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Neopera - Destined Ways

Neopera -CD Review
Destined Ways


Neopera - Destined Ways 



CD Info
12 Tracks
English / Latin lyrics


When I write these reviews I like to see what other reviewers are saying about the band. With this one, having the name “opera” in the title, you can almost anticipate the sheeple commentary. “Just another Nightwish” is the first thing you hear from the musically deficient writers on several sites. I’ve been around long enough to recognize you could have said “Just another Elvis” for 95% of the 50s and early 60s sounds, you could have said “Just another Beatles” sound for the mid 60s to the 70s and so on. Today, how many sounds stray from “Just another Beiber” or “Just another Jay-Z”, either being enough to get my lunch tossed into the nearest dumpster. I guess if you have no ability to actually analyze, that’s always a comfortable alternative.

OK, now that I have that off my chest we can continue. And the first thing I’d point out is that I can’t recall ever hearing anything quite like this one. Yea, there’s metal, yea, there’s some symphonic, yea, there’s a bit of the Gothic. But, with this one there are some significant differences, and, being a statistician by training, I do know the meaning of significant difference. Why, well a lot of bands in this genre utilize a female opera singer. But with this band we get three singers, the female opera singer. . . . a harsh male vocal, AND a MALE classical vocalist. That’s two classical sounds AND a harsh male vocal. Remind me when you’ve heard that before from Nightwish or anyone else in the genre.

With three vocalists, you wonder who drives the train and who is in charge of arrangements. Band founder and guitarist Jörn Schubert is responsible for most of the material. Vocalist Nina Jiers talked about this part of the process, “The music is all composed by our guitarist. He wrote dialogs that need more than 1 voice. The music is like an act where there are characters. This album is not a concept album, so the songs do stand alone each by itself but you can say that the main topic is about having a free will and being able to use it, or are there other powers that lead us and is the subconscious mind much stronger.” That’s fine but you have to wonder what the motivation was to develop the three headed vocal style that is certainly the drawing card of this release. Jiers explains, “Jörn (guitarist and composer) chose those vocal styles because he wanted to combine all his favorite music styles and create some kind of act (in the music, we don’t 'act' on stage). He combines metal and orchestra but in a way they melt together to one unity. Not being a ‘metal band with an orchestra' but having both styles totally harmonic side by side and used totally equal.” It’s certainly an interesting idea and truly differentiates this release from others with similar characteristics.

I think the defining characteristic of this release is the diversity of sound, both vocal and instrumental. You would expect that, with a guitar player being in charge, you’d get the majority of your music from that instrument. And, on some tracks you do. But on others you get a variety of sounds ranging from purely symphonic to what I have to assume are horns of some kind. The vocals, on the other hand, are quite often B & B interpretations with that male classical vocal thrown in to take you to new territory. You just don’t get a lot of classical male vocal in this genre, outside a few Spanish / Mexican sounds I’m familiar with. And that component is used both individually and in concert with the female vocal. There’s also some choral sounds which are probably a combination of the three, plus whoever else is in the building who can do a proper choral vocal.

The release begins with The Marvel of Chimera. This is a pretty good introduction to the music. You begin with the classical male vocal which leads to the death metal vocal and, eventually to a combination of the three. Where’s the Nightwish? There’s some pretty nice symphonic to guide the music, a little metal but not as much as there is on other tracks. The lyrics suggest a direction of interest:

The Marvel of Chimera -- "with this fire I'll burn my hell"
there is light behind the darkness of your days
"I'll die with a name, so what do you die for?"
The Marvel of Chimera -- " nothings gonna stop me now"
the fire in your heart devours your shoulders weight.
"I'll die with a name, so what do you die for?”

Other tracks take a more metal road. Remote is a harder interpretation of the Neopera sound. You still get all the components, they're just a little harder. And this one gives us a little more Gothic interpretation, especially the Latin found in the lyric:

Hands of ghosts, they're on your tail / ensure you, to turn back and fail
I am nowhere, drift in the ocean / how could I lose all of my faith
bridges burning, hope is dying / will I ever find my way.

Dandum semper est tempus / Veritatem dies aperit!

Most of the material here is relatively hard. That tends to happen when you turn a guitar player lose in the recording studio. But, there are times when the sound takes us to places unexpected. Requiem makes sure we understand that Germans do have a predisposition for the classical sound, something like what we might have heard in Hamburg in the 1700s. The Unspeakable is even more closely aligned with this direction. Here we get a sound that is decidedly different from the rest of the release. This is the sole beautiful track, lots of lush symphonics to drive the two classical vocalists into a metal sound that only serves to accentuate what this release is all about.

But, for the most part, this is Gothic metal, relatively hard Gothic metal. Tracks like Song of Revenge actually focus on the harsh male vocal and take us to the darkest sounds from Northern Europe. That’s especially true when you add the Latin lyrical components that are delivered by solid choral arrangements to the lyrics that are provided by the death vocals:

Remember what you did to me / the day that you erased her life.
A blind rush on an empty street / a thing I'll never forgive
Who are you to play with life? / Now I'll hate you till I die!
Burn, Burn, Burn for what you did to us!
There is a hater in my heart! / Burn for your craven act.
I sing the song of revenge.

There’s a lot to like in this release. You can go with the vocals of course, they’re the signature component here. But, there’s more than that. We get solid instrumental work, both symphonics and metal. Both nicely blended. And, finally, there’s solid lyrical material. Excellence in so many ways. And, for those reviewers who saw nothing but another Nightwish clone, get back to One Direction and the rappers where you belong. I suspect you’re more comfortable there and we don’t have to waste our time with your babble. This is first rate symphonic Gothic, and you just can’t get enough of that.