The inspiration for the band came in 2006 after Grimoire and de Crow witnessed a stage play of Umberto Eco’s book The Name of the Rose. Soon after, the duo set out to create a theatrical rock opera based on the same kind of story. The music is a combination of Candlemass-esque riffs, Therion-like dynamics and King Diamond-ish theatrical atmospheres.
Guest musicians featured are Snowy Shaw (Therion, King Diamond), Mats Leven (Therion, Yngwie Malmsteen), Niklas Isfeld (Dream Evil), Jake E (Amaranthe, Dreamland) and Camilla Alisander-Ason on soprano vocals.
The album is dramatic, mysterious, atmospheric, epic and slightly demented. It’s like Phantom Of The Opera meets Jesus Christ Superstar. There are operatic choirs and orchestral arrangements similar to something Therion would pull off. The production has an organic and robust sound, due to producer Andy LaRocque.
Shaw’s drumming is pretty spectacular, as is the rest of the band’s musical prowess. The riffs are like chugging razors and the overall atmosphere is eerie and evil. The album is loaded with melodic interludes, tasteful guitar leads, opera/choir segments, eerie piano melodies, demonic growls, evil laughs and angelic harmonies.
The 8 tracks that grace the CD are long, with the exception of the short intro. The first proper song after the intro is the 10 minute “The Gates,” which is a great introduction to Opera Diabolicus’ sinister world. “Blood Countess Bathory” is a cinematic extravaganza with its grandiose sound and epic atmosphere.
Even with the lengthy songs, the album flows nicely like a dramatic opera, movie or play. The music and lyrics suck you in and you’ll be hanging onto every word. 1614 has lots of twists and turns, a good story line, evil sounding music, great vocalists and musicians. You really can’t go wrong with Opera Diabolicus’ diabolical debut album.
(released February 28, 2012 through Metalville Records)