''The very best metal opera project of the year'': A review of Melted Space's ''The Great Lie''
Melted Space is a rather interesting all-star project around the rather unknown French keyboarder Pierre Le Pape. What started as an instrumental one-man band focused on ambient music back in 2007 became an ambitious symphonic metal project with a couple of interesting guest musicians from rather unknown French underground bands. With its third album, Melted Space now aims for a much larger audience. While this album can still be identified as symphonic metal, the record features diverse genre influences from power and heavy metal to death and black metal. The guest musicians have become more diversified and international as well. Just to give you a slight idea, this record features performances of Ayreon keyboarder Arjen A. Lucassen, Soilwork guitarist Sylvain Coudret and singers such as Attila Csihar from Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, Clémentine Delauney from Austrian symphonic power metal band Visions of Atlantis and Kobi Farhi from Israeli folk metal band Orphaned Land. The album also features a couple of rather unknown local French musicians like Lucie Blatrier, Virginie Goncalves, Adrian Martinot and Arno Strobl which means that this release isn't overloaded with famous names. It's also a welcome surprise to hear some vital signs from the outstanding Manuel Munoz from the defunct progressive gothic metal band The Old Dead Tree and David Vincent who recently left the American death metal veterans Morbid Angel. This ambitious line-up performs on eleven epic tracks with a running time slightly below fifty-six minutes.
What matters in the end is obviously always the music itself. Several all-star projects turn out being disappointing because they sound more like compilation records where the guests simply perform tracks they would usually create in their regular bands. Even the most prominent ambassadors of such projects like Avantasia and Ayreon recently published a few lukewarm records. Only the rather unknown Russian project Activator, which is sadly ignored by print media, left a very positive impression. Despite its high degree of diversity, Melted Space's ''The Great Lie'' is a true gem and highlight of its genre. The tracks are diversified but have a clear guiding line in form of a coherent story, decent symphonic elements and an elegantly atmospheric vibe. Most of the songs are slow or at mid-tempo speed and take their time to build up cinematic atmospheres, majestic melodies and passionate vocal performances. Every contributor has the occasion to rise and shine on this release without stealing anyone else's show. This album features no chaotic choirs, hectic vocal performances or overlong solo passages or duels between the different musicians. The whole release sounds refreshingly calm, grounded and structured.
It's nearly impossible to point out any tracks since they are all great. The simplistic opera and radio play inspired ''The One Who Lost the Faith'' is as amazing as the darker ''Trust & Betrayal'' that heads towards gripping extreme metal territories. The fragile, laid-back and slow ballad ''A God is Dead" is just as intense as the complex all-star epics ''No Need to Fear'' and ''Lost Souls from the Other Side'' that offer a true firework of emotions and request multiple spins to fully unfold. In each track, composer Pierre Le Pape comes around with a touching melody or a catchy chrous while the performers contribute with their hearts and souls in a very natural way by simply being themselves.
This outstanding record grows with each spin and one soon realizes that this is one of the very best albums ever released of its kind. There is no way fans of all-star projects and sophisticated symphonic metal can get around this record full of power and soul. Please give this project a chance. It might become one of your most interesting discoveries of the year.
Final rating: 9,5/10 (highlight)
Here is a free streaming of the entire release for a limited time: http://www.heavylaw.com/news/118355/streaming-melted-space-opera-metal/
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YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChv3-irgUgENdouJwuDGU7g« ''I worship consistent diversity from crazy Finns'': A review of Children of Bodom's ''I Worship Chaos''''Triumphal march of the Fox God'': A review of Babymetal's ''Live at Budokan: Red Night'' »
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