Thessaloniki (Central Macedonia)
Progressive Death Metal, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal

Thessaloniki’s OPERTUM started out as a progressive death metal band, mixing the spacey vibes of NOCTURNUS with Gothenburg-melody on their first two-track demo entitled “Beyond the Shades of Mystery” (1998). These two songs were also merged into one song and included on the “Psyclone Sindustries” compilation cdr the same year. With slightly better sound as well, but that may just be due to the tape vis-à-vis cd format.

After several member shifts, the band recorded what was supposed to be their debut album. While roughly similar to the band’s original style, “Forbidden Anthems” (1999) features more erudite musicianship, better production, several guest appreances and an expansion of the musical palette. However, this album was never released officially and only 50 copies remain in circulation. For their final effort “Red” (2002), OPERTUM left their death metal roots behind in favor of the gothic and theatrical. What followed then was the classic case of “artistic differences”, with the band dissolving and members moving on to separate musical fields.

Compilation appearances:
* Psyclone Sinphonies [CDr, Comp: Psyclone Sinphonies, 1998] #

d i s c o g r a p h y :

Beyond the Shades of Mystery - Demo (cassette) 1998 - Private (-)
Details: Single-sided regular cassette, coloured j-card w/ lyrics.

Chapter I
Chapter II
Michael Karatsiolis (vocals, drums)
Tilemachos Bradelis (guitars)
George Mamaliogas (bass guitars, vocals)
Nick Zisidis (keyboards)
Epi Karatsioli (female vocals)
“Beyond the Shades of Mystery” is divided into two chapters, which in reality is basically one instrumental intro and one proper song. As mentioned in the band info, OPERTUM plays a progressive variant of death metal that resembles both the North American death metal stalwarts NOCTURNUS and Gothenburg bands like DARK TRANQUILLITY. An interesting combination, you might say. And it IS. They really nail the spacey/disoriented atmospherics, but there’s a lot of room for improvement here.

Two issues need to be raised. First, and less serious, is the instrumental performance. OPERTUM are playing over their abilities, which results in the music sounding chaotic. Not necessarily a bad thing in death metal, but in this case it is because the music gets drowned in a blur where everyone is playing at the same time without much correlation. What bothers me more though is the actual compositions. Ideas are thrown in from left to right, without any consideration of stringency. A good death metal song may sound chaotic, but there’s almost always something which holds the barrel together, to use a bad metaphor. Granted, there are good ideas being used, but they don’t make any sense and neither are they particularly engaging to listen to.

With more work, this could have been an interesting listen.

Written by Johan Pettersson

Forbidden Anthems - Unreleased album (cd 1999 - Private (-)
Details: Limited edition: 50 copies.

Lamentations in Crystal Temples…
Forbidden Anthems
Mesmerised by Nocturnal Breeze
A Chorus of Undying Desires
…For the Forsaking of Celestial Realm
Thomas Bairachtaris (vocals)
Kyriakos S. (guitars)
Tilemachos Bradelis (guitars)
Georgios “Lord Satha” Papantoniou (bass)
Michael Karatsiolis (drums)
Yet to be reviewed.

Red - Album (cd) 2002 - Private (-)
Details: -

Let’s Begin…
Roadway for a Dream
Most Unfit Moment
Devour the Skies
Blind and Sober
I Seek You
Fictional Sin
Cloak and Dagger
…Red Out
Tilemachos Bradelis (guitars)
Michael Karatsiolis (vocals, drums)
Yet to be reviewed.