Depending on your musical preferences this album is going to be either pure genius or far too operatic for rock and I doubt there will be many who take solace in the middle ground! Legado de una Tragedia is a vehicle for the Spanish singer, composer, author and producer Joaquin Padilla and it appears he is an artist most adept in the glorious rock opera format and, for him, the grander the subject then the better it is. This is, after all, the man who produced a rock opera trilogy based on Edgar Allan Poe and then followed it up with El Secreto de los Templarios (The Secrets Of The Templers). I’m not sure how many artists there are out there who would consider writing a rock opera in Spanish and English concerning the Roman conquest of Britain but he’s gone and done it and a quite remarkable album it is too. The strange part though is that the album features sixteen tracks with the first five being the story in Spanish, the next five being the story but in English and the next five are the instrumental; versions. The album then closes with the demo version of Britania which means that the story has been broken down into just under 20 minutes segments but the work is so grand and epic that it takes several listens to actually appreciate that you are hearing different versions of the same songs so is it an album or a very extended EP; you can make the choice.
As we all know, the actual conquest of Britain was a long and convoluted affair and could quite easily have been another trilogy but it looks like Padilla wanted to hone his skills making this album a short yet fully orchestral work produced by a choir and symphonic orchestra and the whole affair comes across as some gargantuan Blind Guardian meets Les Misérables and literally leaves you gasping for breath by the end. Padilla takes vocals with a host of guests including Johnny Gioelli (Hardline), David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Isra Ramos (Avalanch), Tete Novoa (Saratoga), Thomas Vikstrom (Therion) and Baol Bardot Bulsara (TNT) plus, of course, the orchestra and choir. If you have a taste for the grand and outrageous then you should certainly spend some time with this most operatic album that works on so many different level as it is a choral and orchestral delight and well as being heavy, epic and ambitious metal. It is redolent with atmosphere and it is impossible to listen to the beginning of Ave Maria with its battle horns blazing, the clash of swords and the very smell of death in the air without having to suppress a shudder, it gives you a real flavour of what the Roman war machine was like in action.
Britania is not a work to put on when you are relaxing as you need to be alert and concentrating on what is happening as this is truly a magnificent opus that deserves your full attention. Señor Padilla, I beseech you to revisit this project and expand it to a worthy double or triple album and then take it to Cameron Mackintosh, after all, it wasn’t a bad move by Michael Schönberg and Alain Boublil was it?
Britania track list
- La Tierra De Los Druidas (1:49)
- Britania (7:29)
- El Llanto De Los Ancestros (3:04)
- Ave Roma (5:09)
- Las Cenizas De Las Memoria (2:02)
- Land Of The Druids (1:49)
- Britannia (7:29)
- Cry Of The Ancestors (3:04), Ave Roma (1:52)
- Memory Ashes (5:09)
- Tierra De Los Druidas (Instrumental) (1:49)
- Britania (Instrumental) (7:27)
- El Llanto De Los Ancestros (Instrumental) (3:04)
- Ave Roma (Instrumental) (5:09)
- Las Cenizas De Las Memoria (Instrumental) (2:02)
- Britania (Demo) (7:26)