Here's an album of a new progressive-metal band in my hands. How many times have you read this sentence before? How many new prog-metal groups are born every year? This genre became trendy and popular some time ago, and store shelves have begun to groan under the stuff labeled “file under progressive metal”. A variety of new bands specializing in this genre unfortunately does not come along with quality of music played by them. Is it possible to come up with something new in the already saturated prog-metal genre?
It turns out that it is. Dorian Opera, a German group set up in 2007, has found a niche for itself. Tracks presented on the “No secrets” CD combine elements of classical music and rock. Let’s add: heavy rock. Imagine, if you will, climates known from such productions as Dream Theater, Symphony X and Rush mixed with classical music of the Baroque, Renaissance or Middle Ages... Hard to imagine? Indeed, but on “No Secrets” one can clearly hear that these ambitious intentions from the members of Dorian Opera find its reflection in reality. And the reality is that this CD is filled with eleven compositions in the style of technical prog-metal. Most of them are dynamic and played vigorously tunes, which faithful lovers will most definitely like.
The sound of broken glass and powerful, metal riff is at the beginnig of first composition entitled “Ouverture”, which is built around a tuneful motive, played on the guitar by Olivier Weislogel. During this instrumental composition one can hear from their speakers, politicians’ voices (George W. Bush?), and the tempo increases quickly. It increases to the degree where one can think that we almost brush power metal, and it stays this way for most of the material on this CD. But even when Dorian Opera “smashes” hard, each and every tune has its own thing, which easily falls into your memory. Sometimes it’s a thrilling piano part (“Dead or Alive” or ”She”), refrain nice for your ear (“Little Lies” and, probably the best on this CD, “She”), or it’s the entire main theme, appearing for example in the charming recording “Fly With Me”.
Where are those elements corresponding with classical music, you may ask? There are quite a lot of them on “No Secrets”. In one instance, the guitar attempts to imitate a violin (in the main recording), or a classically sounding choirs appear (“Litlle Lies”), or the guitar with its nylon strings sounds like master Carulli (“Fly With me”), or an interesting orchestration that sends shivers down your spine (again “Fly With Me”), or an arrangement that recalls Baroque ballads (once again “Fly With Me”). Finally, the band reaches for the most classical – Antonio Vivaldi, and interprets “Presto” from “Four Seasons” in a rock style.
Quite unusual album it is, as for prog-metal music. Some will probably say it’s not unusual, but rather original. It doesn’t overwhelm us with its powerful sound or seem to be too heavy, nor does it annoy us with unnescessary, technical show offs. And on the other hand, when you listen carefully, you can see at once that Dorian Opera is not made of devil-may-care instrumenalists, but of people who, even though they keep their virtuosic attempts in cheek, can play really well. Joe Eisenburger plays the bass and sings, Olivier Weislogel on guitars, Harry Reischmann on drums, and Andrew Roussak (do you remember his solo album “No Tresspassing”?) on keyboards.
Dorian Opera – modern prog-metal with classical-like flavors. Worth giving it a shot. I recommend it.Translation: Mateusz Fedyszyn