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Dorian Opera: No Secrets

Progressive rock and progressive metal collide on the debut from Germany's Dorian Opera, titled No Secrets. Citing influences like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Yes, Rush, ELP, and Marillion, you can probably imagine that you'll be in store for plenty of bombast here. Comprised of Oliver Weislogel (guitar), Joe Eisenburger (bass, vocals), Andrew Roussak (keyboards, backing vocals) and Harry Reischmann (drums), all of whom had played together in various bands around South Germany, Dorian Opera put forth an energetic style centered around wild guitar and keyboard solos, plenty of melody, and tight arrangements.

The opening instrumental "Ouverture" start things off in grand fashion, a symphonic powerhouse of a piece littered with Roussak's melodic synths and Weislogel's stabbing guitar work. The band lurches into progressive metal territory on the intricate "Sacrifice", and gets even heavier on the catchy yet angry "Tell Me Your Lies", a real winner of a track featuring memorable vocal melodies, crushing guitar riffs, and pulsating keyboard lines. With lyrics packed with venom, this is one of the CD's highlights. Raging organ and crunchy guitar kick off "Dead Or Alive", a song about a man framed for the murder of his friend, and the band returns to symphonic instrumental prog on the excellent title track. This one shows the true dexterity of guitarist Weislogel, as he rips into one legato line after another. "Little Lies" will remind of Dream Theater, right down to Roussak's synth tones, a heavy tune with plenty of orchestral elements and just the right amount of atmosphere. Gorgeous prog can be heard on the pastoral "Fly With Me", featuring lovely vocal melodies, acoustic guitars, and a variety of medieval tones from Roussak, giving this one a sort of Blackmore's Night meets The Strawbs feel. "One Of These Days" has more of a power metal/hard rock flavor, complete with some virtuoso guitar & keyboard solos, and "Truly Yours" is a slower, grinding metal number, Reischmann's plodding drum work rocking the house underneath the immense power chords from Weislogel. Again, the influence of Dream Theater is all over "She", another highlight here, featuring plenty of tasty guitar and keyboard solos, and the album ends with the ripping instrumental "L'Estate - Presto", much like it began.

There's a lot to like here on No Secrets, so much so that you can overlook the somewhat lackluster production, which is on the muddy side. The band can obviously play the hell out of their instruments, and they are quite adept at writing powerful progressive rock songs. While bassist Eisenburger is an adequate singer, I'm wondering if Dorian Opera might be better suited with a full-time vocalist with better all-around range. It's not that Joe can't handle this material, but someone more capable of hitting the highs and lows might be a better fit behind the microphone. Regardless of these two minor quibbles, Dorian Opera have themselves a very solid and enjoyable prog rock/metal debut here, and I think we are in store for some truly great things from this outfit in the years to come.


Track Listing
1 Ouverture
2 Sacrifice
3 Tell Me Your Lies
4 Dead Or Alive
5 No Secrets
6 Little Lies
7 Fly With Me
8 One Of These Days
9 Truly Yours
10 She
11 L'Estate - Presto

Added: January 30th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 4568
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Dorian Opera: No Secrets
Posted by Mike Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-01-30 18:12:00
My Score:

With a name chosen to reflect the bridge between Dorian Opera's rock and classical roots, this German quartet has crafted a sprawling debut influenced by the likes of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Kamelot and Queen. No Secrets seems like it should be a concept album, given the cover art and the fact that the opening track is called "Ouverture," but instead it is a collection of themes. On its web site, the band states that "we wanted to speak of the things which seem important to us: politics and politicians; killer computer games and suicide rampages; frustration, hope, loneliness and eternal love." That's quite a list of priorities. Fortunately, those topics are ripe for prog-metal exploration, and the eight vocal tracks and three instrumentals here sound like the work of a band well past the one-year-old mark at the time this album was released.


In particular, the a cappella section on "Little Lies," a chunky and aggressive song unlike anything else on No Secrets, reveals the vocal capabilities of all four Dorian Opera members and suggests that the band may be able to distinguish itself even more with a stronger vocal presence. Potential abounds here.




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