Opera IX
Sacro Culto

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