Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Rock Progressivo Italiano

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Presence Black Opera album cover
2.80 | 11 ratings | 4 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Bleeding (7:34)
2. Eyemaster (7:20)
3. Night Ritual (6:48)
4. Sterling (5:50)
5. J'Accuse (7:33)
6. On Travel (7:48)
7. A Giuseppe Verdi (18:07):
1. Taces la Notte Placida (Il Trovatore) 4:10 / 2. Cortigianl. Vil Razza Dannata (Rigoletto) 4:23 / 3. Pace. Pace Mio Dio (La Forza del Destino) 4:34 / 4. Un Di. Quando le Veneri (La Traviata) 5:00
8. Just before the Rain (4:04)

Total Time: 65:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Sofia Baccini / vocals
- Enrico Iglio / keyboards
- Sergio Casamassima / guitars
- T. Moretti & L. Scalisi / drums

Releases information

CD Black Widow

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
Edit this entry

Buy PRESENCE Black Opera Music

More places to buy PRESENCE music online

PRESENCE Black Opera ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (64%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

PRESENCE Black Opera reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is progressive opera. Compared to the Ayreon's "Human equation" album, this album is darker, much more floating and atmospheric (the keyboards are not vintage), and more opera oriented. The excellent female lead vocals remind me Kate Bush. The guitar is almost metal, but never irritating, with many solos, and the omnipresent dark keyboards give something really dramatic and intimidating to the whole. The keyboards exploration is interesting, and it is also the case for the numerous piano parts. The album focuses on keyboards, lead vocals and guitars. I find the bass a bit shy and not enough elaborated. The drums are sometimes repetitive, but I guess it goes well with the style. It explains why the rhythm is mainly slow. It certainly takes more than one listening to really appreciate this record.
Review by lor68
3 stars First of all add another half star;secondly I like to point out that They are disregarded ensemble from Naple (Italy),authors of a sort of "dark concept" in the midlle between the symphonic atmosphere in the vein of ELP and a dark new prog genre a bit IQ-like, whose mood should be very appreciated by the Japanese crowd of symphonic prog fans. well the presence of a female singer, Sofia Baccini, is interesting and remarkable in her interpretation of famous airs, as a short extract from Giuseppe Verdi. Instead the guitar solos and the varied atmosphere of the keyboards (sometimes dark, in other circumstances more epic) are sometimes a bit derivative, but never banal.nothing new after all, but it's a minor question because in spite of their weak production their impact is always powerful!

Good work!

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars Third of fourth album from this Italian formation that helped fill the void in Prog's darkest hours, so they had the merit to exist as did their label. Black Opera on the Black Widow label!! Coincidence? Well I think you are starting to understand what kind of music we are dealing with. And as much as this writer tries to be fair with this kind of product of its time, the very same object gives the very same human some real challenging reasons to remain diplomatic AND sincere. This is exactly the kind of album that cumulates all the ridiculous clichés from awful 80's-sounding drumming, to a heroic-fantasy artwork, grandiosely cheap digital synths, kitschy metal guitar strumming, the inevitable classical borrowings and high- pitched female moewings. Let me check if I didn't introduce a Pallas album in my deck by mistake.

Certainly a product of its time, and probably answering to certain kind of necessity, this album's qualities are certainly outlasted by the damage it has caused to the "cosa nostra" (only the pun is intended here ;-) of prog. Sometimes sincerity - even in terms of a solid slap to hard working musicians - is better than diplomacy - in terms of immediately regretted financial "investments" (that my diplomacy ;-) - for finding solutions to deceptions. So much for this ambassador's immunity!!!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Presence released their third album two years after ''The Sleeper Awakes''.No line-up changes this time,the band continues with a duo of drummers and records their second album on Black Widow.The title was ''Black opera'' and the release year 1998.

The title of the album somewhat describes the overall sound,operatic Symphonic Rock/Metal,but for the first half of the album we are in front of the weakest Presence release so far.Not really bad,but the trio leans much more towards the heavier side of prog with emphasis on the haunting atmosphere ala DEVIL DOLL,the bombastic orchestral keyboards and the ultra-pounding rhythm section,forgetting to produce the good melodies of their debut,the memorable material of their sophomore effort or some trully inspiring music.But from ''On travel'' and on the old and good ''Presence'' are back,especially on the excellent Giuseppe Verdi tribute suite.Superb guitar solos,fantastic operatic vocals by Sophya Baccini finally in Italian,great spacey synths and lovely piano work,the album really takes off after the middle,being a really great Rock Opera with a grandiose sound few can create.

''Black opera'' is the most uneven Presence effort to this point of their career.Bland cliche Orchestral Prog for the first part,awesome operatic Progressive Rock for the second.Definitely though an album to be recommended,particularly for the superb atmosphere on the Verdi- related 18-min. suite.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of PRESENCE "Black Opera"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.