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M-OPUS

Symphonic Prog • Ireland


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M-Opus picture
M-Opus biography
Founded in Dublin, Ireland in 2014

In the past year, the Symphonic Team has struggled to accept bands due to the eclectic nature of the music of most suggested bands, but when we heard M-OPUS for the first time, it was obvious that we were before an classic Symphonic band that respects the original 70's sound but without being afraid of adding a modern touch.

Now, I usually write the bios of the bands, but this time I asked Jonathan Casey to write a bio and he gently sent me all the required info, so without previous announcements, let's read the bio by a member of the band

Iván Melgar-Morey :::: Perú


M-OPUS are Jonathan CASEY (keys, vocals) and Colin SULLIVAN (guitar, vocals), a progressive rock duo from Dublin, Ireland. The duo have played together in original and cover bands for 15 years, but established M-OPUS in 2014.

Under the stage name Arch STANTON, CASEY had previously been a member of the David CROSS Band (ex-King Crimson). Together with CROSS, they released two albums, ?Closer Than Skin? in 2005 and ?Alive In The Underworld? in 2008.

Since then, CASEY became a successful composer for orchestras, with performances all over the U.S., China, Australia, Bulgaria, France, the U.K. and on TV and film.

CASEY and SULLIVAN started M-OPUS as a platform to perform and write original music in their favourite style, symphonic rock of the 1970s. They have a live line-up, which includes Darragh DENNIS (bass) and Mark GRIST (drums).

Their first album is "1975 Triptych" on Rude Chord Records, out on February 2nd 2015. They plan to release albums that each represent the sound of a certain year. Their next release will be ?1978?

Jonathan Casey.

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M-OPUS discography


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

3.82 | 33 ratings
1975 Triptych
2015
3.31 | 51 ratings
Origins
2020

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

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M-OPUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Origins by M-OPUS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.31 | 51 ratings

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Origins
M-Opus Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

2 stars This is the second album from progressive Irish trio M-Opus, who comprise Jonathan Casey (vocals, bass, keyboards), Mark Grist (drums) and Colin Sullivan (guitars) alongside various guests including Anto Drennan (Genesis, Mike + The Mechanics, Clannad, The Corrs), Conor McGouran (Xerath) and Michael Buckley (Dave Liebman, Kenny Wheeler). Some may recognise Casey better as Arch Stanton, and under that name he recorded two albums as part of the David Cross Band. The album is a narrative piece that includes a cast of actors and guest performers; part rock album, part audio play, part soundtrack, and contains 28 tracks over two CDS, taking more than five years to pull together. The concept is a science fiction story based in 2187 and revolves around a washed-up, drunk, genius scientist called Miller McKee. I am an avid science fan and have been since when at a fairly young age I realised the library contained Star Trek books. Having read all they had, I moved onto other stories by the same author, James Blish, and then discovered whole new worlds with the great Isaac Asimov, Heinlein, Van Vogt, Pohl and so many others. In recent years I have thoroughly enjoyed the releases by Hibernal which are science fiction stories with music, so I was really looking forward to this release.

That the guys can play is never in doubt, and much of the music contains great hooks, and some of the songs are simply outstanding. The voice actors also play their parts well, but the biggest problem is that for me the story doesn't work, or at least it doesn't with the words they are able to use ? it may work better as a novel where it can be fleshed out. There are times, such as on "Perfect Day For Flight For 2019", where there are just too many lyrics in a line, and it jars. Too often there is the feeling the music is being moved around to make room for the words which need to be included to get the story across. The album may be well in excess of two hours in length, but for this to really work it actually should have been much longer: would a listener sit through it?

The result for me is something which feels quite contrived, with nothing really working as it should and each element having a negative impact on the others as opposed to lifting them up. Unlike many concept albums this is a story or audio play, so it needs to be played from beginning to end, no picking certain pieces to play to again as it just does not work that way. There have been many very positive reviews of this album, but having already played this through a few times, when I realised it was next on my list to write about I actually groaned out loud as I didn't want to play it again. A great deal of work has gone into this and the musicians are superb, but I would much rather hear an album of songs as opposed to this. Given so many people have said nice thing about it, people who enjoy commercial progressive rock combined with dialogue may find something there for them, but it isn't for me.

 Origins by M-OPUS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.31 | 51 ratings

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Origins
M-Opus Symphonic Prog

Review by firstlensman

3 stars A few songs in and I had to turn it off because of all the dialog. I went to the 23 minute 'Infinite Within' and it started with more dialog. That was it for me. The music I did hear play was good. So, I would love to hear a live album of just the music without the dialog!!! That is all me, BTW. Some people love the dialog like on Rick Wakeman or Gandalf's Fist albums. I much prefer the version of "Journey To The Center Of The Earth" on Classic Tracks by Rick Wakeman with no dialog. On the Gandalf's Fist album "A Clockwork Fable", I cut every other track from my digital recording that was dialog only. Here, the dialog is intertwined with the music so you can't get away from it!
 Origins by M-OPUS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.31 | 51 ratings

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Origins
M-Opus Symphonic Prog

