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Neopera - Destined Ways Award winner

Neopera
Destined Ways
by Matt Coe at 13 July 2014, 7:48 PM

An intriguing Symphonic Metal mix here, Germany’s NEOPERA began under the foundation of DARK AGE guitarist Jörn Schubert in 2010, slowly assembling all the right components to see his ideas come to life. Many of you will know Dirk Schlächter from his work in GAMMA RAY, as well as drummer André Schumann as he also is a member of DARK AGE. The inclusion of three distinct voices- one male who handles the heavier/ shouting elements, while the opera parts get divided between a male baritone and a female soprano – makes these 12 tracks more than a mere NIGHTWISH knockoff, and more in line with what you would expect on a KAMELOT or THERION release.

The opener “The Marvel of Chimera” has an interesting country fiddle lick that transforms into this heavier electric burst, very much in line with latter day KAMELOT – as all three vocalists get a chance to trade off in voice and verses, quite a potent starter to easily gain the listeners attention. Keyboards do take center stage at times in terms of the musical hook department – check out “Remote” as the guitars circle and swarm against the multi-level melodies and shouting vocals, another stunner in the sense that musically the back and forth Power parts swirl against the building and falling Symphonic elements. It wouldn’t be a Symphonic album of course without some tender Ballad action – so expect “Falling Water” and “Last Pantomime” to give you the slower, emotional moments, the latter working better to my ears as a true ‘power ballad’, and some great melody action from Thorsten in his comfortable lower register.

What makes NEOPERA very appealing is their bursts of heaviness, straddling the lines of Power and Melodic Death on a shorter song like “Song of Revenge” – and then being musically exhilarating on a straightforward arrangement such as the title cut, where you will hear a lead break that is brilliant and shred worthy all the same. At 12 tracks and 52 minutes, “Destined Ways” has just enough versatility to gain credibility through multiple genres of metal – yet never wear out its welcome.

Let’s hope this is not a one-off project and could transform into a multiple album/ live act, as these Germans have the goods to go places.

 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.    The Marvel of Chimera
2.    A Call to Arms
3.    Remote
4.    Destined Ways
5.    Falling Water
6.    The Greed
7.    Error
8.    Last Pantomime
9.    Equilibria
10.  Requiem
11.  Song of Revenge
12.  The Unspeakable
Lineup:
Nina Jiers – Soprano
Thorsten Schuck – Baritone
Mirko Gluschke – Shouts
Jörn Schubert – Guitars
Dirk Schlächter – Bass
André Schumann – Drums
Record Label: Ear Music/Edel Records
     


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