Silent Opera are an Italian female fronted symphonic Metal outfit. Careful where you step here because there is another outfit of the same name out of France so don't get them mixed up. This lot have recently changed their singer, the outgoing Lady Victoria being replaced by Aria. However, Lady Victoria's vocals have been retained for this release.
'Immortal Beauty' is the Italian's debut that has been written with a concept based around the members of the band being immortal. Each has a story that binds them to each other that involves gods, curses and sacred plants. It's all very dramatic with atmospherics that conjure up visions of vampish women dancing wistfully around a fog bound graveyard as a Victorian horse drawn hearse waits mysteriously at its wrought iron gates.
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With a name that willingly gives the game away, the overall sound of 'Immortal Beauty' has an epic sweep that is not dissimilar to the thick, heavy symphonic gloop of Nightwish and Epica. It's big pompous stuff that would suit being the soundtrack to swooping camera shots over the roof tops and through spires of some neo-Gothic city where the rain never stops and vampires look down into the streets looking for their next meal.
What lets this album down badly is the lead vocal. Singer Lady Victoria's voice sounds forced. Lacking sparkle, it labours in the upper register. Hers is a voice that sounds like it would be better suited to gentle medieval cantos, not the strident demands of modern symphonic Gothic Metal.
This sort of stuff needs a full on Wagnerian type voice to do it justice; a voice that should come ready wrapped in a breast plate and horned helmet. Being as the band has a new singer perhaps it might be worth re-recording the vocals assuming of course, the new girl has the voice for it. There are some excellent ideas going on here and the band sound like its having a blast but if they could harness the power of a proper orchestra and get themselves a full on Wagnerian diva then the band could sound huge.
We are currently swamped by pompous Goth bands, the standard of which is generally high so getting noticed requires something special. It is no longer enough just being good and this album with the original vocals is just that; good.
Give 'Immortal Beauty' a better vox and bigger production and it would have been huge.
Oh well, maybe next time eh?