Opera Metal – what is it, actually?
A special sub-genre of symphonic metal. What is hiding behind the term, is a combination of metal with elements from classical music, for example classical instruments or a keyboarder. Elements taken up from classic music often come from romantic or baroque periods. Very often this is combined with conceptional work. If bands of symphonic metal additionally employ classical singing voices, the term opera metal has come into use. Pioneers have been the bands Nightwish and Therion.
Then why is molllust Opera Metal?
We employ both the typical instruments of metal (e-guitar, bass, drums) as well as classical instruments (cello and piano). Its hard to miss the classical voice and technique of our lead singer.
Characteristic Elements of both genres:
We incorporate structural traits of both metal and classical music. On a scale between metal and classical music, the distribution is not always the same, but we are usually significantly more on the classical side than most of the other representatives of our genre. We try to fuse the genres so tightly that we do not do “classical music with a bit of metal” or “metal with a bit of classical music”, but create something new out of the strengths of both genres.
Our pieces often do not have a riff for verse or refrain. Mostly there is a basic riff which is played through in variations. Therefore we have for example repeating motifs. At times one will discover a sequence of a part that has already been played in a more intense form. Classical models have structurally inspired some of our pieces – for example art song has inspired “Erlkönigs Töchter”. In times of periods, we are mostly indebted to romantic music. It is due to our closeness to opera and classical singing techniques that most of our songs are not suited to chant along. We apply our instrumentation rather orchestrally. THE solo instrument or THE traditional metal solo almost does not exist in our music. For the most part, there is an equilibrium between the instruments and some passages emphasize certain instruments, and often two instruments complement each other in games of questions and answers. Nevertheless there are typical basic functions, on which the instruments focus, and which incline more towards classical or metal music, depending on the instruments: The drums for the most part provides rhythm, sometimes décor. The bass lays out the harmonic foundation and supports the rhythm of drum and rhythm guitar. The rhythm guitar generates recognisable structures in rhythm, has the most catchy riffs of the whole instrumentation, but sometimes plays lines of melody with a rhythmic focus. The cello provides the tonal structure or places melodic accents. The piano also functions like a chameleon: On demand it supplies rhythmic support, structure or leads the melody. The e-violin mostly leads melody, bur sometimes supports the riffs of the rhythm guitar.
Who stumbles across sporadic double bass lines and asks, where those basic riffs come from, has found without doubt stylistic elements from the area of metal. Who joyfully discovers a clear verse and refrain structure, also has discovered metal. Who is surprised by its occasional rupture, came across the influence of classical music just at this moment. If someone wants to sing along, he should try with the refrains, for those are often indebted to metal and have a more simple and catchy structure than the verses – and mostly also a much smaller range of pitch. Many songs provide a simpler and more sing-along male voice and melody than the female voice. Minor harmonic scales are a favourite with solo parts, especially in metal. We employ those often quite continuously.
Opera metal means for us, molllust, ultimately neither to be metal, nor classical music, but something in between. For whom this is to unspecific, he may call us a “crossover-band”, a label which, when in doubt, subsumes everything that combines more than one style of music.