Released: 2012, Metalville
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
It is often those chance meetings in life that lead to great things. Some may in fact consider it fate. Whatever your standing on the workings of the universe, the formation of Opera Diabolicus was one such occasion.
Coming together at a stage play of Umberto Eco’s The Name Of The Rose in 2006 composer David Grimoire and lyricist Adrian de Crow set in motion the concept of combining music’s dark side with the operas theatricality against a backdrop of that kind of story. With any good performance though, the challenge comes in finding artists that can translate that aspiration into a working reality – and one that doesn’t suck at that.
Casting an eye over the host of talent that has helped 1614 to life not only can you breathe a sigh of relief on that front, but it’s also likely to have tickled your interest somewhat. Standing alongside David and Adrian, who have lent their own musical ability to the project, is King Diamond and Dimmu Borgir member Snowy Shaw giving both the drums and the mic a good workout. What really helps Opera Diabolicus capture that sense of performance though is the weaving together of different guest vocalists, and by extension, different characters.
Like all good opera’s, 1614 centres around the interplay of male and female vocals – the latter provided by Camilla Alisander-Ason. Backed by a musical palette of dark and light shades evoking power, doom, and symphonic metal, it’s hard not to get caught up in the drama.
Although those with the taste for iron will find plenty of doom laden riffs and thunder heavy drums nestled throughout 1614, and vocals that range from almost power metal, to black metal growls, some may struggle with the overall theatrical context. As opposed to being one long story, each song appears to have been constructed as a stand-alone piece, which sees them range from the ten-minute epic ‘The Gates’ to the fairly concise six-minute ‘Mythos Lamia’, which with its deft guitar solos deserves its own line in the programme.
With more theatrical flourishes than a costume wardrobe, Opera Diabolicus has created something relatively unique in its epic nature, and yet uncomplicated feel. As such, when the album draws to a close, you find yourself feeling bad for not giving them a standing ovation.
Review by: Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs