Label: Rockshots Records
Date: November 12th, 2021
First of all… I want to say: “Wow, a magnificent piece of art”! Now I can actually start. By talking about the beautiful art called music, this time I have a pleasure to present one more metal opera in my short carrier of a reviewer. Opera as the most complex musical piece isn’t just a part of classical music. Opera can be used in many other genres and represents virtuosity of musicians who are making it. With this definition I told you everything important about Signum Draconis and their full length album, “The Divine Comedy: Inferno”. Maybe they are not saying it’s an opera but trust me, I know.
As we all know, The Divine Comedy is written by Dante Alighieri in 14th century. It has three parts Inferno (Hell), Paradiso (Heaven) and Purgatorio (Purgatory). The story is actually Dante’s path through the land of the dead. He has his guides through nine different circles in every part of underworld. Signum Draconis made a power metal opera which, for this time, guides us through Hell. I know the symphonic metal bands are really great and music they are playing is really pompous, but this time we have something that can be part of world’s best musical pieces.
The first song is called “In the Middle Way of Life’s Journey”. It is the first verse of real Divine Comedy and by this monologue in Italian I could see that this is something serious. The whole song, as overture. A great guitar solo that blew away even Yngwie Malmsteen is just fascinating. A background choir and Bratislava symphonic orchestra are right in the place they should be and it’s making a theatrical atmosphere.
By second song we are meeting one important figure Virgil, Dante’s guide. A libretto is dedicated to him and his actions. A beautiful female soprano vocal is making the song beautiful and so peaceful.
Further on, a break part, because Dante is knocking on the hells door and Italian / English monologue of Charon is telling us this story so third and fourth song are dedicated to it. Fourth song “Borderland” is my favourite from the first part of the album. It has some intense atmosphere, killer drum and powerful guitar riffs. Of course, it has a reason. This song is already an aria, a part of the opera where culmination has already started.
In all the songs we have the same basis but different guitar melodies that remind me of Mozart’s and Bach’s piano melodies. These are something that left the biggest impression on me here. In song’s beginning there is a monologue or some part that has verses from the original book.
By the part of hell they are going through melodies that are bringing the same atmosphere, so if you don’t know English or Italian, never mind, the songs alone will tell you. Librettos (lyrics) are not the exact verses from the book but they are telling us the story in their own way.
Male vocal of Mister Max Morelli is giving the perfect remark to the whole project. The power of his voice is reminding me of major power metal vocals of the 80’s. So syncretic and artistic, I love it!
This double album’s first part has twelve songs, the second has five more. The second part of the album with songs like “In the Hands of Titan”, “Cocytus” and “Lucifer” are the finales of the opera. “Lucifer” is something like the last punch. Guitars that are shredding from middle to the end of the song and lead us to the last monologue on the exit of hell. Perfect fade away effect for the end of the album.
The name of the band is Signum Draconis. They took their name from the medieval “Order of the dragon”, an elite knight order whose members were only the best fighters from noble houses.
Cover of “Inferno” is actually the song “Gate of Hell”, so big red door that reminds me of some entrance doors of big renaissance castles is a symbolic cover art. This door is waiting to be opened so readers and fans of the metal operas and art, please open this door and listen to the album.
Today is one year since I became a musical journalist and I had that pleasure to do this review for something as complex, beautiful and powerful as the album “The Divine Comedy: Inferno”. I hope to hear the other two parts of this piece soon and, of course, some live performance on stage of a theatre.