If there is a band in the Greek goth scene that has reached a cult status through their releases and live performances, this is Opened Paradise, for sure. The band which has been around for about 13 years, is now back with its second full length album “Buried in Rain”, a whole 10 years after their debut “Occult” and 4 years after their “Tides” ep. But it was worth the wait!
This new opus was recorded with the original line up, which found the band members in top shape. The rhythm section is powerful, technical and accurate. The drum playing is better than ever, while the bass lines are masterfully played and distinct. The keyboards are adding a special earie touch to the already atmospheric songs. As for the guitar work of the album, it’s simply exquisite, varying form crystal-clean goth arpeggios and Elysium-like lead melodies to powerful riffs. Last but not least, the vocals on this album signify the band’s great progress. Of course the vocals had always been fine (in the vain of Carl McCoy), but this time the singing is much more melodic, without loosing the dark harshness of the past however.
After listening to “Buried in Rain” a lot, I have to notice that this time the band goes one step beyond the typical “goth rock” sound. While their main influences still come from The Nephilim (mostly their “Elizium era”) as well as the 90’s goth scene, their sound is enriched by ideas that are common in “progressive goth-metal” bands like Anathema or Katatonia. The real strength of this album lies in the supreme quality of the compositions. The band’s guitarist/song writer Babis came up with songs that are true dark gems of the dark/goth/atmospheric music genre.
The album starts with “ Leaving Dreamland”. A perfect opener indeed, full of melancholic guitars and pessimistic lyrics that fit perfectly to the atmosphere of the song! “Recreation” follows, a dance-floor goth tune with 12’string guitar, typical of the Sisters/Mission guitar-playing. It will remind you the early Sisters days of first and last and always, blended, of course, with Opened Paradise’s mystical touch, both musically & lyrically.
“Visions Through the Circles of Chaos” was the very first song the band recorded when they entered the studio. Killer rhythm section and riffs that stick to your mind from the very first listen. I have the feeling that this will be a live favourite!
“In Flesh” is a mid-tempo atmospheric anthem, reminiscent of Anathema’s “Eternity” album. Periklis is singing with a haunting way full of emotions. A perfect progressive-goth song, with an amazingly powerful and rhythmic finale that will leave you speechless…
“We Burn the Sky” is a classic Opened Paradise tune, close to their “Occult” days. This is a fast-paced song with beautiful keyboards and mystical lyrics adding to its grandeur. The refrain is utterly melodic. This could easily become a club hit.
“Upon the Vast Universe” is one of the best songs on the album. Intricate guitar melodies and ethereal synth-lines lead to a grandiose epic chorus that is bound to impress.
“Reverence” has to be my personal favourite. In this one, Opened Paradise prove to be worthy sons of the Nephilim legacy. This is a tune inspired by “Wail of Sumer”, but it has a lot more to offer than a good tribute song. An epic feeling is apparent throughout the song. Once again intimate lyrics from Periklis, accompanied by genuine, brilliant guitar-work that lead to obscure greatness! Nothing less than a true masterpiece.The album closes with another cracking tune. “Yamanja” is an old-school goth tune full of guitars with delay, leaving us with a somewhat nostalgic feeling.
“Buried in rain” is an album that is “experienced” by the listener, rather than simply listened to. By releasing this album, Opened Paradise have secured their throne as the top act of the Greek goth rock scene and according to my personal opinion they currently belong to the top league of goth bands in the international goth scene. The “Hidden servants in Light” have returned! Be a part of their cult.
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