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Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Melted Space - The Great Lie


First of all, I want to thank Tim van Velthuysen for thinking of me to review this beautiful project. This will be my most exciting review to date and I feel very privileged to be doing it.

When I’m thinking of rock or metal opera’s, I can’t help thinking of Arjan Lucassen. That’s mostly because I really love his work, but I think it also has to do with fact that there aren’t many bands in this specific genre, causing me to fall back to that which I already know. It’s very hard not to think of Lucassen in that way.

From the moment I started listening to “The Great Lie” it became very clear to me that there are more brilliant people in this world! When hearing the opening song “Listen to the Song of Despair” it’s already obvious to me that we’re dealing with a very professional and huge production. Thankfully I can also say that Melted Space differs enough from earlier work in the genre. The most important reason for that may very well be that the project has its roots in the black and death metal genre, more than its symphonic brothers and sisters have. This makes the music strong, up-tempo, dark and threatening at the right moments. Powerful grunts also make their presence known and they are in nice harmonic contrast with the serene and sometimes bombastic sound of the beautiful orchestra, which seems to be the thriving force behind the entire album. Together with the powerful rhythm guitars and the absolutely sublime drums, you could easily tell the whole story without actually having to sing even one note. That’s how well constructed this album really is and that is absolutely amazing.

But why in hell would you do that? After all, Melted Space has a fantastic selection of both male and female singers who are perfectly capable of convincingly telling the story, and while doing so, completely blow you away with their amazing vocal talents. Although I do have to say that the best way to hear what a singer is capable of is mainly in the high and difficult parts of a song. Especially when talking about the female vocals. What I mean to say is that I think that these women have a lot of potential and I have the feeling that they can do a lot more with their voice than what they are showcasing on the album right now. It’s all a bit on the safe side if you ask me.

What bothers me about the male vocals is that the pronunciation in English isn’t what it needs to be. This hurts the very sensitive ballad “A God is Dead” in particular. I know that singing without an accent is very hard and often a pain to master, but maybe that is something to think about. Especially when singing a small and intimate song where the singer is very vulnerable and has no big noisy band to fall back on. There are some moment on the album where the accents add something great to a song though, but that really depend on the song.

There’s a very interesting thing about the album that I didn’t talk about yet. Beside the fact that the opera is beautiful to listen to as a whole, each individual song has its own unique power and strength too, making it easier to think “I like that song, I want to hear it again!” without having the feeling you have to listen to the whole album again. That means that you don’t have to listen to the great story, every time you want to replay one or two of those great songs! One of my favorites is the epic song “No Need to Fear”. This might be the catchiest and most repetitive song on the album, but it’s also very strong and gives you a good picture of what this project is about.

I’m very happy and relieved that there are still people who aren’t afraid to make this kind of music. Not just because in doing so there is a great chance that your music is going to be compared with the works of Arjen Lucassen, but most of all because the music business nowadays makes it harder and harder for epic productions such as this one to even make it out of the idea room! Even so, Melted Space did a great job to stick its neck out and be different. It resulted in one of the best albums I have heard in a long time! Let’s hope it won’t be the last one this project has in mind!

Written by Glenn van der Heijden

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