Abaddon magazine

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Friday, July 30, 2021

Review: Marco Garau’s Magic Opera -The Golden Pentacle

Label: Self released

Date: February 19th, 2021

Before I started listening to this album I knew I was going to like it. How? First of all, metal in combination with classical music cannot be bad. Metal opera as well. Second of all, here we have well known musicians who have already been proven in the world of music through decades of work with Derdian, ShadowStrike, Seven Thorns and Wings of Destiny. If you originate from power metal bands whose lyrics are based on knights, magic, mystery, fantasy, adventure and you have the same passion for opera and classical music globally, the logical step forward in the career is metal opera. And so a new project was born. Led by Derdian’s keyboardist, Marco Garau, with a help of his mates Anton Darusso (Wings of Destiny), Gabriel Tuxen (Seven Thorns), Matt Krais (ShadowStrike), Salvatore Giordano (Derdian) and Enrico Pistolese (Derdian), a magical opera “The Golden Pentacle” will see the light of the day on February 19th.

Marco developed an original concept. The plot he placed in the land far, far away. People in his reign of Amtork were living in harmony and peace. Their leader was King Leiber. At some point, the perfect world was broken. Two mighty wizards, Lord Kama and Sir Dohron quarreled. Lord Kama was King Leiber’s loyal friend and Sir Dohron, the evil one, wanted to destroy the ideal world filled with love and happiness. How could he overthrow the king and rule the Amtork? Magic! He wanted to find a hidden ancient item-the golden pentacle! It was hidden centuries ago and now the battle begins. Who will win and who will lose? The answer hides in excellently written lyrics supported by well recognized musical style influenced by Luca Turilli’s school of metal. 

What makes this opera special? Listening to other metal operas, you may be used to different characters and vocals performances. Here we have Anton Darusso as main vocalist and additional subtle growl vocal just adds a special note to the whole project.

In general, the whole project has some of the main characteristics of classic opera. There is a dramatic libretto, opponent characters, the eternal battle of good and evil, drama… Recitative might be missed as well as the interlude, but this is XXI century metal opera and it has its own standards. There are many styles of composing and everything is allowed. 

I cannot imagine how expensive would be producing grandiose metal opera and how useful in these crazy times when the bands are unable to perform live to invest money in visual appearance, but I can easily imagine costumes, scenery, and if that were one of the main ideas, they succeeded. I would like to see their acting skills, cause curious by nature, simple playing on the stage would not satisfy my senses.

The opening song “The Golden Pentacle”, or introduction, call it however you want, with bell chime and horse galloping lead us to the world of magic. In short lines, you will be introduced with the plot and the magic begins!

In over than hour, you will witness the vivid search for the pentacle, led by powerful rhythm, at certain moments a calming pace. Abundant melodies, great orchestrations, choruses, technical proficiency, highly skilled and already proven musicians are the best recommendation to buy this album.

Between introduction and unfolding we have nine songs to discover the world of Amtwork, its citizens, rulers, friends and enemies. In the end, “Until The End Of Time” brings the final problem solving, all the traitors will stay in eternal winter, Dohron is condemned to dark cell, bound up in chains, the castle will be protected  and all the enemies killed, peace and happiness will rule the kingdom until the end of time. 

Keyboardist by profession, Mr. Garau can add to his biography a few more skills, as well as his band mates.

You cannot imagine metal iconography without pentagram. Many bands from doom metal legends Pentagram over glam icons Mötley Crüe to many death and black metal bands, pentagram is used more than any other symbol in different forms. Marco Garau decided to use the pentacle as the dominating symbol on the album cover, the golden one, and cross from the dark to the bright side of the metal.

Italy is well known for its contribution to opera as well as metal. As I remember well, opera originates from the 16th century when Jacopo Peri’s Dafne was produced in Florence. Through the baroque, over the Gluck’s reforms, Mozart, Verdi, German, French, Russian and English language opera, over modern trends, rock operas, now it’s time for metal opera to overtake the music world. It seems Italian opera combined with neo classical metal dominates in XXI century. 

I don’t want to draw parallels and debate about influences, certainly the artists gathered around this project gave their maximum, heart and soul. Respect! 

Germans would say this is Singspiel opera, opera with lots of magic and fantasy in the story. I would say, this is the metal opera I would like to hear more often.