Simply, Fantasy Opus’s new album The Last Dream is Progressive Power Metal in its purest, most exemplary form. With complex yet riff and rhythm heavy song structures that engage both the intellect and the adrenal glands, the album hooks the listener early—first song “Ritual Of Blood” is Leviathan in proportions, and the undertow of swift-hitting “Heaven Denied” ensures that the listener is swept out into the deep waters to stay. The interplay between guitarists’ Marcos Carvalho and Ruben Reis are as thrilling as any tandem in Power Metal, and the pocket that drummer Ricardo Allonzo and bassist Nilson Santegueda is an impenetrable foundation that can carry whatever musical structures they build. This is the band’s second album; their debut Beyond Eternity was released ten years ago and in the decade they turned over every position at least once except for Carvalho on leads and Santegueda on bass. One could expect a lack of confidence or polish to the sound with all the turmoil and time separating the releases, but on The Last Dream Fantasy Opus sounds like a sharp fighting unit that has been recording together for years. Vocalist Leonel Silva, one of the more recent additions to the band, does an admirable job on songs that are given to long instrumental stretches. He shines especially well on the quieter, acoustic “Lust”, at times his style is reminiscent of Fates Warnings’ Ray Alder, albeit in a lower register.
The songs on The Last Dream all use the sea as a metaphor; it is a rare album where the music is as majestic as its thematic subject.
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