the tragedy that’s unfolding lyrically in the song.

Maybe it’s because I’m an avid sci-fi fan, but I really enjoyed this album and the way it brought out its story still leaving plenty to the imagination with the varied soundscapes it uses.

(8/10  Marco Gaminara)