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Missa Mercuria - Self Titled

Missa Mercuria
-  CD Review
Self Titled
CD Info
Generation Records
16 tracks - 63:19
Sweden - English lyrics

Seems to be a big fad these days: members of famous bands grouping together to create something special. Such is the case with Missa Mercuria. We have been treated lately, by some of the most spectacular collaborations of all time. With the likes of Tobias Sammet's "Avantasia", Beto Vasquez Infinity's "Infinity", Daniele Liverani's "Genius" or Arjen Lucassen's" Star One", (and anything else he seems to make), there seems to be no end to the musical talents the world over. And now with this new addition, I think we have hit the summit of all Rock Opera's. I'll call this, Operatic Power Metal, because unmistakably, that's exactly what it is. This album will be a fine addition to anyone's collection, who loves music in general. Its all here in one package. Heavy symphonic metal. Quiet sultry ballads. Over the top melodies. Lovers of male and female vocals, alike, will dig this effort for its variation and consistency. It is on a level with anything else of its kind, as per what I have already mentioned...

First off, lets deal with the players. D.C. Cooper "Firegod" (Silent Force) has been a force in metal for quite some time now. Along with Geoff Tate and Damien Wilson he has one of the most talented metal voices around today. D.C. undertakes allot of the male vocals on Missa Mercuria. He is joined by Sabine Edelsbacher "Watergoddess" (Edenbridge) on only one of the tracks on the album, to the dismay of all you femme vocal enthusiast's and Sabine fans. But nevertheless, she has made her mark in the production. There are also two other female vocalists, who I am not familiar with, who undertake the rest of the femme side of the vocals. There names being, Lori Williams "Earthgoddess" and Isolde Grob "Mercuria", the latter being a classical opera singer. They are both very good for this release and fit in well with Cooper and the other male voices in the band. The rest of the vocals on the album are by Andy Kuntz "Airgod"(Vanden Plas) and David Readman "Narration" (Pink Cream 69). You'll enjoy D.C. Coopers voice the most, I assure you.

The instrumentation involved, deals with members from the three metal bands I have mentioned, so far. Andreas Lill-Drums, Stephan Lill-Guitars and Gunter Werno-Keyboards are all from Vanden Plas. Dennis Ward-Bass and Alfred Koffler-Guitars, are from Pink Cream 69 and Alex Beyrodt-Guitar of Silent Force. All of the lyric's are written by D.C. Cooper. Musical score by Werno, Stephan Lill, Beyrodt, and Koffler. The story of Missa Mercuria was written by Karin Forstner. But the way I see it, this is Cooper's project. His influence is all over this production. Also, nothing more needs to be said about the instrument players. Anyone who is a fan of metal in general, knows who they are. If they don't know, then they are missing the whole point.

And now for the music. Get ready for some great operatic, symphonic Power Metal. After a couple of short instrumentals or preludes, what ever you may call them, The first vocal track is undertaken by D.C. Cooper with backing from Kuntz, called "Devine Spark". A very good metal track not unlike anything else we've come to know and love from Cooper. I'm not going to do every track here, just the ones of the most importance. One being the following track "Whisper of the Soul" sung by Sabine Edelsbacher. Funny thing about Sabine. I am a fan of her band, Edenbridge. But it seems to me, that whenever she does one of these guest appearances, she seems to let it all hang out, ala the Beto Vasquez Infinity album, which I thought, was a highlight of her career. When she sings in Edenbridge, she sounds to me, to be very restricted, and not as emotional in her delivery for some reason. Anyway, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album along with the very next track "Mother Earth" sung by Lori Williams. Don't really know who she is for this review, all I can tell you, she has a very nice voice, and sings one of the more memorable tunes on the album. Then were treated to "Spirit of Wisdom" sung by Andy Kuntz, which is one of the first heavy tracks on the album. After that, were treated to another short instrumental (and by the way, all of the major tracks on this album, are separated by instrumental or segues ala Symphony X), and then we get to hear the soprano vocals of Isolde on the title track "Missa Mercuria". Am not familiar with her either, but she seems to be a new talent in the making. She has a voice not unlike that of Tarja of "Nightwish". This album is a real treat for those who like male and female vocals in their music. This album seems to have something for everyone. The only other track of honorable mention would be "Farewell For Loves Sake-Journey to Hades". On this track, Isode and D.C. to one of the best duets together I have ever heard. It’s a nice metal ballad with the two singing duet and trade offs vocals. Simply, beautiful. Play it loud! And that's where I'll stop. I don't want to give it all away. For the rest of the album, you'll be treated to some nice Operatic Power Metal, with vocals and without. There are 16 tracks all together, clocking in at over an hour of wonderful music.

"Missa Mercuria" is on a par with anything made by the likes of people such as Arjen Lucassen, and very much in the same vein. Although, no one can match the bombastisism of that fine artist, in my opinion, he is the King of projects such as these. Also, as you can tell, this is one of those albums that defy description. You have to own it, to cherish it. It is also a testament to all of the great musical talent we are being treated to these days. So, if you like your metal with male and female vocals. Heavy in places, but soulful also. And with allot of symphonics. Then your just going to totally enjoy what you hear on this disc. The production level is of highest quality. Just look at the talent assembled here. How can it not be? So, at the end of this writing, I can do only one thing. Say, its perfect. Just find it.