|Review: Operatika - The Calling|
Label: Scarlet Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 26, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Rated 3.82/5 (76.47%) (17 Votes)
Operatika can be summed up in two words: Symphonic Metal. Yep, that is pretty much it for these fiery youngsters, who have taken on a quite over-saturated sound and...done nothing to innovate or make it better. That's right; if you're looking for something creative and infused with novelty value, you won't find it here. Operatika pretty much sound like early Nightwish or After Forever, except a little bit less grandiose and more focused on writing catchy, pounding metal songs instead of the frigid symphonic coldness present on some of the work of the aforementioned bands. It's kind of like listening to a bargain-bin version of those bands, with less of the fat, but still overall pretty satisfying, if you've got that craving in you. This album is chock-full of speedy, generic riffing that still manages to please, a lot of frilly sweeping guitar melodies and keyboard acrobatics, and of course, the warm, saccharine vocals of resident vixen Slava Popova, who might sound just like every other female Symphonic Metal vocalist ever to exist, but does her job well enough as it is, so I cannot really complain. The bass is audible, too, so I'll give them points for that.
How can I fault this band for doing what they do best, after all? They made a Symphonic Metal album, and it sounds like a Symphonic Metal album, no more or less. I think the main thing wrong with this is just that the songs sound too much alike, with pretty much no variation. Every song is fast and bombastic, and that is about it. Fast and bombastic, with nothing to break up the sameness. Not even a ballad, which is very strange for this sort of band, as most of them usually seem to love ballads. A lot of the choruses seem to sound alike and the songs lack identity, for the most part. However, there is one song that really sticks out as great, and it's "Tears of the Sun," which is the second song, clocking in at six and a half minutes, with a more calculated pace and reigned in guitar work, with a really stirring, captivating chorus to boot. It's not an amazing song, but it's certainly really good, and well worth checking out for anyone who likes this sort of stuff.
Overall, though, aside from that one great song and the absolutely gorgeous cover art, The Calling is not something that will end up on anyone's Best Of list for 2008. This is a pretty good album, but overall, I think Operatika has quite a bit of growth to do, and hopefully someday their potential will be realized. Keep your eyes on these guys, for they are quite adamant in their style, and one day they might really surprise us.
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