OPEROSE – Footprints In The Hourglass (2017)
Created by guitar virtuoso Joe McGurk (Opposing Motion), OPEROSE is a new symphonic progressive metal band from the United Kingdom, including as lead vocalist rising opera sensation Jennifer Coleman. The forthcoming debut album, “Footprints In The Hourglass“, also features Opposing Motion drummer Kevin Deplanche and legendary Dennis Ward behind the desk and collaborating with the whole product.
Joe McGurk is the guitarist and co-founder of progressive metal band Opposing Motion, along with drummer Kevin Deplanche. The band had a well received debut album in 2013 released through iconic label Lion Music, after a successful debut EP. McGurk has also released solo instrumental album last year.
Jennifer Coleman is a Theo Max van der Beugel Scholar studying on the 2nd year of the Masters at the Royal College of Music in London under the tutelage of Janis Kelly. Jennifer has won numerous awards including an RCM Award supported by a Big Give Award, the Mavis Bennett Award for Grand Opera and the John Lightfoot Award for Musical Theatre at Maidenhead Music Festival.
When I saw that legendary Dennis Ward was at charge of mix & mastering, immediately this release sparked my interest. It seems Ward also contributed with the musical direction and some arrangements.
Well, as I expected, “Footprints In The Hourglass” sounds great, pretty bombastic and grandiose.
OpeRose is an equal blend of soaring vocals and guitars over a symphonic, classical / progressive backdrop, and you need a proper mix to make this kind of stuff to work. Ward did the job, skillfully.
Musically OpeRose is quite sympho overall, and Jennifer Coleman being operatic most the time with very interesting melodic vocal inflections in the passages where she sings in a ‘rock mode’.
Joe McGurk is a versatile guitarist, going from straight full ahead riffs to delicate soloing, with a good use of acoustic guitar and bass lines as well. Kevin Deplanche’s drumming provides a welcomed dynamism with his fills and Ward has obtained a quite original sound from his tom-toms.
“Footprints In The Hourglass” is a concept piece of work, telling the tale of the tragic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice through the eyes of Eurydice. Thus, the album is intended to a listening experience as a whole.
But you easily can enjoy it randomly, with tracks such as ‘Footprints’ being the more accessible, then ‘Empty Mirrors’ or ‘Stand Among Angels’, with its varied sections, complete guitar work and keyboard / synth embellishments, are among the most elaborated numbers here.
01 – Empty Mirrors (Death of Eurydice)
02 – Footprints
03 – River of Memories
04 – The Long Grass (Seconds Apart)
05 – Remember Me
06 – Moments
07 – The Faded Portrait of Affection
08 – Stand Among Angels
Vocals – Jennifer Coleman
Guitars, Bass – Joe McGurk
Drums – Kevin Deplanche