Marco Garau’s Magic Opera – Battle of Ice (2023) (9/10) – English Version

Marco Garau's Magic Opera - Battle Of Ice

After releasing his first album entitled “The Golden Pentacle“ in 2021, now the solo project MARCO GARAU’s MAGIC OPERA will release his second album entitled “Battle Of Ice” on January 27, 2023. This album is the second chapter of the Amtork Saga created by himself. Marco Garau who is also the keybardist for the band from Italy, DERDIAN. On this second album, Marco Garau is accompanied by vocalist Anton Darusso (WINGS OF DESTINY, SAVAGE EXISTENCE), guitarist Enrico Pistolese (DERDIAN, SICK SOCIETY), guitarist Luca Sellitto (STAMINA), drummer Salvatore Giordano (DERDIAN, SICK SOCIETY) and bassist Ollie Bernstein (ILLUSION FORCE).

The album “Battle Of Ice” opens with a song called “The Black Sorcery“, the opening song begins with a keyboard melody and classical orchestra, followed by a guitar melody that carries the aura of power metal music, and it’s true, the song continues with the character of melodic  speed power metal with choirs and characteristic vocals such as Fabio Lione (ANGRA, ex-RHAPSODY OF FIRE), Yama-B (AXEBITES, GUNBRIDGE , ex-GALNERYUS,) combined with songs like those on DERDIAN‘s albums in the early era with solos guitar influenced by classical music.

The second song is “The Cursed Crown”, this second song starts with a guitar melody which I also often hear in early DERDIAN songs. Anton Darusso’s vocals here sound very similar to Yama-B with a very heroic song chorus like on the RHAPSODY album “Power Of The Dragonflame” era and combined with the character of DERDIAN’s songs. In the middle of the song they include growl vocals which give the feel of being more integrated with the story of the song itself.

The Legend Of The Demon’s Cry“, a song that begins with a keyboard tinkling followed by guitar melodies and thumping drums and then heavy vocals complete the first part of this song and the catchy chorus is always accompanied by chorus so that even though it’s catchy, it still has a strong feel to it. Then we hear guitar melodies with classical and neoclassical nuances which are characteristic of Marco Garau’s works in this song.

Classical guitar melodies immediately start the fourth song on this album, “Assault On The Castle“, but after entering the vocals, the music feels a little progressive and sometimes I remember the song “The March Of The Swordmaster” by senior RHAPSODY and vocal character like GALNERYUS.

The song “Ride Into The Sun”, is my favorite song on this album, immediately starts with a powerful speed melodies with guitar melodies that reminds me of DERDIAN’s “New Era”. With a fast chorus, powerful, catchy and laden with an aura of victory, it continues with fast guitar melodies coloring this song. A bit of a progressive feel and the tempo also drops into the solo part but a beautiful keyboard melody is heard here. The tempo drops not for a long time, after which it is continued with a fast guitar solo melody and returns to the chorus until the end of the song.

Followed by the song “White Dragon“, a ballad song in the beginning by starting with low-tone vocals accompanied by a keyboard and guitar melody. Soon, the tempo rose with the guitar with classical melodies and other instruments. Anton Darusso’s vocal voice is very reminiscent of vocalist Yama-B’s character and is accompanied by a chorus throughout the chorus and classic melodies.

The Shadow Man“, a song that might be categorized as a ballad song on this album, this song has a progressive feel with vocals in low tones that are slightly heavy accompanied by a keyboard melody throughout the song. The eighth song “The Book Of Evil“, a song that is immediately beaten with fast and catchy melodies throughout the song with a heavy happy metal rhythm, an optimistic and bright nuance is felt in this song, although it does not describe the title of the song, Marco Garau managed to pack it becomes a different thing.

Under Siege”, was immediately presented with screams of heavy vocals accompanied by keyboard melodies and continued with fast and melodic music with classical guitar melodies.

The last and longest song in the band’s history with a duration of over 11 minutes, which is also the title of their album, “Battle Of Ice”. This song begins with a keyboard melody and is followed by guitar and drums, which for me personally already feels the feel of a story beginning or a kind of song that is full of storylines. Vocalist Anton Darusso enters the song with a deep voice character like Fabio Lione during the albums “Dawn Of Victory” or “Power Of The Dragonflame“. Entering the chorus, the voice character returns to using a high-pitched voice but still accompanied by a deep voice behind. Entering the solo section the tempo is getting up and loaded with classical guitar and keyboard melodies that will spoil fans of power metal’s classic symphonic melodic music. At the end of the song, the growl vocals give a distinctive color to complement the story of the battle in this song and album.

Overall, MARCO GARAU’s MAGIC OPERA with this “Battle Of Ice” album is presents music that is full of melodies, speed, powerful and symphonies influenced by classical music. In some parts of the song, musical characters such as GALNERYUS, RHAPSODY OF FIRE and DERDIAN are combined, of course, which incidentally is the main band of creator Marco Garau.

01.       The Black Sorcery (06:27)      
02.       The Cursed Crown (05:40)      
03.       The Legend of the Demon’s Cry (06:21)         
04.       Assault on the Castle (04:43)
05.       Ride Into the Sun (06:17)        
06.       White Dragon (07:48)             
07.       The Shadow Man (05:27)        
08.       The Book of Evil (05:15)        
09.       Under Siege (05:01)    
10.       Battle of Ice (11:05)

Music: 9/10
Production: 9/10

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