CD REVIEW Opera Diabolicus

Band: Opera Diabolicus
Title: 1614
Label: Metalville
Distribution: Rough Trade Benelux - Tone
Release date: February 1st 2012
Review: CD

1614 gets described as a Doom Opera by the duo behind Opera Diabolicus, David Grimoire (guitars, music) and Adrian De Crow (bass and lyrics). Yes, I spontaneously started laughing as well when I first read this. But believe me: it is all right.

The duo recorded 1614 at the Sonic Train Studio with producer / mixer / engineer Andy LaRocque himself (!) (mastering: Mika Jussila, at Finnvox Studio!), and the album includes lots of guest and sessions appearances, both vocally and instrumentally. The vocals, for example, were done by some well-known artists, like Snowy Shaw (Firegod, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Dream Evil, Notre Dame etc.; he takes care of the drum parts on this album as well) or Mats Levén (Krux, Therion, Abstract Algebra and many more).

1614 brings an operatic and Middle Ages / Drama-inspired kind of Heavy / Doom Metal with a most traditional approach, yet of the bombastic and technical-melodic kind. Intense riffing, atmospheric keyboard lines, a down-tuned rhythm section, a Gothic atmosphere, a fine equilibrium in between tradition and modern progression (not of the avant-garde kind, of course), symphonic excerpts, an enormous scala on vocal timbres (including female voices, grunts and screams, harmony chants, grotesque choirs, melodic and clean vocals, etc.), a well-tuned balance of plagueful spells and neo-romantic emotions, and so on, and so on, and so on.
It’s like some epic-operatic mixture of Therion, Candlemass, Theatres Des Vampires, King Diamond, Cradle Of Filth, Rhapsody, Gothic Sex and Serpent, catchy and open-minded, accessible yet not too easy…

But… rather safely performed, I’m afraid. Lacking of brave experiments (that’s sad, because the lyrical inspiration, my sweet Lady Bathory, …)…

71/100

Ivan Tibos.