Opium Denn might put folks in the mind of Pink Floyd, in that their music has many layers, is often foreboding, and at times, kind of dull. Actually that last bit may be a little unfair, as some music needs to be taken in and digested, as opposed to being gobbled up in four-minute blasts. Opium Denn are not a light snack.
Talk about a slow build, though, the opening track, “I Am A Felling #1,” has no vocals until about two-thirds of the way in, and even then they are minimal. Slow in tempo, things don’t pick up much more. “Leaf,” actually slows things down even further, whilst getting all bluesy. In fact, the whole EP has the blues, especially the guitar tracks.
“So Many Faces” moves away from the prog rock and heads in the direction of late ‘80s chart-friendly alternative. The chorus is odd: “You know/ There’re so many frickin’ faces.” Hey, at least they’re keeping it clean for the very young music fans.
Staying in the ‘80s, “Eyes to the Sky” is a nice slice of album rock so popular back then. It’s the album’s decidedly straight-head rocker. This would also be a likely candidate for a single if the band were so inclined.
“I Am A Feeling” is reprised twice more along the way. Installment #2 is piano-heavy and provides a nice break in the wall of sound. The third chapter sort of blends #1 and #2, for a piano-based tune that’s layered with the EP’s other elements. It gives the listener an appreciation for how an album or EP is constructed and how tracks are placed.
The album was made using something called Health-Science Enhanced Vibrations, or HEV. It’s some sort of made-up jive that is apparently an attempt to make Opium Denn sound like they’re moving beyond ordinary rock. They’re not, but they are pretty good at it. If blues flavored prog rock is your thing, this should go straight in your basket.
7 Stars Out of 10
PF Wilson has been writing about music, TV, radio, and movies for over 20 years. He has also written about sports, business, and politics with his work appearing in Cincinnati CityBeat, The Houston Press, Cleveland Scene, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine, Atomic Ranch, and many more. Check out his podcast PF’s Tape Recorder available from Podbean or in iTunes.