Harpazo – The Crucible (2024)

HARPAZO, a super group formed by Christian metal and progressive metal legends namely guitarist Marc Centanni and Producer/Songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Gary Wehrkamp. Their goal was to create a science fiction thriller rock opera entitled Harpazo: “The Crucible”. Their debut album is entitled “The Crucible“, this album which will be released by Rockshots Records on June 28th, 2024 carries the progressive rock/metal opera music genre with a symphonic and modern touch and a little Celtic element. It is an honor for Metal Opera to review this album earlier than their release date. And as usual, the first appearance that is immediately visible to the naked eye is the album cover artwork, the cover artwork by Dusan Markovic really feels elegant and dashing and for fans of the power metal music genre it will immediately make your adrenaline rise and you will be curious about the songs in it, at least that’s what I feel.

As an opening song, “Ichor” is a perfect song, with DC Cooper providing cinematic vocals accompanied by elegant orchestral music. The chorus of this song is also very beautiful, has strong elements of progressive rock music and at several moments includes very light and charming guitar melodies that will spoil our ears. The dynamic mid-tempo drum beats balance the progressive musical character felt in this song. Then continued with a short instrumental song “Legion Program

The third song “I Am God” which is the first single was released earlier on May 15th, 2024 and is also available in music video format which was produced by Wayne Joyner and Dave Letelier (AYREON, SEVEN DUST, KANSAS, DREAM THEATER).

The song features a dynamic, powerful metal song filled with intense energy and catchy melodic parts as well as incredibly powerful vocals. The song takes listeners on a cinematic and haunting journey through a dystopian world, perfectly reflecting the vision of Metal Opera that they envision. The chorus captivates with its irresistible catchiness, seamlessly transitioning into a powerful and anthemic chorus.

Then the song “Golden Crown“, a song that opens with a serene acoustic guitar and feels epic, slowly the orchestra enters to break the silence. The song feels even more epic after DC Cooper‘s vocals (as “The Messenger“) are heard and form a typical metal ballad with attractive melodies. In this song we will feel a dialogue between the main characters in the story created by Marc Centanni, they are Michael Lightborne aka “The Messenger” and Princess Relena (acted by Lee Lemperle), giving this song a very metal opera feel. – For those of you AVANTASIA fans, I’m sure you will immediately fall in love with this song.

The next song is “The Crucible“, the song which is also the title of this album is a song that I think is very complex with the main character being more of a typical modern progressive metal opera with attractive guitar melodies and a stunning chorus with a strong optimistic aura. In the vocal section, the dialogue between the characters in this story is full of emotion with very precise character distribution, I think Marc Centanni is really very careful in choosing singers who will fill the characters and roles in the story.

The sixth song “Two Witnesses” with an uplifting opening with a melody and orchestral power metal music but slowly the tempo drops and changes to dominant keyboard instruments to accompany the operatic vocals of Gary Wehrkamp (as “Jude Solomon“) and DC Cooper (as “The Messenger” ), the tempo rises again in the third part of the song, and like the previous song, the progressive rock/metal opera feel is very strong in this song with a beautiful chorus, and again, the guitar melodies played by Gary Wehrkamp always sound very attractive. At some moments the music and tempo change very subtly and here it sounds absolutely brilliant.

Change Of Heart Pt. 1”, starting with a cinematic song feel and vocals that are full of emotion and dialogue between the singers, here we feel like we have entered an opera stage filled with modern progressive heavy metal music. The dynamic beat of the drums and beautiful and alluring guitar melodies as well as the optimistic chorus complete the song even more perfectly. Then it continues with the song “Ultimatum“, with a quite symphonic choir starting the song with typical heavy metal rock with DC Cooper and Gary Wehrkamp taking over all the vocal parts in this song. Rock music choruses accompanied by a choir continue to be heard throughout almost the entirety of this song.

The ninth song, “We Are Weak“, is a song that is quite short but with a strong orchestral accompaniment and a touch of classical music that is very impressive. Followed by the song “Small Price To Pay” which starts with a fairly heavy rhythm balanced by Christian Liljegren‘s strong vocals and slowly the song feels lighter and catchier with a beautiful chorus and orchestral accompaniment far behind.

Change Of Heart Pt. 2”, by including modern elements at several moments in this song and sometimes sounding like AYREON‘s music. And again, Lee Lemperle‘s voice sounds serene in the song which opens with a slow tempo but slowly increases in tempo as it enters the middle of the song. With guitar melodies accompanying behind and a chorus at several moments, the keyboard melody which is quite prominent alternates with stunning guitar melodies and an orchestra that feels elegant coloring the solo part of this song.

The Book Of Life” is an acoustic ballad and to close the series of songs on the album “The Crucible“, here again Lee Lemperle takes the vocal part. Beautiful guitar melodies color the solo part of this song. The chorus of the song is beautiful and the character of “The 144K” at the end of this song is very interesting which makes me amazed at how they could think of making such interesting tunes.

Overall, HARPAZO with its debut album “The Crucible” presents very complex music, modern progressive rock metal opera music that is strong and dynamic, with very smooth tempo and tone transitions so that it can lead us to follow the musical flow and even the story. which is full of emotions. Here Marc Centanni succeeded in making me feel like I was in the world he created, like I was on the stage of an opera being played. I highly recommend this album for fans of bands such as AVANTASIA, AYREON, DREAM THEATER, SHADOW GALLERY, FATES WARNING, QUEENSRYCHE, KAMELOT, TARJA or PINK FLOYD.

01. Ichor
02. Legion Program
03. I Am God
04. Golden Crown
05. The Crucible
06. Two Witnesses
07. Change Of Heart Pt. 1
08. Ultimatum
09. We Are Weak
10. Small Price To Pay
11. Change Of Heart Pt. 2
12. The Book Of Life

Lyrics and Story by Marc Centanni
Music by Gary Wehrkamp

DC Cooper as The Messenger
Gary Wehrkamp as Jude Solomon
Lee Lemperle as Princess Relena Umberto
Jennifer Eckhart as Ellie
Rey Parra as Moses
Christian Liljegren as Casimir Agnus
Les Carlsen as The Stranger
Michael Drive as Pope John X

Music: 9/10
Production: 9/10

Homepage: https://harpazomusic.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Harpazomusic

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