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DEAFENING OPERA

Heavy Prog • Germany


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Deafening Opera biography
The band was formed in Munich in 2005 by lead singer Adrian DALEORE, guitarists Mortitz KUNKEL and Thomas MOSER, and bassist Christian ECKSTEIN, and joined by Konrad GONSCHOREK (drums) and Tilman ESPERT (keyboards) who was replaced by Gerald MARIE in 2009. They have released their first album in 2009, ''Synesteria'', which was showing the progressive metal side of the band. Then the band moved to a progressive rock style with their EP ''25,000 miles'' in 2011. This is the base to the new album ''Blueprint'' out in 2013 with lyrics in French and English.

The big riffs in their music contrast some delicate melody parts and the different types of tone voices make this band even more interesting for a progressive rock listener. We can hear a definitive influence from some hard rock bands of the past, also FAITH NO MORE and ECHOLYN.

Biography by rdtprog

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DEAFENING OPERA discography


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DEAFENING OPERA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Synesteria
2009
3.84 | 25 ratings
Blueprint
2013
3.20 | 16 ratings
Let Silence Fall
2018
3.39 | 4 ratings
Driftwood
2021

DEAFENING OPERA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEAFENING OPERA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
25 miles
2011

DEAFENING OPERA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Driftwood by DEAFENING OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.39 | 4 ratings

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Driftwood
Deafening Opera Heavy Prog

Review by alainPP

3 stars DEAFENING OPERA, which I have already reviewed in 2018, is releasing a fourth album here following the still present Covid situation. Born in 2005, they quickly orient themselves towards a prog metal sound, here and there approaching PORCUPINE TREE, ARENA, RIVERSIDE, FAITH NO MORE, ETERNITY X, ECHOLYN, GENESIS or SYLVAN! Varied voices with big riffs, planing progressive atmospheres, rhythm breaks, in short a good inventive group. Let's not wait any longer to let you know that this short album is "unplugged" acoustically oriented with a jazzy, folk, funk, country and pop slant; a singular album so let's see what wet, driftwood it is made of.

"Murghab Morning" for an acoustic intro, bass and vibrating percussions, spleen and languid air, ideal for a frank attack !! "25,000 Miles" from 'Blueprint' with a piano starting up, well that reminds me a little of the MAIDEN UNITED and their soft acoustic covers because, you understood it, we are good on that; I read a column from someone who didn't know them, he thinks it's their trademark, you need to learn a little! Repetitive Philip GLASS piano, the rest kind of acoustic beef.

"Snowman's Meadow" folk-song unplugged on jazzy notes, it's sweet, fresh, long gradually, cool. "Outlaw Feline" on a more country rhythm, a fast tune that we dream of having the electric guitar that arrives just in time for a few notes with bluesy overtones. "As Night and Day Collide" by 'Let Silence Fall' on piano, slow, majestic, jazzy drums; another facet of a heavy prog track at the base, confusing, the accent is also put on the vocals in chorus for a reworked ballad. "Farewell Kiss" with here a banjo that adds even more to the pleasant countertop acoustics; musical sweetness to listen to after work in a trendy lounge bar; aside with the voice of Alexandra in duet with Adrien; a very bluesy slide solo adds a moderate atmosphere.

"Man and Machine" covers their latest too; rhythmic intro which can shock, the tune arrives soft, bluesy again then takes off in all moderation; the shattered notes and the acoustic riff energize, the keyboard solo then the guitar solo tries to get us off the ground but we are too much in the memories of their electric antics. "Little Stone" ends this album with the same observation, a soft acoustic song whose chorus easily stays in mind.

DEAFENING OPERA without warning gives us the hit of the acoustic album, rather unplugged, but with new titles and only three covers; acoustics filled with sensitivity, stylized, pleasant to listen to both jazzy and country sounds. A well done album with beautiful melodies which hardly has any place here given the lack of progressive depth that one would expect at a minimum. Let's wait and see the next? electric.

 Driftwood by DEAFENING OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.39 | 4 ratings

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Driftwood
Deafening Opera Heavy Prog

Review by Steve Conrad

4 stars Heavy Progressive Band Takes Hard Turn!

Read All About It!

So, German quintet DEAFENING OPERA forged a path filled with heavy riffs interspersed with gentle acoustic passages, tempo changes and musical twists and turns, and clean male vocals that are an acquired taste.

Now, their latest album "Driftwood" has this tagline, which seems pretty appropriate: "handmade acoustic prog influenced by folk and jazz".

Here's the lineup on this album: -Moritz Kunkel / guitars, pianos, backing vocals; - Thomas Moser / guitars; - Christian Eckstein / bass, backing vocals; - Adrian Daleore / vocals; and - Konrad Gonschorek / drums.

