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Opera Diabolicus
+1614
March 2012
Released: 2012, Metalville Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Opera Diabolicus is a new project started by to Swedish gentlemen by the name of Adrian De Crow and David Grimoire. As the story goes, they met backstage at a 2006 stage play version of Umberto Eco’s great THE NAME OF THE ROSE, and decided on the spot to work together on a similarly themed dark musical project. Fast forward six years and +1614, the first offspring of their partnership is born, with assistance by some heavy metal luminaries (Snowy Shaw, Mats Leven, and Andy LaRocque among others).



To me, +1614 is best described as a heavy metalopera – but don’t get visions of Avantasia here no, this is not power metal at all, but more along the lines of dark lyrical heavy metal such as Mercyful Fate, and perhaps the less adventuresome moments of Therion. Add in all of the guest vocalists and you’ve got, on paper, what should be an interesting listen. Sadly, the issues crop up immediately: lyrically, this is largely based on the Countess Bathory legend...yawn. I’ll never judge a band for their inspirations, but this one has been done so many times in heavy metal that I’d be happy never hearing it again. Secondly, and this one is a bit tougher to put my finger on, but the music just doesn’t grab me at all. True to the description, this is dark-edged traditional metal with progressive elements. In addition, the vocalists all do a phenomenal job of carrying the story with strong, emotive singing. Yet, not a single song stands out as something special. It’s also not a “you have to listen to the whole album to get it” type scenario – I’ve done that many times and come away unimpressed each time. I keep waiting for the music to grab me, but it never does.



I guess this is a case where the parts are greater than the sum, as everything on +1614 is seemingly in place for a spectacular album, but it just doesn’t happen. By no means is this a bad album, but neither is it a great album.
Track Listing

1. Overture
2. The Gates
3. Blood Countess Bathory
4. The 13th Guest
5. In Memoriam
6. Mythos Lamia
7. Forbidden
8. Stone By Stone

Lineup

Adrian De Crow: Vocals
David Grimoire: All instruments
Snowy Shaw: Vocals, Drums
Mats Leven: Vocals
Niklas Isfelt: Vocals
Jake E.: Vocals

Other reviews

» 1614
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

» +1614
by Waspman


Next review: » Opera Diabolicus - 1614
Previous review: » Onward - Reawaken

Opera Diabolicus
1614
March 2012
Released: 2012, Metalville
Rating: 3.5/5
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
Track Listing

1. Overture
2. The Gates
3. Blood Countess Bathory
4. The 13th Guest
5. In Memoriam
6. Mythos Lamia
7. Forbidden
8. Stone By Stone

Lineup

Vocals – Snowy Shaw, Mats Leven, Camilla Alisander-Ason, Jake E, Nick Night
Guitar & Keyboards – David Grimoire
Guitar – Eric Rauti
Bass – Adrian de Crow
Drums – Snowy Shaw
Keyboards – Elias Holmlid
Choral arrangements – Jonas Heidgert

Other reviews

» 1614
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

» +1614
by Waspman


Next review: » Opera IX - Maleventum
Previous review: » Onward - Reawaken





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