Ophelia - Do Sympathy With Your Fantasy review
|Album:||Do Sympathy With Your Fantasy|
01. January - Dream Within A Dream
02. February - Mirror Lake
03. March - Spring
04. April - Object Petit A
05. May - Water Deep
06. June - Chant Of The Night
07. July - Floating And Drowning
08. August - Misty Forest
09. September - Ophelia
10. October - Calm
11. November - Same Moment, Different Dream
12. December - A Walk To Remember
13. Undecimber - Communis
Ophelia is a band I discovered by mistake and what made me even more curious is the fact that they are from Korea, I don't know anything about the scene over there so it seemed a good chance to find out at least to the extent of a single band. As far as I know, Do Sympathy With Your Fantasy is their debut album and I have to admit I was pretty much amazed by the overall outcome. After all, it has many things to present to the fans of atmospheric scene since it breathes ambiance, it steps upon barren soil and makes gardens of emotion bloom.
So, how does the band sound like? Well, take into concideration:
1) Theatre Of Tragedy's most atmospheric moments on the same-titled album and Velvet Darkness They Fear and Liv Kristine Espanaes' long-lost vocal memories that come forth through Yui's interpretation.
2) Atmospheric doom metal acts just like The 3rd And The Mortal from their first EP and Tears Laid In Earth debut.
3) Estatic Fear's A Sombre Dance.
4) Shoegaze references.
5) Shades of avant-garde.
6) Korean tradition.
Yet beware, all these references will get you only an idea of what to expect. What's more important is the fact that the band boils its influences so well that all that remains is only a floating element (except for the Liv Kristine reference) which is being devoured gently by the song structure of Ophelia that manage to offer something quite personal in the end. Worth mentioning is the fabulous and accurate musicianship, being at the same time more technical than a whole lot of European/American acts in the scene, without getting lost in translation.
Despite its 80 minutes of duration that one could logically think would tire, Do Sympathy With Your Fantasy tends to keep the interest of the listener at high peaks due to the overwhelming atmosphere, the great inspiration, the fragile emotions, even the cinematic flow of the album that unfolds like an internal journey. One could also say that it may sound monotonous after 80 minutes, well, the answer is no, even if the main sound core is the same, the ideas are so many that you won't find it repetitive. Ophelia consumes you with their vastly emotional orchestrations, the violin, the beautiful piano/keyboard passages, the ethereal and sweet-sounding female vocals that stick to mind like honey, the limited but to the point devouring grunts/howls and the guitars that keep an atmospheric, floating, heavy or talented, acoustic role until they rarely burst into inspired solos that breathe melody.
The whole act is being seperated in three parts, "Introduction" (January, February, March, April), "Body" (May, June, July, August, September) and "Conclusion" (October, November, December, Undecimber). As the album flows you will find yourself starring at the change of months/seasons through the looking glass and on the sound portrait various colours will offer wholeheartedly all the faces of melancholy, parading one by one, ranging from sweet to bitter and vice versa. You will also feel longing, hospitality, hope, gloom, threat, all those grey and bright emotions/senses that fight one another through the whole duration of the year, struggling for balance, something Ophelia achieved in the most theatrical, expressive manner.
As for highlights? Hell no, find the time and the mood to listen to it as a whole, I'm pretty sure it will reward you in the most appropriate way, although, despite being good, a slightly better production would have launched the album to a new moon. Anyway, according to me, Ophelia managed to offer the best atmospheric gothic/"doom" metal of 2010 so far, a well-kept secret, a sparkling gem everyone should cherish, somewhere inbetween the burdened landscape and the fertile sunrays.
||Written on 11.10.2010 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."|
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