Yup, basically the same as on their most recent album, 2018's "Let Silence Fall". The only change has been the departure of their keyboardist, and Moritz Kunkel handily fills in there.

But I Did Say 'Hard Turn'

You'll have to decide for yourself if it's a hard turn left, or right. For me, I enjoyed it- seems to me, that the pandemic scourge has had a few silver linings along with the inevitable heavy losses and profound changes it has brought.

For one, progressive rock outfits have outdone themselves perhaps having, and taking the time to write, reflect, rehearse, and experiment. DEAFENING OPERA presents on "Driftwood" seven-and-a-half engaging, melodic, tender, energetic, intense, restrained, and varied progressive rock that is somehow at the core, acoustic.

Baffling Lyrics/Concept

One carry-over: baffling lyrical content (and this time I had to specifically ask for the lyrics) which at times suggests enormous loss and grief, and uses imagery that leaves me guessing. It's more than possible things get lost in translation, and it could be lyrics matter too much to me anyhow.

The Music

What makes the album special, and makes the music shine however, is the acoustic core of the music. It makes the music intimate and closer to the heart (to borrow a phrase). It reveals some vulnerabilities without having the flash and panache of electric guitars and crunchy bass and pulverizing drums and glittering keyboards.

We still get plenty of musical variety, lots of mood changes and tempo shifts and atmosphere. There are strong melody lines, and some most enjoyable vocal harmonies. I could tell the band worked hard on vocal arrangements, and it pays off.

The crisp acoustic guitar strumming and chording makes a nice center. At times there is tasty classical guitar, and once what sounded like acoustic guitar and electric guitar lead duets. Acoustic piano ripples and roams, and there are other rather understated keyboard settings which provide atmosphere. Bass guitar is deep and full, rather than punchy and lively. The drumming often has touches of jazz and blues, with delicate fills, or use of brushes and hi-hats.

Standout Tracks

For me, "Man and Machine" with its crisp opening, then very laidback jazz feel, which grows more intense. and very slick electric piano/acoustic piano, and guitar interplay wer highlights, in a tune that just seems to go from slow burn to full flame.

Also, I like "Snowman's Meadow", with the spiky opening, some electric guitar and complex lines, shifting to jazzy, solo male voice, and a jazzy/funky feel seemed pretty great.

Sum It Up

DEAFENING OPERA have decided to take some chances, take a 'hard turn'.

For all these reasons- the risks taken, the sense of intimacy and vulnerability, the elegant musicality brought by the acoustic center, and the variety found here, I think this album is an excellent addition to any progressive rock collection.

I give it four warmly glowing stars.

 Driftwood by DEAFENING OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.39 | 4 ratings

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Driftwood
Deafening Opera Heavy Prog

Review by ProfGrognon

3 stars "Driftwood", the fourth opus of the German group Deafening Opera, is also my first encounter with the production of these five musicians. And I must say that I was far from expecting what I was going to listen to: for a band classified in heavy prog, this album is everything... but heavy!

After a brief musical introduction vaguely orientalizing ("Murghab Morning"), the album opens with a singular piece ("25.000 Miles") carried by a piano with furiously jazzy accents. Moritz Kunkel signs there a beautiful performance, in particular with a descent of some notes which returns like a leitmotiv and gives to this piece a singular color and a strong identity.

"Snowman's Meadow" features the bass of Christian Eckstein, often accompanied in unison by the guitar of Thomas Moser. Nothing very surprising for a deliberately funky track, even if the rhythm remains rather heavy. Adrian Daleore develops here all his talent as a singer, accompanied by perfectly mastered vocal harmonies.

We were desperate to hear the guitars in the foreground... here they are finally with "Outlaw Feline". Country atmosphere from the first measures of this complex and rather successful piece which ends on a rock part that we would like to be longer.

The album continues with "As Night and Day Collide", a rather conventional ballad whose only interest lies in the quality of the vocal harmonies.

"Farewell Kiss" is a piece all in nuances which oscillates between country ballad and blues. Note that the vocal section receives here the reinforcement of Alexandra Stovall.

As soon as the introduction riff of "Man and Machine", we feel the potential power of this seventh track which is not without reminding some compositions of the French band Nemo. But alas, hampered by the omnipresence of the vocals, the more progressive track of the album never reaches the expected climax.

The album concludes with an ode to the stones of the road. Once again, and perhaps once too often, the vocals alone drive the course of this final piece.

