Silent Opera – Immortal Beauty
Usually, I’m a proponent of the adage “if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.” My goal with reviews is never to crush anyone’s dreams or stomp on anyone’s aspirations – I’ve had that done to me and I know what it’s like. However, as a reviewer, I do have an obligation to be honest, and with this review I’ll do my best to balance that honesty against my desire not to make anyone want to give up on his or her dream. This is not a good album, in my opinion. That is the short story.
The longer story goes something like what I’m about to write. For starters, there are two bands with the same name, and I encountered a lot of confusion, mainly thanks to Last.fm who don’t differentiate between bands of the same name. The band that is the subject of this review is from Italy, and they don’t have a lot of biographical information on their web site or on their Facebook page. They put out a demo in 2008, and are now signed with Ravenheart Music, through whom they released Immortal Beauty. I don’t know which band started first, but someone needs to come to an agreement on who’s going to change names because, as I said, it’s very confusing, and probably not good for marketing.
Touting themselves as “symphonic visual metal”, Silent Opera play, from what I have heard, very bland, uninspired symphonic metal – so much so, that I don’t even think I could seriously categorize them as symphonic metal. I’m not sure where the “visual” aspect comes in. The symphonic elements in Immortal Beauty are nearly non-existent. They might be categorizing themselves thus because they have what they think is an operatic vocalist, namely, in this album anyway, a woman called Lady Victoria. The music is not powerful, bombastic, epic, or in any way noteworthy. It has some good moments here and there, with a catchy chorus once in a while, and some energetic riffs every so often, but overall there is nothing remarkable about any of the tracks at all.
Apart from the mediocrity of the music, the album’s other main flaw is the vocal performance of Lady Victoria. It’s not good: it’s pitchy, it’s forced, and her upper range is not there at all. Her voice has a very fake quality to it that really put me off. Now, this is a moot point because on the band’s site, there is an announcement dated Feb. 14 2012 that Lady Victoria has left the band (no reason cited), along with the bass player, Alexandre. The new front woman is someone named Aria, and the new bassist is a dude called Kabal. We can only hope that new personnel will create better music in the future.
The one positive on this CD was the guitar work, performed by someone named Rain, who also did the keys. Rain appears to be a competent guitar player (the keys were nothing spectacular) and there are numerous solos on the album that stood out to me. One in particular was in “Mockingbird”, which ironically, is the song where Lady Victoria’s difficulties with her high notes becomes painfully apparent. The title track also has some good guitar parts in it, too, and it’s the longest song with the most symphonic components, though they come at the tail end.
This is a poor Nightwish/Epica clone indeed, I’m sorry to say. The album falls flat just about everywhere you look. There is no energy, except with the guitars, there aren’t even any good headbanging moments. This genre is about energy – hell, metal is about energy! And I just didn’t hear anything in Immortal Beauty that had that energy I love about the genre.
Allyson’s Rating: 1.0 out of 5