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Opus Est - Opus II  CD (album) cover

OPUS II

Opus Est

 

Neo-Prog

3.27 | 7 ratings

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erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a Swedish band that released the LP Opus I in 1983, unfortunately one year later Opus Est disbanded. Recently French progrock label Musea has re-released this LP on CD. They were so enthousiasticly about the other early material the band sent along with the tapes from the original LP that Musea invited Opus Est to put it on a CD. Eventually this led to a compilation CD featuring eight songs: two from 1979 (radio recordings), two new versions recorded in 2004 from early compositions and four tracks recorded between 1983 and 1984.

The first four songs (1979 and 2004) are inspired by mid-Genesis (keyboards and twanging guitars) and early Yes (Jon Anderson-like vocals) but Opus Est doesn't sound as a clone, the band has succeeded to blend their sources of inspiration with lots of good ideas. I was delighted about the interplay between the guitar and keyboards but I also enjoyed th pleasant shifting moods, the fluent synthesizer flights, the sensitive electric guitar and the folky interludes with flute and acoustic guitar. Remarkable are some parts with fiery electric guitar (also wah-wah pedal use) and some powerful breaks, these moments showscase Opus Est their appreciation for Mahavishnu Orchestra. The four songs from the 1983/1984 era sound different and varied: a propulsive rhythm with sparkling keyboards in Springtime, swinging and a bit funky with fiery guitar in Winter, dreamy with warm piano and vocals and a final part with howling guitar in Marie-Claire and a wonderful atmosphere and great build-up with fat synthesizer runs and Hakcett inspired guitar in the final song Square The Circle.

Don't expect the level of bands Yes/Genesis inspired bands like Neuschwanstein, Netherworld, Lift or Druid, just enjoy this tasteful arranged, very melodic and varied progrock album with beautiful work on guitar and pleasant keyboards.

erik neuteboom | 3/5 |

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