Thursday, November 20, 2008

Operatika - The Calling

I'm a big fan of Symphonic Metal. I love bands like Nightwish, After Forever, Epica and Within Tempation so when I heard about Operatika I figured I give them a listen.

The members are:
Vocals: Slava Popova
Guitars: Bill Visser
Keyboards: Anna
Drums: Yuri Liakhovitch
Bass: tba

When a genre of music becomes popular due to several very good bands, bands that sound very similar come crawling out the the woodwork. Operatika is one of those woodwork crawling bands. I don't dislike their music, but there's nothing new and exciting with this band. The guitarist loves his sweep arpeggios, uses them to boredom in his solos. Their vocalist is good, she has a very nice voice, but the female opera vocals have been overdone. The music is average at best, they're a "been there, done that" type of band.

The track listing for "The Calling" is as follows:
1. Intro
2. Gladiator
3. Tears Of The Sun
4. Dark Horizon
5. Ice Queen
6. Life Saving Flame
7. No. 3/23 In A Minor
8. Mask In The Mirror
9. Secrets Of The Past
10. The Storm
11. The Calling
12. Last Quest

Life saving flame is the best track on the album IMO but it's still under par. The instrumental No. 3/23 in A Minor sounds like a blatant Yngwie Malmsteen rip.

If you are looking for good Symphonic Metal, pass on this one. Check out the other bands that I mentioned earlier or check out Symphony X.

Century Media Podcast for November 2008

Century Media Podcast for November 2008

I love this podcast. Very little talk and a lot of great music.

Host Tim Binder

1. The Haunted - Moronic Colossus
Great tune, The vocalist, though he's a growler/screamer, mixes up his vocals enough to make them interesting. The guitarist(s) are top notch, they don't over or underplay. Good song, I'm going to get more to listen to.

2. Cursed - 1917
Starts off very mellow for the verse then picks up a little for the chorus. The vocals are pretty good, he sings in a non-english language. I'd have to hear more from the band, this song doesn't grab me the way the first one did, but it's pretty good.

3. Poison Black - Left Behind
This is a pretty perky song, interesting vocals from what I can tell, although they're a little buried in the mix especially in the chorus. Good arrangement and orchestration.

4. Duff McKagan - No More
Verse Reminds me a little of The Stray Cats has a swing feel to it, very 80s sounding. The bridge at the end was the best part of the song. The verse get's a little monotonous after a few times through.

5. ????? - ????? (couldn't understand the band or song name can anyone clarify?)
Not thrilled with this song, female vocalist, power metal-ish with a celtic twist. The vocals are irritating, she doesn't have a full voice like Tarja, it's thin and sort of shrill. The death/growl vocals in the middle are better.

6. Helheim - Det Norrøne Alter
A Dimmu style dark, slow song with viking/black style vocals. I like this band a lot, I'm definately going to pick up one of their CDs. The chorus (?) is very well orchestrated, very church-ish souding. with an organ at the end, fantastic musicianship, great arrangement.

Erik the Viking's Top 5

7. Lacuna Coil - Heaven's Alive
I've always loved this band. Christina has a great voice, fits the music to a tee. They're a dark, dreamy, atmospheric, gothic sort of band. They have two vocalists, Andrea (male) and Christina. They mix up the different vocal styles well. This is a fantastic song, one of my favorites by them. They're coming out with a DVD soon called Visual Karma. Pick it up and grab a few of their CDs.

8. Candlemass - Lucifer Rising
These guys have been around a long time. Straight up metal, very old school. Good song, I like the vocalist, great set of pipes and great range.

9. Enslaved - The Watcher
Interesting song. The verse is very viking/black like, then the chorus breaks into clean layered vocals with a very haunting melody, very beautiful actually.

10. Burning the Masses - Gerascophobia
This song would make a great pit song. Very in your face, then backs off. I like the time changes, gives a good jerky effect to the song. guitarist is very good, very quirky style.

On the record - Stu from Into Eternity discusses their new album. The Incurable Tragedy

11. Into Eternity - Diagnosis Terminal
I love this band, seen them live twice, very quirky, twisted band. Thier new album "The Incurable Tragedy" is fantastic. They mix up the time changes, stops & starts with growling vocals and beautiful harmonies. If you're looking for a band that's really different, I highly recommend Into Eternity.

12. Turisas - To Holmgard And Beyond
Very good power/prog metal. The middle of the song reminds me of a soundtrack for an RPG game.
Excellent harmonies, seems to tell a story.

13. In this Moment - Forever
Female vocalist, she has pretty good power, nice vocal melody. I like the guitar melody line in the song, very catchy. this song was written to be played on the radio, very catchy and commercial.

14. Stick to your guns - Part of me
Not my cup of tea, devoid of any melody, and the riffs aren't all that interesting. The vocalist is the typical shouter. Nothing original here. Mercifully, the song was short.