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OPUS SYMBIOSIS

Crossover Prog • Finland


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Opus Symbiosis biography
Finnish act OPUS SYMBIOSIS was formed back in 2003, at the time consisting of Victor Sågfors, Jafet Kackur, Christine Sten, Michael Rosenback and Roger Edström. Since then Rosenback and Edström has left the band, replaced by Staffan Strömsholm and EH Lillkung.

In the spring of 2009 they released their first album, exploring a type of music the band describe as progressive, experimental rock ... with touches of beautiful psychedelic melodies and spacious soundscapes.

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OPUS SYMBIOSIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

OPUS SYMBIOSIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 5 ratings
Opus Symbiosis
2009
4.00 | 6 ratings
Nature's Choir
2012

OPUS SYMBIOSIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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OPUS SYMBIOSIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 6 ratings
Mute
2011
3.00 | 1 ratings
Breaking News
2012
2.17 | 4 ratings
Monster
2013

OPUS SYMBIOSIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nature's Choir by OPUS SYMBIOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 6 ratings

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Nature's Choir
Opus Symbiosis Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars Here's finally my album review for this strong Finno-Swedish band with a female lead vocalist singing in English. First off, the drawings by Lotta Green are really beautiful!

'Breaking News' is an energetic opener and also very representative of the band's style, in good and bad. The bubbly, echoing guitar sound is slightly reminiscent of U2 and their followers. Christina Sten has a clear, young-sounding but powerful voice, rather typical in modern Neo Prog - compare UK bands such as MAGENTA or PANIC ROOM, and some Polish Neo bands too. The song contains also the negative side of the group's songwriting (which is mostly on the shoulders of guitarist and producer Victor Sågfors), the overuse of repetition. It's not exactly about a chorus being endlessly repeated like in commercial pop music, but its words "killing tiger, killing tiger" stick out too much with repetition. Exactly the similar thing is with the third track 'Downpour': it would otherwise feel proggier - what it truly is within the six minutes - but the words "somebody got" that starts three first lines of the chorus steal the attention too much.

The second, short song offers a calmer and more atmospheric interlude. In this way throughout the album there's a good balance between the catchy pop-rock power and the more ambient and introspective approach. A bit like a female-fronted version of PORCUPINE TREE minus the heaviest moments, and with a dash of COLDPLAY-like, dreamy, floating pop. The sound (plenty of keyboards and guitars) and the production are excellent. Happily the mentioned chorus-sticking-out problem is not very present later on. Well, the mellow 'Liqueur' (guesting Pat Mastoletto on drums) does repeat "in the night, gonna need" more than needed. But the album as a whole stands repeated listenings without wearing out. The tiger of the cover art keeps returning here and there in the lyrics, but if there's a concept I don't actually see it... this may be my own fault. Anyway the album flows nicely and seamlessly, feeling like a thoroughly thought prog album instead of a bunch of individual songs. Elegant, keyboard-centred instrumental 'Epique' is very nice.

Warmly recommended to those who appreciate female vocals and equally enjoy catchy pop elements, ambience and energetic, semi-heavy playing in modern Neo-type prog.

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 Monster by OPUS SYMBIOSIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
2.17 | 4 ratings

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Monster
Opus Symbiosis Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

2 stars Before putting this disc into the player for the first time, I thought it was an album with four long tracks. There was nothing in the fold-out digipak to tell me it's just an EP of 17 minutes, just four regular-length songs. [I always want track lengths to be shown - often I have to mark them myself.]

My first review - about an earlier EP, Mute - for this Finnish group was very positive, but now I'm not seeing their progress as promising anymore. The keys player Staffan Strömsholm has left the group, and the composer-guitarist Victor Sågfors is now solely in charge of synths too. The second album from 2012 (before Strömsholm's departure) still waits for my review which will be more thankful. If this EP, their latest release, shows their future direction, I'm quite disappointed. Nothing very radical has happened in their style per se. They have offered fast, tight, heavy and hectic songs before too, but this four-track selection feels much more narrow and single-minded, even compared to 3-tracked Mute which also concentrated on that particular song structure.

In other words, all four songs sound pretty much the same. Maybe Opus Symbiosis are settling into Heavy Prog / Prog Metal approach, and, by doing so, losing the last bits of personal identity. Sorry, I'm exaggerating now, I mean the last bits of my interest in them. All songs seem to contain the word monster if I'm not mistaken. Used in metaphorical sense though, "monster in your heart", "monster in myself". Christine Sten has a good clear voice, but it's not nice to hear her shouting angrily on top of noisy playing.

This rather negative review is of course very subjective. That's how I am. Objectively speaking I can add that they are doing this kind of keyboard-included hard & hectic stuff very skillfully. Four guest musicians (or three if a background vocalist is not counted) include drummer Pat Mastoletto. Friends of Prog Metal and latter-day RUSH, especially if a female singer is a notable plus, will most likely enjoy this.

