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
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.