Opul - Levels EP

Good day waveriders!  I don't want to waste any of your time so let's dive right into the subject of this writeup.  Lately I've been on the lookout for some tunes that succeed at being heavy and pretty at the same time.  If pretty was unavailable I was willing to settle for melodically memorable.  Luckily I ran across a new EP called Levels by the band Opul. 

Actually the term band is not entirely accurate.  Opul is a one-man project from Matt Lupo, guitarist for the band East Of The Wall, and it is just what the doctor ordered!  The three songs that make up the Levels EP perfectly align with what I was looking to hear.  Gorgeous vocals ethereally soar over some rather weighty instrumentation.  Mirroring an aspect of the cover art they sound as if they are being broadcast through the upper reaches of the atmosphere.  Sorry, too obtuse?  What I'm trying to express is that the vocals sound ever so slightly muted.  In fact I'd go so far as to describe them as haunting.

Now let's examine the other half of the musical equation.  Powerful, bombastic, and assured are all adjectives that come to mind when I think about the instrumental elements on this EP.  Hefty guitar riffs whirl out of the speakers, only dialed back when the songs call for a more relaxed, dream-like ambience.  The drumming is tastefully done, perfectly complementing the melody agents at all times. 

Bottom line?  The Levels EP is an exceedingly well put together release that should be on the radar of every hard rock fan.  If you go to Opul's bandcamp site you can stream the entire EP.  Then, after you realize you must have a copy you can name your own price to download it and support the artist at the same time.  It's a win-win!

- Penfold