In conclusion, here is an album which has the defect of its qualities, with its lines of song as beautiful as invading. The band shows us the extent of its musical culture through the various ambiences, but the whole is singularly lacking in unity and power. However, I give it three stars because of the presence of some beautiful successes in the first rank of which is "25.000 Miles". Now I just have to listen to the band's previous albums, which will perhaps allow me to understand why it has been classified as heavy prog.

 Let Silence Fall by DEAFENING OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.20 | 16 ratings

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Let Silence Fall
Deafening Opera Heavy Prog

Review by Steve Conrad

3 stars The Band:

Adrian Daleore (vocals) Moritz Kunkel (guitar) Thomas Moser (guitar) G'rald Marie (keys) Christian Eckstein (bass) Konrad Gonschorek (drums)

DEAFENING OPERA was formed in 2006 in Munich, Germany, and have released three full-length albums, and an EP that formed the basis of their second album 'Blueprint'.

Let Silence Fall was released March 2018.

The Album:

My initial thought when I started listening was 'Wow'!

There's a lot to like on this album. It's billed as a concept album- for me one of the things that have ultimately reduced my over-all rating.

If it's a concept album, it has different requirements than simply a collection of songs. It needs to hang together with common threads and themes.

Perhaps I'm obtuse, but for me, the concept is terrifically obscure- I'll take a shot at interpretation, but for sure, I'm doing a lot of guessing.

A Lot to Like:

There are the kinds of contrasts, melodic passages, musicianship, composition, ensemble playing, and grandness that I value in progressive rock.

The band, who's core has endured and thrived for a dozen years, has surely gotten to know each other's styles and strengths.

I was impressed as well by the packaging- the digipak that housed the CD that guitarist and composer Moritz Kunkel provided me- the lyrics sheet (makes reviewing much simpler), and the art work as a whole.

I could hear the progressive metal roots of DEAFENING OPERA in the crunchy chords and riffs that predominate, yet the evolution into more complete stature as progressive rock was also evident.

A song might start wistfully and tenderly- and here vocalist Adrean Daleore shines- and then move into a near- orchestral grandeur'and back again. I like music that makes me think AND feel, and much of this does.

The Concept: The track 'Down the River' seemed to set the themes. The river itself was a recurring image, and by the end of the tale, had changed from waters of life to the stillness and stolidity of sand and rock and desert.

The protagonist- a young warrior who is coming of age, implores his father for wisdom and guidance. He begs for father's blessing, and points out two scenarios that appear to cause him anxiety.

He asks his father to define him, and to help him set free the destiny he believes he holds within.

Now, it gets murkier.

It seemed like the protagonist found love. In 'Amber Light' there is certainly tenderness, but also restless insomnia, and (a vision?) his father blaming him for the sense of crisis in the world.

From then on, things get worse, spiraling into madness, terror, and finally, what seemed like death for the tragic couple.

It SEEMED like in twisted sexual play, the protagonist destroyed his wife, and then struggled to live with himself, and with her in his memory.

Oddly the timelessness of the opening tracks and lyrics gave way to modern-day images, like driving, gasoline, some current topics.

In 'Sweet Silence' we hear a modern TV announcer, for example, and some news headlines about The White House, war, and politics.

These seemed jarring, and ill-fitting.

The best tracks did have mythic timelessness and images. I was especially touched by such lines as this one, from 'Man and Machine': 'We walk in life backwards watching the past/ Blind to what lies yet ahead'.

Or these lyrics from the epic closing track, 'Plus Ultra': 'Growing old losing hold of you/ Far from grace now to face my shadow/ Rust to rust turn to dust again/ Twin echo as we're going down'.

What's Not to Like:

The confusing concept was one challenge.

Another was that while the vocalist shone on the tender and gentle passages, for me he did not handle the rough and raw sections as well. I was distracted at times, and found myself wondering what a gutsy, powerful vocalist would bring to those sections.

His efforts at the rougher segments seemed forced or growl-by-numbers, and not as authentic.

There were the seeds of some fine choral segments. Harmonies were established, and needed more development. This would be a strong potential growing area for the band.

Finally, the energy of the opening tracks seemed to wind down a bit, and the hour-and-change of this album began to seem long as a result.

My initial 'Wow!' changed to a bit of a let-down because of those factors.

My rating:

My initial response was to go 2.5 out of 5 tragic stars.

But after several more listening sessions, I think I was too severe.

Today, 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 Let Silence Fall by DEAFENING OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.20 | 16 ratings

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Let Silence Fall
Deafening Opera Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars It is some five years since Deafening Opera released their second album, but finally they are back with their third. Even before putting it in the player I was impressed with the effort that had been put into the presentation, with all lyrics contained in the booklet. This is a concept album, but interestingly there is no explanation of that in the booklet, or in the press release, or on their website as there is an expectation that the listener will work the story out for themselves. I don't know why it has taken so long for a follow-up, but it is good to see that the six-man line-up are the same as last time, and there is a continuity and tightness that only comes from a band that know each other well.

