The Calling
Style: Symphonic Power Metal
Release date: October 24th 2008

I’m impressed! Initially, the moniker ‘Operatika’ reeked of cliché and put me slightly off but as soon as this CD started spinning all negative and misguided preconceptions were thrown to the wind and I discovered one the most interesting and exciting propositions of the symphonic power metal genre.

As far as comparisons go there’s Nightwish written all over the album, a factor that’s particularly emergent in the singing of Operatika’s talented Slava Popova. Rhapsody is clearly another strong musical influence as is Kamelot and Yngwie Malmsteen circa the “Trilogy” album. The band can be forgiven for also sounding like Symphony X, though, as it’s Symphony X’s own Michael LePond who plays bass guitar with Operatika.

“The Calling” does yearn for improvement in some quarters – the songwriting is inconsistent and I felt that the band lacks a clearly defined sense of identity. Operatika’s origins lie in Ukraine and Russia although the band was formed in the USA. One can only wonder what would have emerged should the band have tapped more into the musical elements of their motherlands.

I’d be misleading, however, if I sounded too negative as “The Calling” is not simply a decent debut but as far as I’m concerned already catapults the band amongst the best of the genre. Songs such as ‘Secrets of the Past’, ‘Dark Horizon’ and especially ‘Life Saving Flame’ all suggest band members with sharp ears and capable of writing infectious and well-developed melodies. Operatika also convince during the heavier passages with their tight-sounding riffs and the occasional growls.

Apart from the music, roaming around the album are various subtle little clues, such as the fantastic sleeve artwork and the website design that smack of determination. It won’t surprise me should Operatika soon become more of a scene shaker. Actually, I’m counting on it.

01. Intro
02. Gladiator
03. Tears of the Sun
04. Dark Horizon
05. Ice Queen
06. Life Saving Flame
07. No 3-23 in A Minor
08. Mask in the Mirror
09. Secrets of the Past
10. The Storm
11. The Calling
12. Last Quest
Label: Scarlet Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: January 25th 2009
Website: www.operatika.com