Review Summary: Women in Black Metal? Someone get the bibles! Opera IX's finest album, according to some, doesn't fail to impress, but Bauhaus won't be very happy...2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Women in music have no place. Women are supposed to be at home, making lunch for their husbands, look nice by his husband's side, enjoy the fornication act as if it were something marvelous and comforting, not talk and most importantly, break the little hearts of poor men whose only purpose in life is happiness by the side of a companion. That is the place of a female in actual society.
Most importantly, I'd say, is the role of women in metal. They ought to be only the crazy groupies dressed in black that like to eat blood and flesh and post what metalheads they've fornicated with lately in their myspaces, skinned ad hoc
to metal, with cute little red skulls and what not.
Then again, I have to say I'm not much of a fanatic of females singing, unless it's probably Fiona Apple, or probably Melanie Wills' vocals on From Autumn to Ashes' "Autumn's Monologue", and despise the vocals of females like, Kittie's lead singer Morgan Lander trying to reach really, really low vocal pitches which just don't fit a female. Why bother doing it, if they won't make it that low? And well, I'll probably gain two or three mortal enemies, but I'm not really comfortable with Angela Glasgow's growling either. Female's role in music is the softer, more beautiful side of singing.
Being said and done my position, I think it's prudent to tell you the lead singer of Opera IX is... A FEMALE! Yes, like I hadn't been building up for this moment or whatever. "The black opera, simphoniae misteriorum in laude tenebrarum
", the full name of the concept album I've had the chance to listen by this band is, to say the least, very, very amazing. Disregarding my utter misogyny and clear lack of appreciation for the female race, let's begin by talking about the band. Imagine they are indeed, black metal, but there's not much DEMON DEMON SATAN GRR GRR lyrics in the play. They are more occult-driven lyrics, but more of that ahead. I'd say they are more in the Avant Garde genre, if that's more pleasing...
But ahead with the album itself. As I've stated before, the album is a concept of... well, apparently this is the story line: There's a forest that keeps six towers, sealed by the ancient and that hold the power of the "God In The Black Throne". So basically, the album resolves to the way this seals are opened, and the God is released upon the earth. The lyrics aren't as trite as I would expect them to be, or more like it, being sub-par lyrics with no better literary value than.. what I'd expect in Metal, overall.
I can't complain of this band musically. At all. The first act, begins with Cadaveria's soft vocals, and some ambient keyboards, pretty much setting the mood for the ambient attempted to be created. I'm not much of a fanatic of masculine vocals on females, but that's a minor complaint of mine, considering the rest of the components thrown in here. The production value of the observation are crisp and clear, and the overall instrumentation is amazing: Despite most of the times keyboards are used as rhythm/pseudo-lead guitars here or there, and the drumming being too damn operatic in particular sections (especially choruses, which ironically is when keyboards are well used), everything is just in place. The technicality of the guitarist is pretty amazing, and he has some interesting sounding riffs here or there, besides it's not a wanking fest, so mad props on that.
The second act isn't as fast paced as the first one, but begins with a less introductory rhythm which is maintained along the intro until Keyboards, which are much better used in this song, turn up the speed, but returns eventually to the slow-paced beat from the beginning. In the fast section, the blast-beats are not precisely accurate, and the bass drum feels a bit to high in the mix, but what gives. This act is like an introduction of a spirit to those wanting to release the God in The Black Throne.
Carnal Delight in The Vortex of Evil, The third act is probably my favorite track of the album: Everything seems to flow much, much better in this song, particularly from section to section. The rest of the songs do that same thing, but for some reason everything feels more together here, and pretty much well blended. The fourth act, probably the one supposed to be the pinnacle of the album, for being the longest track, begins with clean guitar riffs, and probably the significance of the track is what makes it more important story-wise, since this is where four of the seals are opened, so... anyway, the instrumentation is interesting, but slightly feels out of place here or there, especially when changing the drumming pace from fast to faster to slower, and fills aren't really performed as fast as they should really be. Nonetheless, the track doesn't disappoint, it's good enough, considering it's length. The energy is kept pretty high all over the song.
My second favorite track, The magic Temple, the fifth act, is probably another highlight of the album. It's basically Cadaveria's clean vocals, only accompanied with smooth keyboards, in sort of a ritual vibe, and well, showing that this italian girl can sing like us mortals. =P But to be quite honest, I'm pretty satisfied with her range, it's mostly entertaining and sufficient, in my opinion... after this section is over, the rest of the song is basically an instrumental show-off, which precises a bit more of accuracy here or there, but well, it's good. Entertaining, at least.
The sixth and last act, is pretty much what has been building up up to this moment. Hectic music, and some really sweet vocal arrangements similar to those in bands like Opeth, in which the singer, in this case Cadaveria, swifts from clean to harsh vocals in a pretty interesting way. The pace of the album, then, is maintained pretty much constantly all along, but the ending feels abrupt, and probably could have been done in a different fashion... probably in a more delicate way? Or maybe a way to really show that the seal has been opened, and hell has been lose. Otherwise...
The last track in the album is a Bauhaus cover: "Bela Lugosi's Dead". I'm not a big fanatic of Gothic music, so I had to listen to the original to have a valid stand point. I did, and well... Opera IX's version is a lot more fast paced than the original, but doesn't really imprint a particular "WE ARE OPERA IX" seal (speaking of seals in the album), and the vocals felt a bit tired and not exactly somber... as the song itself asks to. It just feels faster, but there's nothing really to it that resembles or makes me appreciate it more than the original. Probably it's the vocals... But you Bauhaus fans will understand better.
So overall, the album is pretty good, it doesn't contain as many aspects that I had found boring about the band in the past (I hadn't listened to the album particularly much until recently, when I felt bored and uninspired), but I like the instrumentation for the most part, and the different facts of Cadaveria's vocals, which sometimes I felt weren't precisely favorited because I don't like females who sing with harsh vocals, but Cadaveria doesn't disappoint me at all. She has a pretty good vocal range and uses it well, and the album is pretty energetic for the most part, and does a good job at creating a dark ambient, so props for that. A great album for those who like Avant Garde metal.
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