"Opus: Universe" (Recital)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

In Solitude are a young band from Portugal that mix their power metal with grand, epic, and sweeping melodies. Power metal is certainly a burgeoning genre these days with every corner of the globe producing dozens of power metal bands in various shapes and sizes. But I've yet to hear a power metal band from Portugal so at the very least I was hoping to be given something to be pleasantly surprised about.

"Opus: Universe" covers thirteen tracks clocking in at 58 minutes and gives In Solitude enough time to use the expansive scope of the origin of the cosmos in their lyrics. The vocals are very melodic and clean with the enunciation and mix quite good for an easy listening experience. Good use of backing vocals is a welcome change to the steady diet of backing vocal-deficient In Flames and Soilwork that's been sustaining me lately.

If the beginning of the universe wasn't a big enough subject to tackle in their lyrics, In Solitude rely on patience and stamina to deliver their musical message. Overall, In Solitude shows remarkable restraint and considerable resolve in delivering their musical palette. 

The strong points of "Opus: Universe" are the seamless melding of solid verses with melodic pre-choruses and catchy choruses - that is such a rare combination in this day and age. There are plenty of hooks and the solos are never overplayed. Of particular interest is the three part epic "Journey Through The Black Hole" - the first part, "Legacy Of A Dying Star," is a good example of what In Solitude can achieve in the years to come.

Of course, my recent fascination with the highly energetic Gothenburg sound has me wondering where In Solitude has left all their energy. I realize that In Solitude have a different kind of energy - an energy that relies on intellectual strength rather than sheer physical force. 

"Opus" Universe" doesn't present anything staggeringly new, but it is solidly performed. Power metal fans will love this CD. 

"Opus: Universe" was produced, mixed, and engineered by Luis Barros. 

In Solitude is Sergio Martins on vocals, Paulo Camisa on guitar, Eduardo Borges on bass, Lisa Amaral on keyboards, and Augusto Peixoto on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 01 Apr 2024 12:16:14 -0500 .