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December 2017
Released: 2017, Dark Star
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Canadian Carnage! Because I am a true patriot, once or twice a year I like to do a quick spotlight and some short reviews on newer, independent, underground Canadian Metal bands. That time is now! Thanks to all of the bands who sent me material for my spotlight. In the spirit of the PMRC, I have chosen a ‘Filthy Fifteen’ (+1!) as some (but not all!) of the bright lights, innovators and leaders of Canadian Metal. Most of them are independent bands releasing their debut album or EP in 2017. Check these bands out, they are the future of Metal! They are (listed alphabetically)…

Abomb (Calgary)

Decatur (Toronto)

Emblem (St. John’s)

Evereal (Mission)

Hammerdrone (Calgary)

Heaven’s Fire (Toronto)

Hounskull (Mississauga)

Ice War (Ottawa)

Maglor (Calgary)

Monarch Woods (London)

Operus (Toronto)

Osyron (Calgary)

Solarus (London)

The Lightbringer (Quebec City)

To The Mountains (Lethbridge)

Votov (Winnipeg)

Hailing from Toronto, Operus is one of the few bands in this feature signed to an international label, in this case Dark Star Records in the US. CENOPTAPH is the bands debut following a short, indie EP a few years back.

Epic, symphonic Power Metal is the order of the day as evidenced by the monster instrumental opener ‘Silver Spell’ running over 2.5 minutes! I love it myself, it builds epic expectation but I know of several impatient people who hate instrumental intros and skip over them and even one friend who cuts them off the album when he burns the CD to his digital media! Blasphemy! Admittedly, the style is not for everyone who seeks that ‘in-your-face’ immediacy as soon as they hit play.

CENOTAPH features lots of speed and big operatic gang-vocals to emphasize the solid and powerful voice of David Michael Moote. He sings in a slightly lower register than many of the high-pitch euro-Power Metal guys. This is a very compact and dense listen there is not much breathing room once the band cranks it up, which is most of the time. There is a brief acoustic-based instrumental interlude called ‘Sands Of Time’ that does break up the intense album. Otherwise it is double-kick drums to the moon and wave upon wave of keyboards and guitars.

Imagine if you will, Trans-Siberian Orchestra at their very heaviest and fastest and most bombastic you might be approaching the dynamic and epic soundtrack feel of Operus. That is music to my ears!
Track Listing

1. Silver Spell
2. Steel Against Steel
3. Colosseum
4. Sands of Time
5. Fate's Pantomime
6. Wretched Play
7. Cenotaph
8. Maya & the Wolf
9. La Catedral
10. The Return


David Michael Moote Vocals
Oscar Rangel Guitar
Rob Holden Guitar
Wojtek Sokolowski Bass
Robin Howe Cello
JJ Tartaglia Drums



Other reviews

» Cenotaph
by JP

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