Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. Today, it’s a Gothic death-doom band from Italy, Opera IX, with Sacro Culto, released on April 18th, 1998.
These guys have a REALLY awesome female singer. She is able to give some really intense growls, and her energy is top notch. Her clean singing holds up powerfully, too! The tracks are all extremely long, the shortest being about nine minutes long. The keyboards dominate this album, and they have a great sound, and they really play some nice melodies. The small acoustic guitar parts, and flute parts across the album help the lighter atmosphere the keyboards bring. I enjoy the bass work a lot, too. “The Naked and the Dance” starts out almost like a folk song, with really catchy vocals, before moving slowly into a much heavier song. “My Devotion” is the albums slow, epic, and brings all of the above elements together.
The rhythm guitar parts are SUPER low in the mix. They are so buried under everything else. I know that in Gothic metal, the guitars may not be the most important thing, but you can barely hear them on this album. I also don’t particularly think the tracks needed to be quite so long. They don’t drag too much, but I think they could have been condensed. The drummer isn’t the best either. There are many times where he goes completely off beat. Production was certainly a problem for the album.
Favorite Tracks: “The Naked and the Dance,” “My Devotion,” “Cimmeries.”
There are certainly some difficulties with the production of this album, as stated above. Guitars being so low, the drummer being off on some places, and things like that. But what this album does well, it does very well. It’s a really good gothic death-doom album. Especially considering it’s their second album. If you don’t like gothic stuff, you’ll probably want to pass on this one, but if you have interest, this is one that’s worth checking out!