June 6, 2021

Ah, there is nothing quite like a fully blown and gloriously over the top metal opera to totally divide opinion. Those anti-prog UK journalists – and I use the term in the loosest sense of the word – would ridicule this work as being symptomatic of everything that was wrong with the overly pretentious rock music that so many of us love whilst we in the know, being more open minded of course, welcome the projects huge scope and even bigger score as a totally interactive experience to become fully immersed in.

Giotopia is a band created by the Belgian guitarist, singer and producer Gio Smet in 2017 as the vehicle for this epic metal project and what’s more is that this is the third and final part of a metal trilogy that has involved a host of musicians and singers. The first part, A Fantasy Tale On Music – Part 1 came out in 2018 and even featured such luminaries as Fabio Lione and Ralf Scheepers amongst a cast of seemingly thousands and this was rapidly followed by Part 2 in 2019 this time with Apollo Papathanasio and Herbie Langhams standing out in another huge team of returning and/or new musicians. I cannot comment on the two first parts as I haven’t heard them but will check them out at some stage in the future based on what is on offer here.

Now we arrive at the third part of the tale which sees Papathanasio returning to a work that is very vocal heavy with a host of singers being the voices of the characters in the tale which is a long complex affair about the God of Destruction raging war against the world of Giotopia. A check of the website shows that Giovanni Smet has been very busy and has written out a full story line for the project. However, it is difficult to fully subscribe to such an epic score and storyline through download only so you do miss out on the visual side of the project which is a pity. As an independent release the music is available for download or streaming but the CDs seem to be mainly only available from the band’s website and I’m guessing that (since Brexit) postage is probably going to double the cost of any order you make. As mentioned, it is difficult to comment on the full proceedings from just the latest album but Trinity Of Evil is a power/symphonic metal album with a huge scope and an epic storyline involving any number of characters and, beware, there are even witches and all sorts of unsavoury characters in here! In many cases, the music takes a back seat to the vocal interplay but it is a grand and heavy score and well played with plenty of melody so that it never jars with the story as it unfolds.

This is one of those albums that you need to lock yourself away from the world for a couple of weeks as you slip into the world that they have created simply to fully appreciate every twist and nuance of the music. Hard and heavy drums and bass over which there are guitars and keyboards aplenty but it is the vocal prowess of the performers that truly stands out. This is a very ambitious project that Smet and company should be very proud of and, in terms of reference, is very similar to the storylines and worlds created by Arjen Lucassen. If you love a rock opera then there is plenty here for you to enjoy and become fully immersed in.

Trinity Of Evil track list

  1. A New Saga (2:28)
  2. Spawn Of Abaddon (5:05)
  3. Bad Blood Resurrected (5:47)
  4. Trinity Of Evil (8:41)
  5. Forever Bound (5:02)
  6. Princess Of Ice (5:29)
  7. Deceiving Embrace (4:08)
  8. Strike While The Iron Is Hot (5:40)
  9. Betrayal (4:19)
  10. Journey Into Deathrealm (3:04)
  11. For King And Country (6:17)