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DORIAN OPERA

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Dorian Opera biography
German band DORIAN OPERA was formed in May 2007 by Oliver Weislogel (guitars), Joe Eisenburger (bass, vocals), Andrew Roussak (keyboards) and Harry Reischmann (drums). All of them with a past history of playing together in other local bands previously, but now joining forces for their own band project.

Citing influences such as Marillion, Dream Theater and ELP, their aim is to create a sophisticated variety of progressive metal. Russian label MALS signed them in 2008, and subsequently issued their debut effort No Secrets worldwide.

In 2009 Sven the Axe (vocals) and Alexandra Goess (vocals) joined the band. Dorian Opera are currently working on their second full length effort, which they hope to release in March 2010.

Dorian Opera official website

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Crusade 1212Crusade 1212
Original recording · Import
CD Baby 2011
Audio CD$8.57
$9.99 (used)
No SecretsNo Secrets
CD Baby 2008
Audio CD$5.93
$2.15 (used)
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DORIAN OPERA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.02 | 5 ratings
No Secrets
2008
4.32 | 3 ratings
Crusade 1212
2011

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DORIAN OPERA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 No Secrets by DORIAN OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.02 | 5 ratings

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No Secrets
Dorian Opera Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Here is the debut of yet another Prog Metal band, this time from Germany, with the CD being released on the Russian Mals label, home of the keyboard player Andrew Roussak's solo album. This is prog metal that really comes alive during the instrumental passages where they often combine differing classical styles with the metal, creating a sound that is truly progtastic. But, I did find that at times the vocals aren't as strong or as melodic as they might be, while at others they are wonderful (possible quality control issues?). Also, to me the production wasn't as clear cut as it could have been so that there are times when the music is a little muddy.

So, it is fairly obvious that I don't like the album then? Um, wrong. This is actually a really good debut. While the guys obviously know how to rock out, Roussak has a fine touch on the piano and it is the judicious use of runs on the piano that perfectly complement what is going on in the maelstrom. This is an album that does grow on the listener and the more one plays it the better it gets! Yes, there is room for improvement in many areas but this album should gain the band a strong following within the genre and I look forward to the next release with some interest.

Originally written in 2009

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 Crusade 1212 by DORIAN OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.32 | 3 ratings

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Crusade 1212
Dorian Opera Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Crusade 1212' - Dorian Opera (7/10)

The idea of concept albums and 'rock operas' have run in tandem with progressive music virtually since its beginning. In more recent times, this tradition has been upheld by Ayreon, who added the tinge of metal to the formula. Dorian Opera follows this same idea, using the progressive metal sound to tell a story. 'Crusade 1212' is this band's second album, and while Dorian Opera have not yet broken through to the mainstay of the progressive fanbase, they have a sound that will find wide appeal within prog metal.

Telling the sad story of the Children's Crusade, 'Crusade 1212' is a concept album in the legacy of Ayreon, despite the fact that there are only two vocalists at the helm. For those who don't know, The Children's Crusade is a fabled event in which 30,000 children marched in the hopes of finding a peaceful resolution to the crusades, only to be sold into slavery. The music is bombastic and heavy on proggy moments; a mixture between melodic power metal, and the technical wizardry of a band like Dream Theater. While the influences of this band are as clear as filtered water, Dorian Opera's sound is often very exciting. Vocalists Sven The Axe and Patricia Cooney offer great performances, with the latter possessing a particularly gorgeous voice. More often than not, they are backed up by a thick power metal sound geared most towards the 'epic' and 'theatrical' sound in metal. Dorian Opera hits their stride when they get instrumental however; the vocals are as strong as any found in the genre, but when the band sheds their vocals, it results in an extravaganza of proggy goodness. These technical passages take a leaf from Dream Theater or Symphony X, throwing a dash of the neoclassical style, to give 'Crusade 1212' a more authentic feel. For the sake of composition, this is an excellent example of good progressive power metal,

As far as execution of this music goes, Dorian Opera are a little less consistent. It is first very evident that the band is talented and professional with their music, but the way the music has been recorded and performed feels a little sloppy at times. An example is Oliver Weislogel's guitar work. He proves that he is a skilled guitarist, but some of the more demanding passages have noticeable errs that pull me out of the dream. Like Weislogel's guitar work, the vocals are also strong, but they are sometimes used in ways that do not sit well with me. The chorus of 'Harbour Of Marseilles' has nothing wrong with it in terms of melody, but the vocal harmonies sound a little off time with each other. It's these little things that rob Dorian Opera's 'Crusade 1212' of being really excellent. The band has plenty of skill and potential, and as the songwriting here goes to show, there is depth to their music. Despite these flaws in the execution, 'Crusade 1212' is a great album for its style.

