Melted Space Jun29


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Melted Space


Album: Between
Tracks: 10
Length: 35′ 31″
Release Date: 2013.05.24
Label: Editions Hurlantes

Riff Score: 8.0/10

After 2012, Pierre Le Pape was a name that the metal community had under watch. An album filled with majestic compositions and adventurous stories, “From the Past” dared to confront mythological elements from different cultures.
This fresh approach to lyric writing is perhaps one of the strongest pillars of Melted Space’s production, but all of these carefully crafted verses would be naked, if it wasn’t for La Pape’s vision and artistry on tailoring moods and ambiences that allure and captivate the listener.

Just a few months after “From the Past”, again under the Melted Space banner we are again taken to this universe of cultural mist and mystery: Romulus and Remus, the brothers who were the fed by a wolf and founded the city of Rome; are the main characters of a journey that La Pape orchestrated for us.

The album starts with “Return to the land of the forgotten”, an instrumental piece which welcomes us to the narrative. It has all the epic elements associated with progressive metal operas, and gains intensity as it leads into the second track; the first with lyrics – Liv Kristine soothes us with her tender lullaby, as she lays the foundation for the main characters spirit.
Another instrumental track follows – “They were brothers”, which connects this eerie ambient to a more traditional metal movement. Enter “Si vis pacem…” (loosely translatable to “if you want peace”) where very curious dialogs take place, voices that you could easily picture in one of Arjen Lucassen’s Ayreon conceptual albums. This track plays an important in the global theme of the album and here we encounter the opposing personalities with the darkest voices and emotions making an entrance. An interesting chorus that sticks in your head due to well placed hooks of the accompanying orchestration.
Those more versed in Latin would probably see this coming… the fifth track is called “…para bellum” (which can be again be loosely translated to “prepare for war”) and increases the intensity, creating a big sense on urgency. The main characters discuss the value of the human soul, and mark their opposing stances; the voices transmit anger, lust for power, doubt, the search for an answer, the purpose of it all…
“The man with two faces” is another connection track where La Pape moves between atmospheres; this time, to lead into the daunting conclusion track “Welcome to this world” where the lead finally face each other. A very diverse track with sections that bring to memory Bal-Sagoth and their symphonic black metal; the strings in this track are very effective and the brass sections create tremendous energy that transposes into the story.
The casting for this project is superb, with very powerful voices and carefully placed fills and arrangements. Pierre La Pape decided to select more accessible musicians, which will surely allow him to perform this opus live, without the constraints of all-star projects like Ayreon or Star One, which never perform live due to the participants’ busy schedules.

“Between” also contains three bonus tracks: two acoustic versions of tracks out of “From the past” and an operatic mix of “War for the world”. Both acoustic tracks have a certain Spanish feel, both in the sounds and melodies; quite surprising but very enjoyable. The final track “War for the world” again brings the signature Melted Space sound, with arrangements and production that would not feel foreign to the “Between” theme. An interesting female melody duet is the highlight of this track.

A special note for the artwork and packaging of the release; excellent composition in the cover, suits the narrative and the ambient of the album. The booklet captures the symbology and mood of the story and the way that the lyrics are presented shows a deep concern on creating a complete and cohesive conceptual experience.

The overall impression of this grand production is that La Pape has come a long way in terms of arrangements and production; his song craft has improved dramatically, and the voices now seem even more adjusted to the flow of the orchestrations.
Even though the duration of the conceptual piece is relatively short, the high quality of the music, engaging story and the expressiveness of the voices make a big dent in the symphonic metal landscape; an album that should not be missed!


01 – Return to the land of the forgotten
02 – Dying legend
03 – They were brothers
04 – Si vis pacem…
05 – …para bellum
06 – The man with two faces
07 – Welcome to this world
Bonus – 08 – When I was a god (acoustic version)
Bonus – 09 – Dante’s memory (acoustic version)
Bonus – 10 – War for the world (operatic mix)