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Opus Symbiosis - Monster CD (album) cover

MONSTER

Opus Symbiosis

 

Crossover Prog

3.03 | 6 ratings

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The Mister
5 stars As for justification for five stars, this EP deserves it because it is, as EPs go, a statement of perfection in my collection. Very few albums over the last few years have gotten as many repeat listens as this EP. The band has poured as much of their heart into this EP as most other bands would have poured into a full-length album.

The four relatively short songs on this EP form a suite that easily could have been a part of a longer release. Nonetheless, this is a masterful collection of songs. Christine Sten is a wonderful vocalist, even if, on this EP, she seems to avoid the sotto voce that she masterfully employs at regular intervals on the band's previous release Nature's Choir. In fact, the only thing that seems to be missing from this release is that contrast of light and dark, piano and forte.

The strong presence of Victor Sågfors, who has taken over as full-time keyboardist on top of his regular duties as lead guitar player (as well as producer and songwriter), is also a plus. Apparently, Victor uses a synthesizer hooked up to an old Commodore 64 console. I'm not precisely sure what that does for him, but it results in some rather interesting, if slightly reedy, sounds to the band's palette.

The music itself is wonderful. I've always had a thing for the masterful union of well-played guitar and well-played synths, particularly when sequencers are used - but not overused! - as a backdrop. Certain musical themes repeat on different songs. You get a riff repeated here, but then a new variation thereon, a leitmotif elsewhere, just enough to tie the songs together musically, but not to the point that the songs seem too derivative of each other.

The progression of songs is also interesting in that the first song, "Icebreaker", is entirely in 3/4; the second, "Snowfarm", is about two-thirds in 3/4, the rest 4/4; #3, "Noolan", is about one-third 3/4, the rest 4/4; and the final, "Frost", almost entirely 4/4. It's an interesting aspect of the songwriting.

I can't wait until Opus's next release. I'm hopeful that it is full-length.

The Mister | 5/5 |

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