Music Reviews

Nikolo Kotzev

Nikolo Kotzev’s Nostradamus

Steamhammer

This is a two-disc long rock opera about Nostradamus. It is an amazing piece of work, along the lines – if not elevated above – Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Nostradamus is largely about the historical figure, Michael de Nostredame, famous, indefatigable French doctor, humanitarian, confidant to royalty, etc. And with a talent for prophecy and certainly an historical figure of influence well into the current international mindset. It has been argued that Nostradamus accurately predicted the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler and the assassination of John F. Kennedy, among other items of concern to world history.

But enough of that, there are several good books on the history of the man and probably hundreds written about his predictions; I know there are no less than three movies dealing with his predictions of the end of the world and such. Thusly, a trip to the library is due. I’m sure there are plenty of web sites available as well.

So, to the music. Frankly, I think the ultimate test of this rock opera will be when the professional, well-respected reviewers have had their crack at it. That would be the lurkers of Broadway and such… My opinion is that this is a masterpiece of rock opera and clearly a tribute to the influence of 1970s-era heavy metal on late 1990s/2000s phenomenon of symphonic heavy metal. This is not just a collection of contemporary rock songs with good beats. Quite the contrary, Bulgarian-born guitar and violin virtuoso Nikolo Kotzev has seamlessly meshed a full (35-piece) symphony orchestra with raging power metal guitars and, amazingly, the best of the power metal singers. That would be Joe Lynn Turner in the title role (I confess, I’m not a fan of his prior work, it’s not my, um, cup of tea…) and remains “in character” throughout and Glenn Hughes as the King of France, Henry II. Not bad company to be in (!)… Plus there’s Alannah Myles in the cast as well.

I honestly hope that Nostradamus is fully realized as a performance on Broadway/London and gets the attention it should, as it sure sounds ready to take the stage. It is a power metal opera of the highest quality, deserving a place in the biggest concert halls around. The music is of a pure, genuine, passionate – dude, crank that up – nature, true to both extremes that I imagine Kotzev honed his skills by listening to classical opera one day and Deep Purple the next, repeat cycle throughout… As far as I am concerned, Nostradamus starts the top ten of the decade list.

Steamhammer Records; http://www.spv.de


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