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Hollenthon: Opus Magnum

Call it what you will, dark extreme metal, symphonic black metal, or progressive death metal, the latest release from Austria's Hollenthon is a bombastic listening experience from start to finish. From the beginning, Opus Magnum hits you with brutal guitar riffs, tons of orchestral keyboards, male growls, layers of female backing vocals, and thunderous rhythms. Take equal parts Virgin Black and Dimmu Borgir, and you have some sort of idea of what to expect on this one…well, kind of. The vocals of Martin Schirenc are right on the money, his gurgling exasperations fairly easy to comprehend, and the crushing riffs and walls of keyboards just add to the drama, with the female vocals simply the icing on the cake. Tunes like "The Fabled Lands" mix heavyweight doom riffs with Maiden-ish guitar harmonies, while "Ars Moriendi" is an exciting gothic, progressive metal offering. Fans of the "beauty & the beast" stylings of recent Epica will love "Once We Were Kings", and the Middle Eastern elements on "Misterium Babel" make a surprising appearance in what is overall a pretty progressive piece. Opus Magnum is ultimately a very heavy and diverse album, not quite black metal, not quite doom, not quite goth, not quite death metal, but encompassing all of them at the same time.

Track Listing
1) On the Wings of a Dove
2) To Fabled Lands
3) Son of Perdition
4) Ars Moriendi
5) Once We Were Kings
6) Of Splendid Worlds
7) Dying Embers
8) Misterium Babel

Added: June 18th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3161
Language: english

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