Opera IX are an Italian band, and "Sacro Culto" is their second release. It
consists of 6 songs, each averaging at around 10 minutes. So "Sacro Culto"
is quite a lengthy affair, and it may take several listens to fully absorb
everything it has to offer. The music is Dark-Doom-Occult metal with
distinctly Mediterranean feel. Each lengthy song creates its own labyrinth
where a listener, inevitably, gets lost. I, for once, didn't mind it at all.
This album creates a really moody and dark atmosphere. You could perform
pagan rituals and sacrifices to this music. Skillful keyboard playing
further enhances the mood. Last, but not least, Opera IX have a female
singer named Cadaveria. It's so rare to see a female lead singer in a Metal
band that this album is truly a breath of fresh air. Cadaveria is one evil
witch. Her screams are haunting and powerful. She also does some clean
singing here and there, which is a nice contrast to her screaming and
supplements the atmosphere well. The lyrics deal with man's relations with
nature and with all things of occult matter. My favorite track on the album
is "The Naked and the Dance," which starts out with some acoustic guitar,
male spoken word, Cadaveria's clean singing along with the sound of burning
fire and handclaps. Whenever I listen to this, I get the urge to go to the
forest and dance around the fire. Anyway, then the song bursts into
Cadaveria's evil screams and in-you-face Doom Metal assault. Other songs are
just as powerful and intriguing, especially "The Oak" and "Fronds of the
Ancient Walnut." This album is a minor classic, to say the least.
© 1999 boris