Reviews of "Nostradamus"

(Steamhammer/ SPV)

Bulgarian-born Nikolo Kotzev is a man of many talents. Living in Finland's Mariehamn since '89 this classically trained violinist (he took lessons from the tender age of five!) got interested in Rock music in his teenager years, and learned to play the guitar. Besides being a great musician, he is also an accoplished writer and producer. He played and toured with a top fourty band before graduating from the academy, played two albums with the band Baltimore, and started working on songs to begin a solo carreer that was later to be called Brazen Abbot, which released three albums up to now, and attracted many renowned musicians such as Joe Lynn Turner, Goran Edman and Glenn Hughes (all of which we find back on this project). Conceived as a Rock Opera, the writing of "Nostradamus" started in '98. The music is performed by internationally known people such as Ian Haughland (drummer with Europe), John Leven (bassist) and the lesser known (to me) Mic Michaeli (keyboards/organ), and a full-blown symphony orchestra with 35 people, with Kotzev performing on guitar, synths, percussion, and violin in the song "Henriette". Vocals come from Joe Lynn Turner (in the role of Nostradamus), Glenn Hughes (as the King of France), Goran Edman (as the Ghost), Doogie White (as the storyteller), Jorn Lande (as the Inquisitor), and Alannah Myles (as Anne Gemelle, Nostradamus' second wife) and Sass Jordan (as Catherine de Medici, Queen of France). Additionally we have a choir to act as 'the people', and 'the inquisition'. The concept is quite simple: the life and times of Michel de Nostradamus, famed future-teller, how he came to be a controversial healer, how he came to have his first visions, how he was persecuted by the (probably jealous, as was often the case in those days) Inquisitor, how he foresaw the accidental death of his ruling king, how that king made his peace with the leading character in the story, and how his life was ultimately saved by the Queen of France (a second time, I might add). Then the story goes on with the visions of World War II and III, and of the end of the world in the year 3797. A great project that may see the stages very soon (I hope), as a script for live/stage performances is already in the making. A great Rock opera with lots of symphonical intermezzi from the orchestra, to remenisce the medeaval era in which the main character of this story lived. A great stage project that'll hopefully include at least some of the vocalists on this album, and one I'll be looking out for to witness.

Concrete Web (