Here's Opera Diabolicus, the creation of composer David Grimoire and lyricist Adrian de Crow, both out of Gothenburg, Sweden. But what is it? Well, that may be hard to pin down. The two met, by fate, at a stage play of Umberto Eco's book The Name of the Rose, and considered the possibility of creating a theatrical and dark metal musical based on that kind of a story. The result is 1614.
To answer the question requires more than a little ambiguity. 1614 envelopes many metal styles. You will hear classic heavy and power metal, but also doom metal with bits of thrash. Then, thanks to the vocal arrangements, some black metal. Generally, 1614 is big on riffage and, next, vocal arrangements. To the former guitar solos are scattered, nearly inconsequential or fleeting and, therefore, a disappointment. But they kick ass on The 13th Guest.
To the latter, the vocals get the priority throughout this disc. They range from classic metal stylings to gruff to ghoulish black/death metal. Mats Leven and Niklas Isfeldt offer the competing vocal signatures; Camilla Alisander-Ason the female balance.
Generally, this work is dense and epic. If Grimoire and de Crow were going for large and operatic atmosphere for their metal, then they nailed it. Listen to the brief segue In Memoriam as it leads to Mythos Lamia, and you'll get what I mean. Call this, at the very least, 'opera' power metal.
But the dilemma here is that 1614 is long on bombastic awesomeness, but short on accessibility. I've listened to this twice and only two songs really stand out: The 13th Guest and the closer Stone by Stone. As epic as it is, I wonder if I'm inclined to return to it for entertainment and inspiration. Much of it seems the same. Regardless of this opinion, Grimoire and de Crow are on to something very good with their Opera Diabolicus project. I'm looking forward to what's next.
Epic and dense, heavy and bombastic, Opera Diabolicus delivers something near to 'opera' power metal. Give it a chance, and you'll be persuaded.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]