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Opus Doria - 'A Day On Earth' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/18/cc/a3/opus-doria-a-day-on-earth-46-1421613107.jpg Hot

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With time and consideration it seeps into your consciousness and adds a new dimension to the Symphonic soundscape.

Opus Doria is another band that meld all the best Classical elements with Modern Metal stylings to create something unique and worth exploring, and hailing from the historical Medieval Dukedom Aquitaine in France no less. Not quite in the same vein as fellow French Symphonic acts Karelia, Fairyland, Kells, Kerion and Operadyse (the latter two I've reviewed in the past) for example, as their vocalist is the renowned Mezzo-Contralto French Operatic star Christel Lindstat.

Each of the six members are music teachers in their own right with Lindstat being the choirmaster of the Monticant Chusclan choir since 2008 for starters. Each participant brings something special to the table; Bruno Rodrigues is responsible for the guitars, Yannick Hubert the bass and Benoit Brune the drums whilst Laura Nicogossian is the main song-writer and handles all the keys leaving her sister Flavie Nicogossian to handle the cello and choir parts.

This isn't your usual Symphonic Metal romp in the French Pyrenees though, it's far more high-brow and serious, appealing to a wider audience particularly amongst the French elite Operatic cognoscenti. Much in the same way Tarja Turunen appeals to the Finnish operatic elite, OD combine the precision and lyricism of Classic Music with the power and dynamics of Rock and Metal. The name itself derives from music; 'Opus' being a term that refers to a chapter or number in a classical musical composition whilst 'Doria', in this case, refers to the Medieval Dorian mode of eight musical modes (the octoechoi) developed by the Byzantine Church in the 9th Century, covering Medieval to Baroque.

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The album surprisingly convenes with a five minute Classical-flavoured instrumental epic before we're treated to arpeggios and Operatic vocals on 'The Mission'. It really gets going on 'Crystal Ocean Of Tears' as Lindstat exercises her impressive range and there's more than a nod to their influences with Nightwish, Amberian Dawn, Symphony X and Stratovarius featuring in the equation alongside film-score music (Hans Zimmer), Baroque (Vivaldi), Romantic (Rachmaninoff) and Modern Classical (Stravinsky), World and Celtic.

The Medieval flavoured 'Lost Children In The World' complete with flutes, the Celtic-inspired 'Epic Race', the Progressive elements of 'Wind Whispers' and the Baroque intro to 'Requiem For A Wise Man' keep the interest going and mix up all their influences into a large landscape of aural colours with the most striking and consistent of these being Lindstat's range and power.

It's not an immediate album that grabs you by the ears and pummels your senses but with time and consideration it seeps into your consciousness and adds a new dimension to the Symphonic soundscape.

Carl Buxton

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