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Review: Aina - Days of Rising Doom - The Metal Opera
Aina
Days of Rising Doom - The Metal Opera

Label: Transmission Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 123:32
Tracks: 23
Genre: Unclassifiable

Rating: 2/5

Review online: May 19, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
Days of Rising Doom - The Metal Opera

Rated 2.86/5 (57.14%) (7 Votes)
Review


Ladies and Gentlemen, Transmission Records is proud to present: "Power Metal: The Musical!"

This is gay, gay, gay. You would think that a project featuring Miro and Sascha Paeth (two of the producers behind Kamelot's last few masterpieces) would have something to recommend it, wouldn't you? With as impressive a list of guest stars on hand for this, there is no excuse for how utterly dull this is. You have guest singers like Micheal Kiske, Tobias Sammet, Candace Night, Marco Hietala, and Andre Matos along with a slew of others not as well-known. Plus instrumental performances by such luminaries as Derek Sherinian, Emppu Vuorinen, and Thomas Youngblood. You would think this couldn't miss. It's a 3-disc set (of which I just have the first one-the music disc.) with as ambitious a presentation as I have seen on a CD. It's billed as "The Metal Opera". But there is precious little metal here, and less opera. What this sounds like is a musical played by Rhapsody, and I am actually surprised not to find Luca Turilli's name on the list of players.

I wouldn't say that this is bad because it isn't metal enough, I can enjoy non-metal stuff just fine. The problem here is that this sucks. The songwriting is either limp, or boring, or cliché, and is frequently all three at once. After the tedious "Overture" things pick up a little with the first proper song "Revelations" which has some good melodies and a nice, energetic vibe to it. But then we hit the awful "Silver Maiden" which sounds like a song from some crappy musical like "State Fair"—this song is about as exciting as a bowl of wet toast, and things do not pick up from there. The next three tracks all sound so much alike you will have to keep checking the player to tell what song you are listening to. "Seige of Aina" at least has some identity, but it goes on too long and is far more irritating than a song should be. The rest of the album gets progressively slower, thinner, and harder to put up with. This disc is 70 minutes of mostly featureless eurometal with large doses of flowery orchestral saccharine that becomes almost unbearably dull by the halfway mark. I don't know if anyone will get through this disc all the way without hitting the skip button a few times.

Much has been made of "The Story Of Aina", but the story is—and I speak as a professional storyteller here—crap. How many times can we put up with the same shitty idea? "Ancient-and-beautiful-peaceful-land-ruled-by-beautiful-Queen-threatened-by-ultimate-evil-but-wait-there-is-a-great-hero-who-will-save-us-in-a-great-big-battle-shoot-me-now-please." Argh. Even if the lyrics were good—which they aren't ("The seed of your true love/lies in this shining gem/Her powers are the greatest/ We've seen in all the land"—raise your hand if ick.) The story itself ranges from hackneyed to utterly nonsensical, and even after reading them as closely as I could stand to, the ending of the thing still makes no sense at all. They even invented their own language for their fantasy world, cool huh? Actually no, all it means is we can't understand what the Hell they are saying, without reading the 'Translations' in the lyrics.

So this is very cliché in every possible sense of the term. I don't object to classical elements in metal, but this is not classical, this is like a metal "Hello Dolly" with the worst sort of Terry Goodkind/Dennis Mckeirnan pablum masquerading as a storyline. As far as fantasy elements go, even Dreamtale does better. As far as musical innovation goes, this is bereft, as drama it falls far short of any kind of interest or emotional involvement, and as metal goes, it is a waste of time. Never mind the impressive list of guest players, this blows. Don't say you were not warned.


Track Listing:

    CD 1:

    1. Aina Overture
    2. Revelations
    3. Silver Maiden
    4. Flight of Torek
    5. Naschtok is Born
    6. The Beast Within
    7. The Siege of Aina
    8. Talon's Last Hope
    9. Rape of Oria
    10. Son of Sorvahr
    11. Serendipity
    12. Lalae Amer
    13. Rebellion
    14. Oriana's Wrath
    15. Restoration

    CD 2:

    1. The Story of Aina
    2. The Beast Within (Single edit)
    3. Ve Toura Sol (Rape of Oria) (Single edit)
    4. Flight of Torek (Single edit)
    5. Silver Maiden (Alternate Version)
    6. Talon's Last Hope (Demo)
    7. The Siege of Aina (Single edit)
    8. The Story of Aina (Instrumental)
    9. Oriana's Wrath (Alternate Version) (Bonus)

    DVD:

    • The Beast Within (3D Computer Animation)
    • The Making of Aina
    • The Story of Aina – Moving Storyboard
    • Slide Show
    • Artwork
    • Audio Settings
    • Credits DVD
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