Released: 2005, Double Blind Music
Born out of the ashes of Los Angeles ethnic rockers O.H.M. (not the Chris Poland fusion band!), Opus Dai are a new grouping of musical explorers with a decidedly non-metal sound. The band combines a disparate array of influences such as Tool and Led Zeppelin into what becomes a rather vanilla-flavored, if not entirely boring, musical mixture.
ACTUM PROCUL is merely a 5-song taster (4 live songs and one studio acoustic) of what is to come on the band’s debut full-length, due later this year. If this disc is anything to go by, the band is lead by Chris-Paul Basso’s expressive vocals, as he howls while soaring above the slightly alternative-sounding din. He’s got a powerful set of pipes that vaguely recall Maynard James Keenan of Tool, but manages to retain his own sound. Opus Dai’s music is a similar progressive take on mainstream music, which can either be stirring or boring, depending on the song. For example, while “Rain” and “Step Up” are great rock songs (again, miles away from metal), “Bella Christa” is a failed attempt at whisper-to-roar dynamics, and “Front Lines” is a little to paint-by-numbers hard rock. Basso’s vocals almost save the song though.
Finishing up with “Best Regards” which is an acoustic ballad with a slightly Middle Eastern feel vocally, ACTUM PROCUL’s attempt to showcase a growing band is ultimately successful. While I doubt many metalheads will find much to enjoy in Opus Dai’s music (I won’t be following them), they do have promise.