Diviner – Avaton (Rock of Angels Records)Wednesday, 8th November 2023
Returning for this third album Avaton, Greek metal band Diviner has once again modified their lineup with second guitarist Alex Flouros replacing George Maroulees in 2022. Nonetheless it doesn’t stop the potent power/heavy metal style that they’ve previously established, these ten tracks (eleven if you count the “Dead New World” CD bonus offering) ideal for those who love stirring musical hooks, gallop/epic-oriented riffs and rhythm section combinations, as well as majestic vocals that bring all the key melodies/harmonies to the forefront of headbangers far and wide.
The main songwriting components intertwine elements of US/UK/German power metal textures – rich, robust guitar rhythms, proper / energetic bass/drum underpinning, and versatile singing with the right mixture of Dio/Halford-esque conviction and power to keep listener engagement at peak levels. Feel the marching strains of “Mountains High” as well as the cultural Primal Fear/Firewind-esque crunchy chord combinations for “Hope Will Rise” as two initial highlights that capture the dynamic abilities within the quintet. While most of the record sits in radio-friendly four to five-minute or so arrangements, these musicians can also stretch their creative wings a bit in epic formats with “Hall of the Brave” and “The Battle of Marathon” – both traversing the eight-minute slots where longer instrumental passages or progressive transitions and dramatic twists recall everything from classic Iron Maiden or all facets of Ronnie James Dio’s career, the latter containing some chilling melodies from Yiannis Papanikolaou during the chorus along with folk/acoustic strains midway through to bring home more cultural atmospheric impact. Favorites change daily – the Helloween-ish “Dancing in the Fire” plus groovy/progressive bonus track “Dead New World” consistently checking off all the devil’s horn approval boxes on all fronts for this scribe. Production duties from Nightfall drummer Fotis Bernando once again ensures a clear, commanding sound – especially in terms of killer drum tones for Lefteris Moros to showcase his thorough skill sets.
Four years after the impressive Realms of Time effort, Diviner executes a proper step-up with songwriting, performances, and professionalism on Avaton. It’s not easy to excel in a heavy/power genre chock full of artists, but quality outings should rise to the top, and this is ideal for those who have long-time passion for this style.