Neverland, the collaboration between Turkish progressive metal band Dreamtone and Greek singer Iris Mavraki, returns with their sophomore project, Ophidia. Picking up from their 2008 debut Reversing Time, Neverland keeps the punch of power metal and the sophistication of progressive metal over lush symphonic arrangements. However, there's a noticeable drift to include more catchy, hook-laden, arrangements on many songs, including This Voice Inside, Ophidia, Invisible War, and Speak to Me, by example. Yet, even with this emphasis, Neverland still commands with their epic, often bombastic, presentation, some favoring heavy riffs and ambitious keyboards as on Ashes to Fall. Again, Neverland enlists some heavyweight guest players, adding depth to the production, including Jon Oliva (Savatage, Jon Oliva´s Pain), Angra/Almah singer Edu Falschi and Urban Breed (ex-Tad Morose, Bloodbound).
In the end, Ophidia is a solid, and similar effort, to previous material, and to be expected from Neverland. Does it eclipse or transcend the former? I'm not sure, as only a few songs really grabbed me, only Ophidia and then from Ashes to Fall to the end. My EPK did not include the two bonus tracks The Forests of Hope and Dying Threads. Nevertheless, I can still recommend Neverland's Ophidia.
In the end, Ophidia is a solid, and similar effort, to previous material, and to be expected from Neverland.
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