Reviews of "Nostradamus"

(Steamhammer/ SPV)

We have been waiting for this one for a long time. It's taken a while, and we've seen the project develop as news and events surrounding it's progress were published on the Internet. HOTR even interviewed Nikolo back as far as February 2000, and now that it's out, all I can say is WOW! What a concept, and my how the integration of classical and modern day heavy rock has fused together so well. Nostradamus as a subject has fascinated myself and many people over the years, as it has Nikolo Kotsev. To put together a rock opera based on aspects of his life is not only brave, but inspirational in todays musical treadmill, very much like Nostradmus' life no doubt. Only a guy like Nikolo and his merry band of players could pull off a project like this and go against the grain. Combined with a 35 piece Orchestra, the results are spectacular. With music encompassing two CD's, the various episodes of Nostradamus life which Kotsev thought would be interesting lyrically, have been converted into chapters of music, from his birth right through to his death. This is not a stop start collection of songs, but a throughput of music, which ebbs and flows throughout the chapters. In fact Act I is a prelude to his controversial years, while Act II drops us right into it. Act III covers off his more recent prophecies such as WWII, WWIII and the supposed end of the world. All interesting stuff, with a heavy melodic backdrop, both rock and classical, to boot. Focusing on the music and the cast for a moment.. Some of the choices are again inspired. Joe Lynn Turner makes a fine choice for the lead role, while Jorn Lande is particularly devilish in his role as The Inquisitor. The many bodies making up the Varna Orchestra (many of them unsung heroes) contribute greatly to the project, while the band made up of ex Europe members, are as tight as Kotsev can make them. If for whatever reason this piece of music eventually becomes a proper theatrical opera, I am sure it will be absolutely mindblowing. The concept is killer, as is the music, now all it needs is the wherewithall to get it onto the stage. How about it Nik? Meanwhile to all prospective buyers of this CD, do yourself a favor, get lost in a piece of history, and get absorbed in the tale that is Nostradamus.

Rating: 9.95
Pro's: Conceptually brilliant. Like a hard to put down book! Integration of classical and rock is incredible! Subject matter is right up my alley. Con's: To navigate your way through the album you can't do without the liner notes. I sometimes found it confusing as to who was singing what, based on the small marker legend used. A small price to pay for the inconvenience I'm sure..
George Thatcher

Heart of the Rock (