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 Mute by OPUS SYMBIOSIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
4.00 | 6 ratings

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Mute
Opus Symbiosis Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars I'm very glad I've come across this band from the Swedish-speaking west coast area of Finland (thanks for the CD's!). Such a shame how unknown our modern prog bands tend to be. I can warmly recommend Opus Symbiosis to a friend of melodic and energetic neo/crossover prog, no matter which country (s)he's living in. Lyrics are in English, and it's doubtlessly the British Neo scene - with some Swedish, edgier flavour - that they are best compared to. They have a good female vocalist, Christine Sten, and the men share background vocals here and there (at least on 'Black Box'). Christine's clear and strong voice is rather similar to e.g. MAGENTA's singer. The band sound has some (Hogarth-era) Marillion-ish colour in keyboards and guitars especially, but the compositions have more Rush- reminding adrenalin and edge than a typical Marillion tune. Actually I would personally accept them into Neo Prog section too, the songs are pure prog even though they often operate in the accessible poppy side of it.

This CD-single contains three songs. All are very effective and mostly in a high tempo. 'Bartolomeus' can be listened from PA, so you can form an idea by your own ears. The albums do have much more variety in tempo and moods, happily, but it's OK not to have anything calmer on a 22-minute release. A fine band indeed, and my album reviews will follow sooner or later.

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 Nature's Choir by OPUS SYMBIOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 6 ratings

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Nature's Choir
Opus Symbiosis Crossover Prog

Review by PH

4 stars I have been playing 'Nature's Choir' on a regular basis since I received it. Everything is perfectly placed and well-balanced: at times complex, but never straying away from the inexplicable attraction. So many ideas flit around this record to accomplish different elements in one construction. The production has been done with attention to details. The heartfelt layered voice of Christine Sten sounds wonderfully impressive. Victor Sagfors is a talented guitarist who does maintain a high profile throughout. Yet he manages to remain on the same level with other partners (Staffan Stromsholm, Erik Herman Lillkung and Jafet Kackur are capable to supply a strong framework). Such a true virtue any progressive group should be proud of. Certainly, there're lines of influence here. A little touch of The Gathering, a hint of Paatos, a pinch of White Willow. But these comparisons need to cease, as 'Nature's Choir' stands perfectly straight and tall upon its own bed-rock! We are dealing with the excellent band that has it all: knowledge (how), composition wise, great talent and passion for music. I'm sure that Opus Symbiosis have delivered a superb sophomore album that illustrates an enormous leap forward in the positive sense. This brave quintet deserves our attention.

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 Opus Symbiosis by OPUS SYMBIOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.88 | 5 ratings

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Opus Symbiosis
Opus Symbiosis Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A strong and accomplished debut effort by this Finnish band.

Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, the six tracks featured on their self-titled CD should feel right at home to those in the mood for some contemporary art pop, bordering on art rock in style. Indie and alternative rock are major influences, with guitars as the driving instrument. Staccato instrument bursts and swirling textures are key ingredients, but inside a context of compositions with relatively frequent shifts in pace and expression.

Strong and distinct female lead vocals adds flavour and strong emotions to the proceedings, while art rock credentials are brought in courtesy of distinctly psychedelic oriented subservient guitar patterns as well as a select few but effective jazz influenced passages.

Energetic, mostly light and flowing but also dark and hard hitting at times, I'd imagine that those with a soft spot for artists like Muse and Radiohead might want to lend an ear to the ventures of this fine act.

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 Opus Symbiosis by OPUS SYMBIOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.88 | 5 ratings

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Opus Symbiosis
Opus Symbiosis Crossover Prog

Review by idiotPrayer

4 stars Nowdays when you get an album by an ubderground artist tagged "prog", it usually means pretentious, Pink Floyd and King Crimson rip-off, boring. This is not the case with this young finnish band. This is another release that i came across though the city wich both I and the band comes from, and it was a pleasant surprise. The band's sound is guitar based and sometimes amost poppy sound, with keyboards and occasional heavy parts. Nice soundscapes create a great contrast with the music, all without sounding out of place. Beautiful vocals perfectly fit the beautiful music, both keep progressing and changing though the LP. My favourite song is the closer in which all the elements meld together succesfully, and Meanwhile that contains some quite memorable and very beautiful melodies.

The musicians sound professional and the recording quality is very high considering this was done without a record label. The CD maintains a good ol' LP length under 40 minutes and only 6 tracks, which is always a plus because it's usually hard to keep focused for 80 minutes. The CD is quite easy-listened and enjoyable, in the car, at a party or home. Very fresh and young music, check them out and buy the CD, support them even if you don't like it. I give them 7.5 out of 10.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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