Release DetailsLABEL Low Frequency
RELEASED ON 7/13/2004
The End of Halcyon Age
posted on 6/2004 By:
Featuring members of Soulgrind and Gloomy Grim, Twilight Ophera have released their third album, The End Of Halcyon Age. I'm unfamiliar with this band on the whole, but based purely upon this release, they play symphonic black metal in the vein of Dimmu Borgir or Old Man's Child. So what's the deal, eh? Why should you go rush to check out Twilight Ophera? Well, you shouldn't, necessarily. But that doesn't mean you should ignore them, either.
Chock-full of all the melodic leads you could ever ask for, Twilight Ophera also use a fair amount of orchestration. When they're not noodling around with the leads, they're playing some pretty straightforward and triumphant sounding rhythm guitar. They infrequently extend this formula to include a tiny bit of thrash, like on the stand-out track "Gothic Prelude of Capricious Equanimity". Shit, now I wish I didn't bother to look at the track name. They sound an awful lot like Thy Serpent at times, only with more variation on the vocal front and more of an almost power-metal guitar influence. The vocals usually just sort of have that standard rasp you'd expect out of this genre, with good backing-growls that support the other vocals really well. Then there's the standard clean sung parts here and there, where you're always amazed at how much the guy singing sounds like Simen Hestnaes during one part, but sounds nothing like him when he's featured singing alone. Namely on the title track, where the vocals border on middle to lower-middle quality power metal singing. It's not intolerable, just a little shaky sounding.
Twilight Ophera's strength is definitely in their composition, seamlessly switching from aggressive to "majestic". They're incredibly lucky in being able to pull the symphonic thing off - as it sounds absolutely terrible if you manage to fuck it up. This is largely due to the keyboards which sound terrific and are used to accompany the music rather than to form the songs themselves. The production, especially on the guitar, sounds a little bit like one of Emperor's later albums, however, that isn't to say that the music does. Sometimes the drums sound a little mechanical and the crash sounds drowned out. And maybe the lead guitar could be a little louder, but I wouldn't say it's being too neglected. I'm just nitpicking though. It sounds fine. It's symphonic black metal - how the hell do you think it's going to sound? Bordering on being over-produced and sounding wonderful, obviously.
I've figured out that if music succeeds in being epic, then I enjoy it so much more. With Twilight Ophera, there are few words other than "epic" that can be used to really define their sound. Although they're not exactly the most original band around, they've released a relatively good album that even has a few gems - and that's better than most bands. I'm actually surprised and pleased with The End of Halcyon Age.
Register to post comments.