The Gospel

Dec. 31, 2018


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The Pitch: Italian symphonic black metal group Opera IX release a classy, understated new album via Dusktone. FFO: Emperor, early Satyricon, Dark Funeral

What I Like: Symphonic black metal is a one of those genres that sparked an early love affair in late high school. Like many, my entry point was with the mainstream likes of Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth, but eventually I found my way to classics like In The Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk. Opera IX is a band that clearly worships the ground of the latter with no compramises. This album sounds like it came right out of the early 90's; as if some young Norwegian stumbled across his dad's vault of unreleased material. Far from the more bombastic sounds we often find in the symphonic genres today, The Gospel's synth and operatic elements are respectfully understated, and I appreciate the largely scaled back approach. As a result, the melancholic mood is able to take center stage. While I enjoy the high octane, fun approach of bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse, it's these more restrained, atmospheric albums that really take me to another place.

Critiques: At nearly an hour, it's a bit long, and I'm not always as engaged by the doomier moments. That said, the length works well if it's being used as background music as opposed to the center of attention.

The Verdict: While not particularly groundbreaking and lacking some of the more Michael Bay-esque thrills of more mainstream symphonic acts, The Gospel is the perfect album for the second wave purists out there. Opera IX keep things classy and deliver a set of tracks that are sure to transport you to dark, unearthly realms. Love that organ.

Flight's Fav's: Sacrilego, Moon Goddess, The Invocation

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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