Opera Magna - Poe review
01. El Cuervo
02. El Pozo Y El Pendulo
03. Un Sueño En Un Sueño
04. La Máscara De La Muerte Roja
05. Annabel Lee
06. El Demonio De La Perversidad
07. El Entierro Prematuro
08. El Retrato Oval
09. El Corazón Delator
10. La Caída De La Casa Usher
11. Edgar Allan Poe
My previous review was about a group called A Dream Of Poe. Now I encountered an album called just Poe. The band is called Opera Magna (meaning "big work") and they're from Spain. I was expecting this album with a Salvador-Dali-esque artwork to be another melancholic doom project, after all, what do you expect from a band who uses Poe as source of inspiration: sadness, ravens, angst, sighs and whimpers in the twilight air.
Surprisingly, Opera Magna is exactly the opposite of what one would think. This album is a bombastic and energetic power release that balances on the verge of cheesiness but is still an example of rather good taste. It's fascinating to see how differently one can approach a topic, this time Edgar Allan Poe's works. As the band's name might suggest, they like to do things on a large scale. If one's fond of Rhapsody (Of Fire) and similar music, this one is a nice dish as well. One may even draw parallels between this and Nightwish's last work where "The Poet And The Pendulum" was one big hint to Poe's novella "The Pit And The Pendulum." Opera Magna went all the way, Poe features a direct musical version of this tale and also those of other stories written by this particular author.
The band has created good musical means to pass forward the atmosphere of the novellas. The entire album is like a film soundtrack compilation. One notices it immediately as the introduction starts to play. The music is as if taken from the score for "Harry Potter" or "The Grimm Brothers' Snow White." (Another similarity with Nightwish whose Dark Passion Play has the same effect going on.) There's some breathtaking polyphonic baroque guitar passages among the general energetic flow of the album. The vocalist does a good job as well. The most memorable "novellas" from this collection are "El Pozo Y El Pendulo," "La Máscara De La Muerte Roja," "La Caída De La Casa Usher," and "Edgar Allan Poe." It's a diverse album so one will find many good things in every track. Last, but not least, the beautiful song of "Annabel Lee" is also an outstanding track.
All in all, Opera Magna did with Edgar Allan Poe the same thing that Blind Guardian did with John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. This album is surely a positive musical discovery for all kinds of audiences, not just those who read Poe.
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