The Epic: A Drum Opera CD
by Dragon Ritual Drummers
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason
I probably should have reviewed this CD before I did “Passage” (see my previous review) since it preceded it. There were two reasons I put it off, however. Both of those reasons were person, but only one had any real validity to it. The valid reason was that I wanted to hear “Pagan Soldier,” but didn’t want to have to shift gears after listening to it. The non-valid reason was a reaction to the word “opera” in the title of this CD. I’m not a huge fan of opera in general, so I allowed that to influence my judgment.
Before you slip this CD into your player, take a few minutes to read, and experience, the booklet which accompanies it. It explains the source of inspiration for both the opera and the group which has brought it into existence. As with a y opera, an understanding of the underlying story is an important part of appreciating it.
Unlike most operas, knowledge of a foreign language is not beneficial for appreciating “The Epic.” This is, after all, a drum opera. The language is that of rhythm and tone; of pacing and volume; and of emotion. The range of sounds drawn from these human-powered instrument (you won’t find any sampling or synthesizers on any of their CDs) is amazing.
I listened to this CD as I lay on my bed, with headphones on, and was swept up (and into the story) by the power and subtleties of this group. I will be looking to add more of their work to my library. I strongly recommend this CD, and all their work.