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 Crusade 1212 by DORIAN OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.32 | 3 ratings

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Crusade 1212
Dorian Opera Progressive Metal

Review by Art Rock

5 stars Three years after their very worthwhile debut album No secrets, German prog metal band Dorian Opera have returned with a masterpiece. Crusade 1212 is a fascinating concept album with a tragic opera-like storyline, inspired by the historical Children's crusade. The original four members are still there, augmented with a lead singer (Sven the Axe) and a female guest vocalist (Alexandra Goess). The music falls roughly in the Dream Theater meets Neo Prog range, with considerable instrumental virtuosity, but without noodling for noodling's sake. The extended instrumental passages are all fit for purpose, and in the best prog tradition.

Right from the atmospheric start with a short spoken recital of the subject matter over a great almost improvised instrumental background, this highly melodious, heavy rocking album keeps you spellbound. Metal riffs and hard rock sequences alternate with more soft spoken passages, but both are dominated by truly fantastic keyboards (Andrew Roussak) and gorgeous guitar work (Oliver Weislogel) - worthy of comparison with the greatest in the genre. Bass player Joe Eisenburger and drummer Harry Reischmann also take their opportunities to shine. Singer Sven the Axe's high-pitched voice is very suited for this repertoire, with an occasional vibrato that reminded me of early Uriah Heep (one of my favourite bands). Appropriately for a guest vocalist, Alexandra Goess gets fewer lines, providing background vocals mostly, but she takes her chance where she is given it, in particular in the beautiful track Two hearts. Excellent voice.

If there is one thing that bugged me about their debut, it was the recording quality. Well, no complaints in that respect for the new release. Great sound, great balance between the various instruments and the singing. The cover is once more excellent, the booklet with all lyrics in gothic font is informative, even if it takes a while to get used to reading it.

There is not much point in going into detail song by song - this is after all a concept album that should be heard in its entirety. And it really should be heard - it is absolutely brilliant!

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 No Secrets by DORIAN OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.02 | 5 ratings

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No Secrets
Dorian Opera Progressive Metal

Review by Art Rock

3 stars A fascinating debut album in prog metal style, but with a sound that could have been improved.

1. Ouverture (6:40) Starting with white noise and the sound of breaking glass, an impressive instrumental opener enfolds. The music shows some influences of light metal (think Riverside, Porcupine Tree), but does not sound derivative. After about 3 minutes the track explodes in a short synthesizer extravaganza, only to give way to a wonderfully effective middle part with astonishingly interwoven samples from speeches by Bush on Iraq. Screams lead us back to a really rocking part of this instrumental with some very melodious parts as well, and a final coda. Excellent guitar work by Oliver Weislogel throughout this track. Probably my favourite track on the album.

2. Sacrifice (5:22) The first vocal song sees lead singer Joe Eisenburger kick in with a voice that is very suitable for the music. The thrust forward throughout the song is awesome, and there are some highly melodious more quiet interludes to provide variety. The lyrical theme is ambiguous -after the first track, the link to war is tempting but it could also be more general about sacrifice.

3. Tell me your lies (6:48) We enter more heavy territory here in the introduction, with some excellent keyboards by Andrew Roussak, but once the singing starts, the mood becomes more reflective. Great melody, well sung (excellent backing vocals as well), and marvellous guitar work once more throughout this song (love the repeat of the theme around 5 minutes). The end comes unexpectedly but works very well. Once more the lyrics sit on the fence - there is a potential Bush link in the title, but also a more general interpretation works.

