Operatika - Dreamworld (EP) 3.5/5

Reviewed: 5-27-05


1. Dreamworld
2. Gladiator
3. The storm
4. The calling

Operatika is an upstart band from New Jersey. 'Dreamworld' is their debut EP. It contains 4 tracks, but only 3 proper songs, so we only get a cursory look (or listen) at them here. From the opening seconds of opening track “Dreamworld” the obvious first thought to come into your mind will be “Nightwish”. I first heard of Operatika when they opened a show for Nightwish a while back and reportedly wowed the crowd. Operatika definitely plays in a similar style to Nightwish during their 'Oceanborn'/'Wishmaster' era – classically influenced speedy melodic power metal with female operatic vocals. Frankly, hearing such a good imitator is welcome to these ears since Nightwish themselves have clearly abandoned this style on their last 2 (still good) CDs. “Dreamworld” almost sounds a little too much like Nightwish's “She is my sin”, but some added speed during the chorus helps differentiate things enough from the Nightwish track. As far as vocals go, Slava Popova is a fine operatic vocalist which just adds fuel to the “sounds like Nightwish” fire.

“Gladiator” differentiates itself a bit by being way faster than anything Nightwish ever played - almost like classic Blind Guardian or Rhapsody in speed. One clear strength of Operatika is the killer lead guitar from Bill Visser which is just ripping fast and catchy stuff. “The storm” is a short interlude track which merely serves as an intro to “The calling”, which is another quality fast track. This band definitely shows the ability to write some catchy hooks and vocal melodies. While they are definitely going to be shackled with the label of “Nightwish clone”, they do it so well, that they will still probably hit it big when a metal label takes notice. A ton of promise is shown on 'Dreamworld' and I will eagerly await their first full-length CD.




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