"Symphony For A Hopeless God"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I've never managed to make it all the way through an opera. I have a strong love for classical music and could gladly watch a symphony play, but there's something about opera that just wears me out. The closest equivalent heavy metal has to opera is the symphonic power metal genre. And France's Whyzdom is every bit as bombastic, overwhelming and ultimately wearying as a true opera.

This band throws themselves into huge concepts and orchestral overkill with total abandon. There's no shred of restraint or economy here. It's a wall of choirs, horns, orchestras, blasting drums, shredding guitars and the mezzo soprano wails of one Marie Rouyer, who is an honest to Wagner opera singer. The guitar riffing is quite crunchy and powerful in spots and there is no ground to criticize this band when it comes to musicianship. Marie's vocals are often pleasant and impressive, but as with real opera, it's just too damn much. The album started with promise, but somewhere around the time "The Mask" kicked in, so did my self protective instincts. My mind needed to withdraw from the Gothic/Symphonic/Power Metal bombast into a neutral corner before it fried itself completely. By the last couple of tunes, this had become Muzak.

I think Whyzdom (goofy name) would put even many fans of pompous Euro power metal to the test. It's too much for me. But in a perverse way, I do admire their devotion to total symphonic overkill.