4. Dead or alive (4:30) A clear shift in mood with a strings dominated introduction, but quickly we are rocking once more. The chorus is particularly appealing, but the sound could ideally have been a bit more open here. There is a sense of urgency throughout this song which reflects the lyrics about a man framed for murder. I like the closing out, where the strings return and sound effects are used wisely. Kick-ass guitar play again in this song, be it this time by special guest Michael Brettner.

5. No secrets (4:11) The title song starts off with some great drums play by Harry Reischmann, after which the guitar sets the scene for yet another great instrumental track. A nice change of mood follows with great melodic lines on the guitar. A really great instrumental and all in all maybe the best sound recording of the album. This should be a treat at concerts as well!

6. Little lies (5:58) More light metal riffs introduce a song where multilayered vocals are used prominently. Good melodic variations in this song. I like the (only too short) keyboards-led middle part around 4 minutes very much. Lyrically, we are clearly back to the Iraq theme here (Happiness and freedom can't be ever based on lies). Excellent track.

7. Fly with me (4:57) After the heaviness in themes and music so far, this is a beautiful interlude. Astonishing acoustic guitar work introduces a song that borrows strongly from baroque classical msuic to wonderful effect. The voice of Eisenburger is suited for this more calm ballad as well - lyrically we are very far away from the war suddenly, and actually travel back in time to the courts of the middle ages. The chorus remains calm with great backing vocals, and a superb melodic line. Wonderful close out by acoustic guitar once more.

8. One of these days (6:18) And we are back to the thrusting rock that dominates most of this album, and once more a chance for Weislogel to shine on electrical guitar. It is a good enough song, but for its length, I would have preferred a bit more variety. The lyrical theme is very actual, youth getting lost in virtual reality fighting games and then copying that one day in real life.

9. Truly yours (5:31) Perhaps my least favourite track of the album, especially due to a melody line that is distinctly unimpressive. The sound also sounds more congested here to my ears than on other tracks, and the drums seem out of sync somehow (could be just me). That said, the interplay between guitar and synthesizers around 3 minutes is excellent, and the original ending saves the song.

10. She (6:11) The regular album closes out aptly with another great rocker, where once again light metal instrumental parts and more subdued melodic singing lines alternate. In line with previous songs, guitars and keyboards shine, and once more they opt for a good closing line rather than a fade out. Somehow this song reminds me of Uriah Heep, one of my favourite seventies bands - although it is by no means derivative.

Bonus track: L estate - presto (3:14) Make way Vanessa Mae! A marvellous explosive modern version of this Vivaldi tune from the Four Seasons, and quite rightly advertised as a bonus as it does not fit in with the rest of the album that well. But what fun the band must have had recording it - and what a great live track it would make!

Recording and design

The recording is good, though at times a bit congested, and I would have liked the drums to have been more prominent in the mix. The CD cover is brilliant: the band's logo is excellent and the whole design looks very professional and appealing. The booklet contains all the lyrics in an easily readable format (compliments for that), as well as pictures of the band members and more information.

Overall evaluation

No secrets by Dorian Opera is a strong debut album that should appeal to lovers of progressive rock as well as classical rock alike. Far superior to most new CD's I have heard this year. For this review I have listened at least ten times to it within one week and most of the tracks still sound fresh. Three and a half stars - better sound would have made it four.

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 No Secrets by DORIAN OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.02 | 5 ratings

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No Secrets
Dorian Opera Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars German band Dorian Opera makes a quick debut with this album, released just one year after the band formed.

And perhaps matters developed a bit too fast for these guys, as the album probably could have been a lot better given a bit more time in the making. The music itself is a slow, heavy and rough sounding mix, with a certain Dream Theater feel to it. The tempo is slower though, and the guitar sound rougher. There's a certain tendency to include classical-influenced passages from the synths, and quite a few guitar solos visit neo-classical terrains more or less briefly.

The production is a letdown though - indeed production as well as mix leaves a bit to be desired. Muddy and murky, as well as somewhat unbalanced, the weaknesses of the vocalist aren't hidden while the nuances in the instrumental performances to some extent is. How much better this album could have been I'm unsure of, but it could have sounded a lot better. Still, fans of rough-sounding prog metal of the slower variety should check this one out, as there is quite a few decent compositions here.

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