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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
02. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
03. Phallus Dei
- Black Dawn
04. Saille
- Gnosis
05. Black Anvil
- As Was
06. Heretoir
- The Circle
07. Last Leaf Down
- Bright Wide Colder
08. Bitterfeldt
- Götzen.Dämmerung
09. Elegi
- Bånsull
10. Isenordal
- Shores Of Mourning

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Opera Diabolicus - †1614 (2012) - Review

Band: Opera Diabolicus
Album title: †1614
Release date: 28 February 2012
Label: Metalville Records

Tracklisting:
01. Overture0
02. The Gates
03. Blood Countess Bathory
04. The 13th Guest
05. In Memoriam
06. Mythos Lamia
07. Forbidden
08. Stone By Stone

One composer David Grimoire and one lyricist Adrian De Crow together with some special guests like Snowy Shaw (best known for his appearances with King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Therion, Notre Dame, Dream Evil and Dimmu Borgir among others), Mats Leven (Therion, Krux, Yngwie Malmsteen, At Vance, Fatal Force,...), Niklas Isfeldt (Dream Evil), Jake E. Berg (Amaranthe, Dream Evil, Dreamland,...) and Camilla Alisander-Ason are performing in this special metal opera. The idea of this conceptual album was born back in 2006, but because of many problems with labels etc. was released in the beginning of this year. Amazing album cover and a mysterious album title are revealing what's the main story behind the curtain. If we make some google search we get to know that †1614 is the year of death of one of the most notorious woman in the history - Elisabeth Bathory and yes, that's what it's dealt here about. O.K. not such an original idea, but it fits well to the overall ambiance of this album.

The musical side isn't something new on the planet, contrary, Opera Diabolicus are using safe elements to express their narrative vision and musical excellency. Mostly doom metal in the vein of old Candlemass or Solitude Aeturnus, combined with some symphonic touches ala Therion, then some classic metal riffage which reminds of King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, plus some thrashy, power and progressive elements, together with occasional black/death metal outbursts are in majority combined well together. Big plus goes to the vocal performances from all above mentioned guests, specially Snowy Shaw who will bring a big smile on the face to all Therion fans and Camilla Alisander-Ason with her great powerful and atmospheric performance. Vocals are often used like a dialogue between the characters of this theatrical metal opus. Take for example the magnificient symphonic "The Gates", one of the catchiests tracks up here and a fine example how to make a right effect combining diverse vocals with some choirs and massive wall of heavy sounding guitars, diabolic synths, doomy and pounderous, sometimes even thrasy drum beats, dark passages into one amazing dark atmospheric tune. Other tracks worth mentioning are of course "Blood Countess Bathory" which contains all possible musical elements, even some symphonic progressive black metal elements familiar to ones of Arcturus, Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth. "The 13th Guest" is another "must hear" track which will bring many metalheads down on their knees, personally I was amazed by the ending of this song with beautiful vocal performance by Camilla, nice melodic symphonic gothic synths and tasty lead guitar solo. "Stone By Stone" brings more doom metal at the end of this record, yet amazing, powerful and somehow mystical track shows again all the qualities of Opera Diabolicus in its ending and throughout amazing drum work provided by multi talented Shaw gives a lot of power to this track. On the other hand headbanging power metalic "Mythos Lamia" and 80's heavy metal homage track "Forbidden" are nothing that great, but I'm sure that some fans of classic heavy metal will grab those two for first, like a hot cake.

Production is done by another "hall of fame" personage Andy LaRocque (King Diamond). It's a little bit unpolished, but good, although I would prefer cleaner one, especially for the symphonic and drum section, but that's only me. All these six epic songs and two dark intros are something that every fan of dark music should at least try to listen to, because it's a big probability that this "Phantom Of The Opera"; more than 53 minutes long; metal play will become someones favourite album of the year. I'm really hoping that this album will get more recognition among metal and gothic audience, they certainly deserve this.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8/10

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Band: Shining
Album title: IX/Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends
Release date: 20 April 2015
Label: Season Of Mist

When it comes to the Swedish pioneers of depressive undertones in black metal, Shining, a lot of people just think of all the rumors around them, especially about frontman and founder Niklas Kvarforth, and they forget the whole band and the fact they are indeed skillful musicians. Their new album IX/Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends is not an easy task to talk about, as so many things have changed until these days. Niklas voice is on top as always delivering something like never before, Shining riffs are still there, along with the lovely melodies of Huss and Euge that really creates on this record a splendid performance in one unit. Kinda like Maiden in a way guitar harmonies and like such are truly beautiful.IX/Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends is rather short album with only 6 tracks on it, but it's 6 tracks of pure golden music.

Read a full review HERE