Dream Theater have been at the top of the game for such a long time …
There are few albums that make your hair stand on end, at least not any more. Yes, yes, we’re always writing rock ‘n’ roll’s epitaph (Spencer Chamberlain did it a couple of years ago) lamenting the next generation will be all the poorer. Hellions is part of rock’s now generation, and Opera Oblivia is their magnum opus. The absolute thrill of voices carrying your wearied soul towards a higher plane abounds on Quality of Life and a conflicted Thresher, all awash with melody and bitter irony.
This is their Nevermind, their Rocket to Russia, their Number of the Beast.
Real opera suffuses He Without Sin, a slice of human drama spinning into infinity atop crunching guitars and lilting strings. Absent are ties to punk, ‘core or metal, it shines across the whole spectrum of what makes rock great. The whole record, from top to bottom, is a product of unwavering labour. Like wounded bodies emerging victorious, Hellions didn’t just make this record; they conquered it. We can hear the hundreds of hours Hellions poured into this album, just as we can hear the anguish and the hunger. Opera Oblivia shows we, as rock fans and rock musicians, can achieve immortality. This is their Nevermind, their Rocket to Russia, their Number of the Beast. I know, we’re tired of hype. So am I. But this isn’t imaginary. This is real. Whether you agree or not, Opera Oblivia triumphs.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Quality of Life, Thresher, He Without Sin
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Rock music, good times, hanging out.