Review by mbzr48

5 stars Wow! I'm not sure where to start but I'll go back to their first album from 2015 called 1975 Tryptych, here is a new band that right out of the gate came out with a 5 star album IMHO, the album consisted of just three (3) songs, one which was over 33 minutes long and it was epic! Five years later and they are back but this time they went in an all new direction, a double CD with twenty eight (28) songs as a concept album that reminds me of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" the more impressive thing is, the band now consist of 3 core band members up from 2 band members on the 1st album, what a talent group of minds! There is enough variation in the music to keep you interested but also keeping the songs connected, the music is stitched together nicely, it's a Si-Fi thriller concept album that is set in the future, a drunk scientist found out that his ex-wife a scientist too was murdered, and he find himself thrown into a shady characters world! I don't think I can recall any band that had such a divers first two albums and both are a must! for me they get 5 stars just for the effort alone, but the music and the story line is 5 stars for sure! Enjoy!
 1975 Triptych by M-OPUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.82 | 33 ratings

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1975 Triptych
M-Opus Symphonic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Irish band M-OPUS is a fairly recent creation, citing 2014 as their formative year. The oddly named "1975 Triptych" is their debut album, and was released in early 2015 through Rude Chord Records, a label I presume is either local and obscure or the band's own label, as I really cannot track down any information about it.

I gather that this is a concept album, where the concept is the music itself: That the album aims to illustrate a triptych dip into the music popular in 1975. Or at least the music that was popular among those with a taste for the slightly more advanced facets of rock going on at that time. I also get a strong impression that the album is rather UK-centric, or possibly Europe-centric, as the greater majority of associations I get when listening to this production points towards British music in general and English artists in particular, with few if any direct associations towards artists hailing from elsewhere. That is merely a personal impression obviously, and one that may or may not be founded by a lack of historical music knowledge.

While I suspect that the band members themselves might disagree, my impression of the opening cut Travelling Man is that it is an amalgam of Genesis and Yes, with the lead vocals and the organ among the details that remind me of the former, while lead guitar, bass and to some extent vocal harmonies are among the aspects that reminds me of the latter. Be that as it may be, I experience this track as a celebration of purebred symphonic progressive rock first and foremost.

The second composition is the epic length, multiple section creation Different Skies, a mammoth piece that clocks in at just over half an hour, and to my mind it nods it's head and tips it's hat to a number of different bands and styles, without coming quite as close as was the case on the opening cut. Personally I noted down Camel, King Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator as some of the possible sources of inspiration for this track, although perhaps in more of an indirect manner on this occasion. For me this sweeping, massive cut comes across as more of a celebration of progressive rock without a purebred symphonic expression, possibly also with a few nods in the direction of what some have dubbed art rock at certain points in time.

The third and concluding piece here is called Wasps, and my impression here is that this is a creation that aims to celebrate the spirit of the bands exploring landscapes of a more folk-tinged and psychedelic nature, with aspects and facets of both the pastoral and the cosmic finding a place here in literal or allegorical shape and sometimes both. Much more of a repetitive creation, with an elongated instrumental section dominating, but arguably also the track with the most striking hypnotic tendencies.

I find "1975 Triptych" to be a pleasant album throughout, although I guess I'm in the minority when my impression is that the relatively short opening and concluding tracks are the most interesting of the songs. The massive second opus is impressive too, but I did find it to be a bit more meandering at times. I rather get the impression that the mix and production have been applied with a retro spirit as well, although that may be down to budget and available options rather than a planned feature. Still, if the aim has been top produce an album that celebrates the (progressive rock) spirit of 1975 I conclude that this goal has been achieved.

Those fond of rock from 1975 in general and progressive rock from that era in general and year in particular should find this band and this album to be a charming production, and the stronger your affection is for music from back then the more I suspect you'll enjoy what this album has to offer.

 1975 Triptych by M-OPUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.82 | 33 ratings

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1975 Triptych
M-Opus Symphonic Prog

Review by JohnNicholson

4 stars '1975 Triptych' is a wonderfully constructed experience by Irish prog rock band, M-Opus. It's very ambitious and encompasses a wide array of influences that gel together incredibly well. But, let's forget the fact that this record was released in 2015. The band's idea is to recreate the atmosphere of 1975; their tendency to make an album that is on par with the records released in that year puts them in position where Wish You Were Here, The Snow Goose, Caress of Steel, Warrior on the Edge of Time, Godbluff, Free Hand, and dozens of other high-class records, receive a fairly good competition with M-Opus' debut full-length.

As its name suggests, '1975 Triptych' is comprised of three songs, with a monster 34-minute centrepiece 'Different Skies.' These three songs are enough show that the album is intelligent without being too self-indulgent, something that is rare in today's progressive music.

The experimental inclinations in the band's music bring up a special King Crimson influence, what perhaps can be attributed to the fact that singer and keyboardist Jonathan Casey played and toured with violinist David Cross (ex-King Crimson).

'Different Skies' develops slowly, and is enough to go on to make you feel good. The song works as a haunting piece that encapsulates what M-Opus will sound like from here on out. That's easy to conclude that 'Different Skies' is the stand out track on the album. It's a spiralling prog song that constantly adds to itself throughout and flows fast. The closing 'Wasps' follows the familiar suit '1975 Triptych' sets out and closes the album well. It's pushed more towards the spiritually dark music than its predecessors.

All in all, '1975 Tritych' is really something interesting and, I would say, special. The album is expansive, and as noted above it succeeds in its mission to capture the spirit of records released 40 years ago. We may not have founded the time machine yet, but we still have music as the best medium to travel. Grab it now.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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