Album Reviews

Diviner – Fallen Empires

Diviner is a heavy metal band from Athens, Greece founded by long-time friends and music partners Yiannis Papanikolaou (vocals) and Thimios Krikos (guitar) in the summer of 2011. The band released their debut album Fallen Empires on Ulterium Records on November 20,2015. The bands sound harkens back to the glory days of true heavy metal from the 1980’s with influences from Accept, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio and Manowar and also more current bands like Hammerfall and Primal Fear. Diviner is Yiannis Papanikolaou [Rock ‘n’ Roll Children, ex. Innerwish] – Vocals, Thimios Krikos [Innerwish] – Guitar, George Maroulees [4bitten] – Guitar, Herc Booze [SiXforNinE] – Bass, and Fragiskos Samoilis [Innerwish] – Drums.

Sometimes it is refreshing to hear a new metal band without trying to pigeonhole them into one or two of the hundreds of metal genres out there. Diver play balls to the walls classic and melodic heavy metal in the tradition of their metal forefathers who have blazed a trail for them to follow. The production duties were handled by Thimios Krikos, co-produced by Yiannis Papanikolaou, and mastered by Peter In de Betou [Arch Enemy, Opeth, Amon Amarth] at Tailor Maid. The sound is heavy and crystal clear with great drum sound, and all of the instrumentation coming through in the mix.

The album begins with a nasty riff and razor sharp guitar rhythms of the title track. The drums are punding and driving the song and Pananikolaou’s melodic, gritty and throaty delivery fits the music perfectly and harkens back to Ronnie James Dio in his aggressive delivery. Kingdom Come has a driving double bass drum pattern and heavy chugging guitars with a headbanging fist pumping attitude. The chorus is melodic and anthemic with some great melodies.

Evilizer has a classic Judas Priest vibe and feel too it with a bit of thrash in the killer riffs and a sing/shout-a-long chorus that is instantly catchy and is probably going to be a crowd favorite in a live setting. Riders From The East is a galloping metal jaunt with chugging guitars and an intense vocal performace from Papanikolaou. The chorus is catchy and melodic with a great refrain and a nice guitar melody with a middle-eastern vibe.

The band goes to full on Manowar-Kings of Metal mode on The Legend Lives On with Papanikolaou sounding like Eric Adams in his prime with a powerful performance. The song sounds so much like classic Manowar it’s uncanny. Joey DiMaio only wishes he could still write a song as good as this one.

Come Into My Glory is another true metal, in your face, barnburner with power, darkness, and aggression. Seven Gates has a dark Iron Maiden feel to it with heavy guitars and a middle-eastern guitar melody. The chorus is total metal with another sing-a-long refrain.

The Shadow And The Dark harkens back to classic Metal Church with a dark and heavy riff and thundering drums powering the song. The next song Sacred War starts deceptively slow but soon kicks into high gear with an energetic riff and a David Wayne meets Dio snarl from the lead vocals.

The albums final song Out in the Abyss is a epic sprawling song with orchestration and a swaggering fist raising headbanging metal power anthem. This is another song that was meant to be played live as it is sure to elicit a great crowd response.

Diviner is not re-inventing the wheel ( or steel in this care) but they play a classic form of heavy metal extremely well and with passion and fire. Greece is already known for bands such as Firewind, Black Fate, and InnerWish, and you can add Diviner to the list of metal bands from Greece to watch out for in the future.

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