Magnum Opus

Label: Black Lion Records
Three similar bands: Ne Obliviscaris/Der Weg Einer Freiheit/Enslaved

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Servitude, Subjugate
2. Ouroboros
3. Prima Materia
4. Elixir of Immortality
5. Exculpate Exonerate
6. Demiurgos (Architect of Disaster)
7. Planes of Our Existence
8. Seven Wandering Stars
9. Chrysopoeia (Bonus Track for CD)


Jay Briscoe - Vocals/Bass
Alec Pezzano - Guitar/Orchestral
Joe Cantamessa - Lead Guitar
Paul Cole - Drums

Viatica (EP 2009)
Unholy Divination (EP 2010)
Pray for Damnation (EP 2012)
Unholy (EP 2013)
Gnosis: Never Follow the Light (2015)
St. Vitus Dance (EP 2018)
Nomenclature (2019)

Ben Karas – Violin
Jakejake Superchi – Vocals (“Seven Wandering Stars”)
Jorgen-Munkeby – Saxophone (“Ouroboros”)
Zach Strouse– Saxophone (“Prima Materia” & “Planes of Our Existence”)
Daryl Baker - Guitar Solo (“Prima Materia”)

Produced by Joe Cantamessa
Mixed & Mastered by Marcos Cerutti
Cover Artwork by Adam Búrke/Nightjar Illustration
Album Layout & Additional Artwork by Alec Pezzano/Vitalsign Media

Released 2022-05-27
Reviewed 2022-07-28


black lion

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Magnum Opus, that is a grand name for an album. It tells a story of alchemists and the philosopher’s stone, old myths, not an uncommon subject for a metal album. The cover is cool, it conveys a look of adventure. With a cool-looking cover there could be an adventure hiding, I have been listening for a while to determine that.

It goes to a great length, meaning that the playing time is very long at around 55 minutes – much in almost every type of album. That includes the progressive death metal style that these guys play. They play it but doesn’t really sing it, as the vocals are very generic death metal for most part, there is some chanting but most of it is generic growls. The variation and ideas are in the non-vocal parts where we get violins, sax, things like that to increase the depth. The problem is that they want to keep us listening for 55 minutes with interesting music and completely uninteresting vocals – it is the voice you always hear the most when you are listening to an album so you can guess if I could keep my attention on this album for 55 minutes.

That’s right, it is impossible. While I like several of the progressive things they do with tempo and styles, it is not possible for me to keep my attention on the album for any extended period. After a few minutes hearing the generic growling my mind wanders elsewhere, like what to do to clean up the storage, if I am to empty the cat litter bin, clean the toilet, those things just seem more interesting than the album – and these are things that I really dislike doing. But they need to be done and what better time to do it than when listening to something not really interesting?

IATT needs a better voice, this Magnum Opus has only one magnum thing about it, and that is the eternal playing time – like a bible chronicle or something else endless. As much as I respect their ideas, I don’t like their choice of voice, they need to do something about that if they want to be interesting in the future. Perhaps use clean vocals more, or lessen the vocals in general. Because, in the end, no chain is stronger than its weakest link – and IATT has a very weak link in their creative chain.