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Operose - 'Footprints In The Hourglass' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 16, 2018    
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Credit to Jennifer Coleman for stepping out of her comfort zone.

Operose – adjective; involving or displaying much industry or effort. This début album, by the British Symphonic Progressive Metal project instigated by Opposing Motion Neo-Classical guitarist Joe McGurk, who is helped out by bandmate and drummer Kevin Deplanche, is currently only available in digital formats. Their not-so-secret weapon is Operatic sensation Jennifer Coleman and she really is the business in the vocal department! Coleman has an amazing repertoire, has won many awards and is in great demand.

The press release explains thus; Operose is a unique blend of soaring vocals and guitars over a Symphonic, Classical backdrop telling the tale of the tragic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice through the eyes of the latter. Quite. It's absolutely a Greek tragedy set to electric guitars and drums, a definite sit down, suck it in and watch the tragedy unfold live on stage unique experience. This is definitely not a no-holds-barred, head-banging sensation with a full-on mosh pit, but neither does it lend itself to the Symphonic Pop brilliance of Within Temptation, the sonic melodies of Delain, the complex Progressive nuances of Epica or the mastery of Tuomas Holopainen's Classical magnificence, but then let's face it, which band can?

To be honest, comparisons with the afore-mentioned groups are absurd! Operose are something very different and, of course, in their infancy. Edenbridge are the perfect current example of a once raw band that have recently matured into a Symphonic, classy heavyweight taking their place at the top of the Symphonic tree.

This album consists of eight tracks that pretty much absorb into each other, especially concerning the story – something I'm sure caught the attention of Coleman. Check out 'Remember Me' to hear her majestic voice in clear definition, thanks to Dennis Ward's mixing and mastering. Full of Coleman's Operatic magnificence, blended by keyboard melodies and McGurk's Neo-Classical playing (that is occasionally over the top or a little out of place) with Deplanche's occasional hurried drumming – overall this is quite heavy going.

Kudos to McGurk for trying something different, but a little more light and shade and less one-dimensional thinking would go a long way, that or stick to the rather good day band. Either way, credit to Coleman for stepping out of her comfort zone. It's very likely she will be a household name within the next ten years, where McGurk takes this collaboration could possibly define his career.

Carl Buxton

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