PALANTIR – Nightmare Opus

PALANTIR – Nightmare Opus
Label(s):
Stormspell Records
Released Year:
2023
Type:
EP
Tracklist:
1. Engage!2. A Distant Place3. Sailing On4. Griftkväde5. Nightmare Opus6. Escaping Reality (acoustic version)7. Lost Between Pixels

Eleven years of existence with only two full-length albums.

And now an EP of almost half an hour of duration but only three new songs in the tracklist.

Is it enough for a CD release?

Well, frankly, it is – and thankfully, Stormspell dared to bring it out! In a world where bands and labels present without a second thought some rather silly extended plays even on high-priced vinyl editions, I’d better give my money to works like “Nightmare Opus”!

It was only last year that PALANTIR released their second album, “Chasing a Dream”, yet they return to prove that they are in their best shape ever, full of creativity and enthusiasm.

The line-up hasn’t changed much; the founding members Emanuel Lindberg (drums), Fredrik Erixon-Enochson (guitars) and Marcus Olkerud (vocals) are still here, doing marvelous job, Johannes Frykholm (keayboards) who joined the band after their debut seems to be the driving force behind PALANTIR’s continuing progress, Calle Persson (guitars) and Cederick Fosrberg (ex-bass player, now on backing vocals) appear as guest musicians, leaving Kevin Crona (bass) as the only new entry in the group.

The EP begins impressively, with Strauss’ famous opening from “Also Sprach Zarathustra Opera No.30” – and this is how PALANTIR chose to “Engage!” us in their “Nightmare Opus”! The second track is “A Distant Place”, a new song to showcase the band’s perspective of power metal, neo-classically melodic, orchestral yet straightforward; not something that we haven’t heard before as it easily brings to mind some notable groups of the genre, let’s say STRATOVARIUS, ZONATA and MORIFADE, yet it manages to sound enjoyably fresh and not another tiring, poor imitation of the established genre sound, courtesy of Johannes Frykholm’s inspired performance. “Sailing On” follows, full of energy, catchy riffs and choruses. Next one is Griftkväde, an aery ballad sung in Swedish, practically serving as a short, fanciful interlude before the title-song.

“Nightmare Opus”, although ten minutes long, is not pretentiously complex in structure, being an ABSOLUTE TRIUMPH of EXCELLENT songwriting. This is the kind of anthemic compositions that numerous bands out there try to write but most of them fail in many ways; well, PALANTIR’s flawless, masterful development together with their brilliant arrangements is simply PERFECT, proving remarkable musicianship from every aspect; this one could really stare HELLOWEEN’s “Keeper of the Seven Keys” in the eye and not flinch at all!

What comes next is a shorter, acoustic version of “Escaping Reality” a song from their first album, “Lost Between Dimensions”, while the outro, “Lost Between Pixels”, paraphrasing their debut’s self-title song, is an 8-bit playful reference to the titular song.

So, what’s this EP about? Does it remind me of RHAPSODY? Of course! FALCONER? Sure! Even GAMMA RAY? Indeed, Germanic sound is not absent.  So, blending all these to a nice, lush power metal feast, that makes “Nightmare Opus” a more than enticing release! And yes, I’m already looking forward to PALANTIR’s third album…

 

 


Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.

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