Reviews of "Nostradamus"

(Steamhammer/ SPV)

Brazen Abbot guitarist & main man Nikolo Kotzev has pulled out all the stops and totally outdone themselves with the release of the rock/metal opera Nostradamus. What he has done here is taken the already top quality Euro hard rock sound he does with Brazen Abbot, add a 35-piece orchestra, a choir, a very detailed story line, and even more legendary (or soon to be) vocalists to create a double disc release of truly epic proportions. To attempt to describe this massive release in detail, song by song, would result in the world’s first CD review to be written in chapters, so I will only give a synopsis. The line-up of musicians is stellar. Vocalists Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Goran Edman (Yngwie, John Norum, Brazen Abbot), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple, Yngwie), Jorn Lande (Ark, Yngwie), Doogie White (Rainbow), Sass Jordan, and Alannah Myles (Remember “Black Velvet”?) all are in super-top form! They all give world-class performances that over and again confirm their status as world-renowned singers. They each play a different character in Kotzev’s story, giving the whole record a “theatre” vibe both in arrangements and performance. Kotzev handles all the guitars and is joined by Ian Haugland (drums), Mic Michaeli (keys), and John Levin (bass) who are all formerly of melodic rock band Europe. The music is best described as melodic, European hard rock of the utmost quality. The orchestral sections sound as if they were actually written as orchestral pieces, not just strings thrown on top of guitars. This stuff is dramatic, intense and musically huge! The theatrical delivery makes this record something of an “audio play”. You can almost picture the individual singers, and the choir, on stage acting out these parts. There’s character interaction, sung conversational delivery, and even choir narration. While the tracks are separated into individual songs, this piece is best enjoyed start to finish, which requires time, patience and a love of the dramatic. Aside from the performances, which are all around energetic and vibrant, the amazing thing is that Nikolo Kotzev himself conceived this entire work. All the music, lyrics, orchestration, and arrangements all came from his brain. This had to be a painfully difficult process both in conception and organization trying to get all these people in to do their parts. A million kudos to Kotzev for his efforts! Fans of any one musician involved in this project owe it to themselves to get this record. This is truly a monumental release.
[Shawn Pelata] (