"The End of Halcyon Age" (Crash/Low Frequency; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


The cover artwork for Twilight Ophera's "The End Of Halcyon Age" almost screams 'cheesy power metal band,' but thankfully that's not the case. A quick spin of the first few songs of Twilight Ophera's latest disc clearly marks their territory as a symphonic black metal band. And coming from Finland means that the quality level is likely to be high and it is.

Based on even just one spin of "The End Of Halcyon Age" it is apparent that Twilight Ophera include a bit more melody in their music than most black metal bands; however ,the melodies aren't so over-the-top as to be too sugary and off-putting. Speedy thrashing is also a welcome facet of the band's music as the often relentless pace of the CD keeps the album moving at all times. Gothic tones and power metal are not-so-obvious influences as well.

Like most black metal albums, it will take a few spins to truly appreciate every nuance as the layered whirlwind of two guitars, bass, drums, and synthesizers is expectedly sonically dense. Which is not to say "The End Of Halcyon Age" is difficult to listen to it's not something that you can use as background music. The blend of fierce aggression and supple melodies is hard to get right and Twilight Ophera are more right than wrong on "The End Of Halcyon Age."

Since I hadn't ever remembered or recognized the name Twilight Ophera I figured "The End Of Halcyon Age" must be a debut album. In fact, "The End of Halcyon Age" is Twilight Ophera's third CD it is, however, the band's first worldwide release. That would explain the polished sound of the disc.

Fans of Dimmu Borgir and Old Man's Child would be wise to hear what Twilight Ophera have to offer.

"The End Of Halcyon Age" was produced by Twilight Ophera.

Twilight Ophera: Mikko Hakkinen on vocals, Mikko Kaipainen on guitars, Toni Naykki on guitars, Lord Heikkinen on bass, Timo Puranen on synthesizers, and Janne Ojala on drums. Clean vocals by Haxu.

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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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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 18 Sep 2023 21:51:19 -0400.