Opera Diabolicus – “+1614”

Opera Diabolicus – “+1614” (Metalville Records)

Now this is different – a doom opera incorporating theater and dark musical elements! Opera Diabolicus is the brainchild of multi instrumentalist composer David Grimoire and bassist / lyricist Adrian de Crow. The idea sprung to life in 2006 when the two of them met at a stage play of Umberto Eco’s book ‘The Name of the Rose’ in Gothenburg. Wanting to take their concept into musical excellence, they assembled a formidable cast of Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Notre Dame, Therion, Dimmu Borgir), Mats Levén (Krux, Therion), Niklas Isfeldt (Dream Evil), Jake E (Amaranthe, Dreamland) and Camilla Alisander-Ason on vocals, daemonic voices and ghoulish sounds. With Andy LaRocque (King Diamond) producing, what immediately strikes me is the superior quality of this project in pretty much every aspect from the musicianship to song writing to the dark, sinister atmosphere of its literary inspiration. From ‘Blood Countess Bathory’ to ‘Stone By Stone’ to ‘The 13th Guest’, there is a symphonic undercurrent to the material that in the main reminded me of King Diamond with hints of 70s Alice Cooper and a pinch of old school death. Moreover, there is a real heaviness countering the exquisite melodies, even in the way the instruments sound, from Shaw’s pounding drums to De Crow’s rumbling bass – quite different to other rock opera type productions that I’ve heard in the past. Even if you aren’t one for this type of concept I guarantee you will be blown away by this album, if nothing else by its sheer class and perfection!

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