Marco Grou, keyboardist for Derdian sees his power metal vision come to life in his project Magic Opera, releasing their first album The Golden Pentacle, a symphonic power metal concept work filled with strong performances and the epic overall feel one looks for in the genre.
For those not up on Italian power metal, Marco Grau and several members of Magic Opera hail from the Milan band Derdian, who have been around for at least 15 years from what I can tell. Others have said that Magic Opera sounds a bit like older Derdian, which is not surprising given the members involved, and if that is the case, I have yet another band I need to go and check out. The Golden Pentacle was mixed and mastered by Danilo Di Lorenzo at Moonhouse Recording Studio in Milan and while the overall mix is a bit too keyboard heavy for me, overall it is fitting for the genre, very clean with every instrument and layer of music easily heard and there is a lot musically to take in. Interestingly, the melodies take center stage in the mix with the keyboards and then the lead guitars and strings, and a bit in the background are the drums, rhythm guitar and bass which is a bit disappointing to me given the overall high quality musicianship, but this is more of a stylistic choice than anything.