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How to prove naysayers right in the worst way. - 0%

Kronisk, November 15th, 2018

I will be straight to the point on this one. Back in the early to mid 1990s, there was a big fuss about every metal band in existence that had a lady in its lineup. Irregardless of whether that band was good or whether the lady in question made any sort of contribution that told the male-dominated music scene that "Hey! Our sisters, mothers, and daughters should be welcomed in, made to feel safe and even embraced by us!" or something to that effect.

Then came Opera IX, and Cadaveria showed how in order to repeat that very vital and positive message, you gotta knock the listener's socks off. Songs like Alone In The Dark, My Devotion, showed how if the girly you are sticking in front of the mic or keyboards has something other than boobs and hips to keep the audience's attention, you will go far. And then Cadaveria left Opera IX, citing to anyone that would listen that conversations overheard revealed that Ossian et al were not the kind of people that Cadaveria and Flegias thought they were.

So whilst Cadaveria and her self-named band went out and released a bunch of albums that ranged from absolutely rocking to meh, Ossian and company set out... and proved Cadaveria absolutely right. Anphisbena is the only post-Cadaveria album that I have had the misfortune of paying actual money for, but I can assure you that it will be the last. I have no idea who M The Bard is, but if you stuck a man behind the mic and told him to simply speak the words written on the paper, it would have the same effect. The feeling of anger, anguish, and rage that you got from Cadaveria-fronted songs, regardless of which band she was in, is simply gone. You could listen to seventy or so minutes of elevator music and get the same feelings you get from Anphisbena, the whole "I paid money for this bullshit?" response notwithstanding.

And nowhere is this better exemplified than on the "bonus" track, a recitation of Bathory's amazing epic One Rode To Asa Bay. This song is a wonderful little piece of work that suggests, hey, all you other peoples out there, maybe it is not so much white people you should be pissed off at as it is christer people. Quorthon's out-of-breath, wailing, shrieking to the heavens style made what could have been another run of the mill "Christ sucks, down with Christers" track into a record for the ages of what might truly kill the Human species. And Opera IX sans Cadaveria turns it into... well, another run of the mill "Christ sucks, down with Christers" track. Take everything I have said about the vocals, apply them manifold to the instruments, and you get the idea. Normally, I try to filter out vocals. Vocals have to be amazing(ly bad) to get my attention. Or... the instruments behind them also have to be really as weak as piss in saltwater.

So to summarise. Bland riffs, lifeless playing, weak vocals, and a total absence of ideas. Opera IX are nothing without Cadaveria, and this seventy minute collection of songs that make elevator music sound like Iron Maiden's finest moment by comparison proves it. Go get a copy of The Shadows' Madame instead.