Words: Craig Hartranft
We're meant to be impressed. I'm sure of it. Melted Space is the creation of Pierre Le Pape, a French composer and multi-instrumentalist with a master's degree in classical music. Pape returns with his third album, The Great Lie, a full blown symphonic heavy power metal opera.
Now, before you become too impressed, Pape isn't really doing anything novel or different within the symphonic metal genre. Essentially, like many others before him, he uses his classical training expressed through piano composition, to create this album. Additionally, much like other like-minded composers, across various metal genres, like Arjen Lucassen (who appears here) or Tobias Sammet, Pape uses a host of vocalists to voice his songs. I won't bore you with a menu of artists, which you can read on the Melted Space Facebook account, but the list reads like a who's who of the European metal scene. As for the content, or possible theme, I'm guessing there may be one. But promotional information wasn't all that forthcoming about it. No lyrics were provided, so any song could be about the directions to make a French souffle.
Fundamentally then, we can conclude concerning The Great Lie, as one was sage has said, "There's nothing new under sun." Except for the simple fact that Piere Le Pape is quite skilled at what he does. Musically speaking, this is premium, well-composed and executed, melodic symphonic heavy metal, easily on par with his peers. This is largely undisputed with Called By The Queen, The One Who Lost Faith, Titania, and No Need To Fear as some of the exceptional choices.
Wow, high praise, you say. I know what you're thinking, "He's not telling us something." Yeah. At the start, things were cruising right along to symphonic metal Mount Olympus, until the latter third of the aforementioned No Need To Fear, when what appears? Yup. Dirty vocals. Death vocals. "Raise shields!" "Engage skip button." There's the game changer, the bullet to the foot, as far as I'm concerned. Regardless of their purpose, I don't like them and don't want to hear them. Okay, so they're not pervasive, not in every song. But there they are nonetheless. I did indeed listen to the entire album and my comments about Pape's creative musical expression remain. But I won't be enjoying this album again, thanks to the dirty vocals. Make your own choice.
French composer and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Le Pape composes creative and enjoyable symphonic and melodic heavy metal for his The Great Lie metal opera, only to scar it with the inclusion of death and dirty vocals.
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