Immortal Beauty from Italian symphonic metal band Silent Opera is an epic and vibrant album that sweeps one up in its grandeur and expansive sounds. The release offers a mix of the intimate and a more general theatrical wrapping for the ear which ebbs and flows to great effect, making it an album that whether it hits the right spot for you or not makes it one that is constantly intriguing and persistently provoking the emotions.
Formed in early 2010 Silent Opera consisting of Lady Victoria (lead singer), Rain (guitars), Alexandre (bass) and Shadow (drums) took no time in refining their sound with live shows before moving on to record this their debut album. Their symphonic/gothic sound carries the power and grace of the likes of Within Temptation and Nightwish but with an added operatic and theatrical flourish that sets them apart. With a themed life to it based around four immortals and their individual stories the album captures the imagination with ease even if at times the immediacy of some tracks are lost in others.
The first notable element of the sound is the vocals of Lady Victoria. She has an operatic skill and power that can stir the blood and ignite the senses but at times it also seems and feels out of place with the music and there is a struggle going on between her and the music surrounding her. This is not a destructive issue but it is an aspect that one feels need to be better defined to get a positively strong attention the band and she deserves, against that though her delivery gives certain songs a depth and pomp that fits wonderfully within the immortal/of the gods premise. Personally when she restrains and controls fully her obvious talent and skill the songs flow and capture the imagination much better but as always it is only a personal view.
Musically the band hit the mark consistently from the opening heart beat and ambient keys of Mask Manor and its breaking magnific presence through to the epic and imposing closer The Silent Opera. There is a vibrancy and thoughtful craft to the sounds that envelope and please throughout. The starter sets up the journey of the album perfectly and like the album on the whole, grabs warm attention and an eager ear.
The album first truly takes a heightened grip with Morningstar, a graceful and easy flowing majestic song. With the keys pushing towards the skies the guitars and bass rile up the senses with a strong and well defined play alongside attentive riffs whilst the drums take a firm if undemanding grip. The vocals are perfect for the enlightened sounds and combined there is a feel of lofty intentions and emotions swirling around the ear.
Further highlights include the piano led beauty of Farewell a song that glistens with passion, Always With You with the addition of great male vocals to add a bite and imposing might to the flowing power, and Lilium, a track that offers a noble and touching caress upon the senses. These go to making Immortal Beauty an album that always gives the ear something to be engaged by but it is when the band strike with a heightened intensity that they fully connect. Second song Chapters with its thumping and momentous almost industrial symphonic metal prowling suggests the band has a tougher edge and it is only the vocals that sadly deflect from the track and its impressive sterner tread upon the ear but with Your Muse the band drip intensity and aggressive energy. Opening on Rammstein like male growling and industrial blistering riffs the song stomps across and defiantly pounces upon the senses. Electronic niggling lines the song giving it an eager light against the muscular and intimidating rhythms and flexing riffs. The song is a gem, Lady Victoria offering her best diverse vocals to temper the aggressive male accosting.
Immortal Beauty is a fine album that satisfies much more than it misses the spot. Silent Opera are a band to watch closely as they surely evolve and grow into something even more impressive.