Pure Prog Records
Words: Craig Hartranft
According to their label and the band themselves, this is the end. With their fourth album, Opus, Italian prog band Adramelch is calling it quits. In some sense, I'm not surprised. Their existence and history has been rocky; their musical output spotty over better than 25 years.
If you're going to go out, you might as well go out big. "Opus" implies, among other things, something large and expansive as a musical creation. This fits this album of 12 songs, playing at over an hour. However, I can't say I'm as taken with this album as I was with 2012's Lights From Oblivion. One thing that struck me was how different vocalist Vittorio Ballerio seemed to sound to me. Early on he sounded weird, like he was singing through his nose. Eventually, I got used to his voice (or maybe he just wore me down). Adramelch also used two vocalists at times with producer Guido Block adding his voice to Ballerio's. Essentially, the vocals are the first strong presence felt here
Additionally, the overall atmosphere of the album felt different. Even with all the sharp guitar lines, the album as a whole felt darker, even sad. From this being the final chapter? Possibly. Alternatively, returning to the guitar lines, Opus is a guitar heavy, guitar centered, album. The riffs and leads essentially constrain and control the arrangements. There are keyboards, but seem merely for embellishment. The next most powerful element is Sigfrido Percich's drums which are brisk and substantial beyond the usual conventions, notable within Northern Lights and Only By Pain. Yet, I still fall back to the previous observation: the strong guitar presence throughout this album. Several final observations, by way of conclusion. One, while there is a progressive element to their music, it's not all that complex. The band leans more towards melody. Two, the album sounds good; the production has created a clean, crisp, sound to the album, lifting players. Though Opus will likely not get another spin from me, it's still a solid album, a good final bow from a talented band. I'm sure their fans will miss them.
Adramelch's finale, Opus is a solid album guitar-centered progressive rock, a good final bow from a talented band. I'm sure their fans will miss them.
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