Fabula Magna

Written by: PP on 21/12/2009 21:51:15

Another year, another Coronatus album. "Fabula Magna" is this German group's third album in as many years, and they pick up right where they left off with "Porta Obscura" last year. Except the place where they were standing this time last year is called the land of mediocrity. I reviewed that album last year, and thinking back after re-reading my review, I can't remember a single song from the release, so I guess my rating was fair. Anyway, here's their third attempt at creating halfway decent gothic rock/metal.

One characteristic that I do remember, however, is how soprano vocalist Carmen Lorch's semi-operatic delivery annoyed the shit out of me. She's gotten a little better since then, but overall she still sounds like she doesn't quite possess the range to sing at the level that she does, or at least it isn't effortless for her to do so. It's like she's trying to be Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish) but isn't anywhere near as technically capable. That's why the passages where she's leading are the least enjoyable ones on the CD. As her counterpart, however, the band has a more medium-range singer in Lisa Lasch (replacing Ada Flechtner from last year), and her strong 'rock' voice is what makes Coronatus at least half enjoyable. Whenever she sings above the bagpipes, it's easy to imagine how good she'd be on a Celtic metal album instead. It's a shame she isn't used more, and it's a shame that in many places her rock voice is completely drowned underneath Carmen's voice that she's supposed to be contrasting. Should this not be the case, the album would be much better.

The instrumentation borrows much from generic power metal, featuring lots of repeat passages. Luckily bagpipes, flutes, and classical piano make the soundscape a bit more interesting. But do these come from the keyboards? I don't see a bagpipe, flute or violin player listed as a member of the band. Whichever the case, it's easy to deduct that in this department, Coronatus have improved from "Porta Obscura". The instrumentals in general sound much more mature and confident in comparison to their previous album, a great example being "Wolfstanz" where the strings really make the song. Still, there's much work to be done here before Coronatus will be comparable to the genre heavy weights that they are trying to imitate, namely Nightwish, Epica and the likes.


Download: Wolfstanz
For the fans of: old Nightwish, Epica
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.12.2009
Massacre Records

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