They have moved firmly into hard prog territory this time, keeping it tight but never really pushing into prog metal, although they do have their moments. Adrian Daleore has a good clean voice, and by often staying more baritone than many, it definitely provides a distinctive front sound to the band. They state that the sounds they are using are more modern now, and in many ways that is true, although I did feel that they probably have more in common with many of the 90's neo-prog acts than many of the others that around today, although Riverside continues to be an obvious influence. They are playing some gigs in the near future, and they need to get out and capitalise on this, as they have been taking too long between albums to build a real momentum. The lack of reviews for this album on the web also shows how much they need to build their profile, which is a real shame as yet again they have produced a strong album, with some interesting ideas that has been well produced. It may not be essential, but it is certainly well worth investigating

 Blueprint by DEAFENING OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 25 ratings

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Blueprint
Deafening Opera Heavy Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band DEAFENING OPERA was formed back in 2006 and released their debut album "Synesteria" in 2009, followed by the EP "25.000 Miles" the following year. "Blueprint" is their second full length production, self released by the band in the summer of 2013.

"Blueprint" comes across as a well planned and recorded excursion into the realm of progressive hard rock of a kind that incorporates details from the bands of yesteryear just as much as from bands of a more contemporary nature. Some of the songs also include elements with more of a mainstream hard rock origin however, and on quite a few occasions it is easy to understand that this is a band that strated out playing progressive metal. The lead vocals will most likely limit the overall appeal of this album, but for those who enjoy the dramatic, theatrical style of vocals used here "Blueprint" will come across as a well made progressive hard rock production.

 Blueprint by DEAFENING OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 25 ratings

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Blueprint
Deafening Opera Heavy Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Deafening Riffs

Second album from German (+a French) Heavy Proggers Deafening Opera and my first acquaintance with the band; and I am pleased to say what a delightful one it is. Borrowing from both 70s Heavy Prog and the more modern versions of it, they manage to create an album that sounds professional, catchy and well balanced.

Don't get fooled by their softer (and somehow weaker) side as appears on the opener 'Her Decay' (Spock's Beard and Echolyn come to mind) and further down on the French-sung 'Paralelno' (with a beautiful refrain ala Enchant): this is some serious heavy progressive rock balancing on the retro-riffology that Black Bonzo have brought back and on its contemporary polished interpretation of Porcupine Tree, with occasional references directly to legends such as Atomic Rooster and their descendants Bigelf. All done in style, funky mood ('Dripping Hot Chocolate'), led by accomplished singer Adrian Daleore who can deliver from mellow parts to super-harsh bluesy stuff (a real opera singer as the band revealed!), reminding me of the range of Mike Baker of Shadow Gallery (R.I.P.). Marie's keyboards are very discreet, supporting majestically the pounding riffs of Kunkel and Moser, which are some of the best I have heard in prog music through 2013.

The story told I have not been yet able to discover fully, but the concept is that of a personal journey of experiences; '25,000 miles' captures the feeling perfectly, and although a sad story, the music sounds more enthusiastic/dynamic rather than sad and mellow (with above mentioned exceptions). Despite some few weak moments, this is a solid package of heavy-tilted prog rock, modern, professional and passionate.

 Blueprint by DEAFENING OPERA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 25 ratings

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Blueprint
Deafening Opera Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars This is the second full-length album from Munoch band Deafening Opera, following on from 2009'2 'Synesteria'. Although it is available through Bandcamp it is also available as a properly released CD, which is what I have. The first thing that really strikes the listener is just how polished this is, which both takes the edge off the heaviness but also provides additional emphasis where required. They describe themselves as a cross between Porcupine Tree and Riverside, but there are also plenty of elements of City Boy, 3rDegree and more in an album that is both restrained and in your face, full of Seventies influences yet very much for today, clean and simple yet complex and layered: all at the same time. The first time I played this it brought a smile to my face and each time I have listened to it that has just got bigger.

It is an album that brings in so many influences that different people will classify them in different ways: PA has them marked as 'Heavy Prog', MMA has them as 'Hard Rock' and my personal view is that they are Crossover with elements of Prog Metal. But really, who cares what we call it? In simplistic terms there are just two types of music, good and bad, and this definitely fall into the former. When there is a need for the music to crunch it does just that, but where it needs to be more restrained then yet again it hits the mark. This is a wonderful album, and if you want something that is polished and dynamic while packed full of great songs then this is for you. For more details visit their site at www.deafening-opera.de

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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