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  • Writer's pictureSammie Starr

Album Review: Blood Opera - Songs in the Key of Death

Horror metal newcomers Blood Opera invites us to go on a kaleidoscopic, hair-raising metal new experience, Songs in the Key of Death.



Born in blood, conceived in Hell, and accidentally reanimated, Toronto, Canada’s horror metal ensemble, Blood Opera is a jewel in the metal genre that goes above and beyond to make not just a good record, but a record worthy of concept and artistic praise. While horror metal has its small share of noteworthy bands that have made the subgenre what it is today, it takes a special kind of band's technical prowess and love of storytelling to embody both concepts to make a record that listeners can sink their teeth into from start to finish.


Blood Opera invites listeners to immerse themselves in the horrifying cinematic landscapes that inspired each track, and one can easily become lost in the world that they have created, to the point where you don't even feel like you're listening to an album, but rather a sonic work of art.

Blood Opera not only understands the essence of horror movies but also appreciates the more unique elements of metal music that have made the genre so special. Their melodic dissonance, sense of atmosphere, and gorgeous operatic vocals tell as much of the story as their gift for sinister storytelling and brilliant narrative transitions. Songs in the Key of Death, is not only an insanely great concept record but also a testament to the fact that the horror metal newcomers are serious about creating a listening experience that is worthy of the most discerning metal and horror fans.


Songs in the Key of Death starts with "Feeding Frenzy," a promising opening experience that takes us on a disquieting journey through the macabre realms of Dead Metal. A track that beautifully combines melodic progressive elements, classic metal nuances, and gorgeous operatic unclean vocals, with a voice-over by Linnea Quigley (from The Return of the Living Dead), Blood Opera showcases a heft of creative force contained into one listening experience, which is effortlessly kept consistent from track to track.


Other highlights that continue to draw in listeners are, "A Waste of Good Suffering" and "The Gates of Hell" featuring guest keyboards Maurizio Guarini (Goblin).



An infectious blend of mellifluous instrumental energies and contagious multifaceted vocal play, Blood Opera continues to creatively expand its eurythmic elements without sacrificing their more acidic and grimier touches in their guitar and progressive work. 


Other extravagant efforts by Blood Opera include "Damien" and "Be My Victim," featuring Candyman's Tony Todd. Blood Opera's ornamental use of eerie ethereal soundscapes quickly dives in for the kill with their more scungy guitar energies and technically sound drumwork, creating some of the best euphonic listening experiences on Songs in the Key of Death.


Songs in the Key of Death is an album that isn't afraid to push the boundaries of narrative with its lyrics, innovative musical soundscapes, and creative utilization of horror films in their own genre. Blood Opera invites listeners to immerse themselves in the horrifying cinematic landscapes that inspired each track, and one can easily become lost in the world that they have created, to the point where you don't even feel like you're listening to an album, but rather a sonic work of art, which is always a good sign for the best bands in this genre. 



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