ARTIST OVERALL RATINGS
You kind of get the sense from the Dark Tenor that anything other than 100% effort simply will not do. The marketing campaign is elaborate, slick and edgy, drawing in who-knows-what kind of audience and the voice and music matches it. The build up has been going on for some time; he's accumulated over 30,000 likes on Facebook before he even had a bar of music available for purchase. This is exciting stuff. The mysterious, masked Dark Tenor is signed to a major label, doing new things and creating larger than life arrangements and interpretations of classics we've always known but seldom recognise on his debut album Symphony of Light. Sarah Brightman's Symphony and Emma Shapplin's Etterna have introduced the classical crossover (CC) audience to gothic themes before, and the gradual exposure of vocalists like Sharon Den Adel and Tarja Turunen have only expanded the dark soundscape further, but this is our first full blown mainstream gothic CC artist. "Firsts" are good for CC and will contribute to its expansion alongside rule breakers Lindsey Stirling and the Piano Guys.
When it comes to classical gothic, you have the composers you'd come to expect - Beethoven, Mozart, Camille Saint-Saens, Handel all receive the Dark Tenor treatment. In a fashion similar to Jade Valerie, he uses the pieces as a base for melody, but creates an entirely new song on top of it. The album features Angelzoom who is definitely worth checking out - vocally a light soprano but stylistically emo-Enya - and pianist Yiruma, responsible for one of the standout tracks on the album 'River Flows on the Edge'. Symphony of Light is a loud statement and a visual feast (check out the youtube episodes) - it's a coherent and solid product intricately put together that will have the guys intrigued and the ladies swooning. It will be interesting to see how his style develops over time and if his identity remains secret, but for now, even without all the show, the music is strong enough to stand on its own. Buy the album now from iTunes or Amazon Germany.
YOU MAY LIKE DARK TENOR IF YOU LIKE...
Bad Boy of Opera
Scala & the Kolacny Brothers