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NIKOLO KOTZEV'S
NOSTRADAMUS

SPV 089-72362 DCD
Produced by: Nikolo Kotzev

Released: OUT / Website
Relative: Phantom Of The Opera!
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 95%

    DISC 1 - Act 1:
  1. Overture (Inst.)
  2. Pieces Of A Dream
  3. Desecration
  4. Introduction
  5. Home Again (Inst.)
  6. Henriette
  7. Caught Up In A Rush
  8. The Eagle
  9. Plague
  10. Inquisition Act 2:
  11. The King Will Die
  12. I Don't Believe
  13. Try To Live Again DISC 2:
  14. War Of The Religions
  15. The Inquisitor's Rage
  16. Chosen Man Act 3:
  17. World War 2
  18. World War 3
  19. Because Of You
  20. The End Of The World
  21. I'll Remember You

Bloody hell, where does one start with this review?
Let's get straight to the point. This CD isn't going to be for everyone, but regardless of that and what style suits your tastes, this is a masterpiece.
This is Phantom Of The Opera for the hard rock world.
Over 4 years in the making, this CD has to be the crowning achievement of guitarist Nikolo Kotzev's career. He would find it impossible to top this and would be foolish to try.
But I believe that he won't even try, next time going back to what he was doing previously while writing and arranging this masterpiece - that is making great European hard rock records under the Brazen Abbot banner.
Let's go through the people involved in this project. On vocals we have Goran Edman, Jorn Lande, Joe Lynn Turner, Glenn Hughes & Doogie White.
Damn! How is that line up!
To describe this album in a simple review would be impossible, so I implore anyone who's interest is sparked by this review to investigate further.
The sound: Primarily, this is a European hard rock album of the highest caliber. The backing band of John Levin, Mic Michaeli, Ian Haughland, along with Nikolo himself, play their hearts out on this ambitious project and guarantee that the music is of the best possible standard.
Any fans of Brazen Abbot and classic European hard rock albums will dig this.
The delivery: That's what is so unique about Nostradamus. The music here is every part of the best of the artists mentioned above, with the fabulous vocals of Hughes, Turner, Edman, Lande set to music so imaginative and technically involved, it will take months to get to know this album.
The instrumentation: Everything! The usual guitars, rhythm section, vocals and keyboards with the addition of non-traditional heavy metal instruments as a 35 piece symphonic orchestra, strings, violins and layers of harmony with the vocal choir.
It really is quite amazing to witness this all on one record.
Kotzev is to be commended for his arrangement of this piece of music. I admit here and now, I have never heard double kick drums set to a vocal choir before! It's also the first album I have heard a shredding Violin solo on!
I will say that both in it's favor and against it, it is a very complex piece of music. The only possible reason that could be held against it is that the listener will have to be in the mood for this album. You can pull it apart into separate track selections, but the reality is that is sounds best running from start to finish.
That small point aside, this CD has everything going for it. Educate yourself with this album as what someone can do when they put their mind and talent to it.
The great thing about this album is that everyone is on top of their game. The music is first rate obviously, but the vocals by all involved are also at their best - even the very quiet of late Alannah Myles sounds gorgeous.
The hardest thing about putting this project together must have been the timing of getting all involved to contribute their parts and then mix those parts together.
That has been done brilliantly, with the guitars balanced by the vocal choir, balanced with the rhythm section, balanced with the orchestral parts.
This has to be one of the best pure European classic hard rock album in years. Certainly this year.
BOTTOM LINE: This album has everything. Pumping hard rock, mid-tempo melodic anthems, soaring choir harmonies, soft instrumental interludes, dramatic symphonic passages, acoustic ballads with orchestral backing, orchestral string backing, passionate ballad duets between the male and female leads and straight up anthem rockers and even some fine Richie Blackmore inspired Renaissance pieces.
If you own any previous Brazen Abott albums or any solo Joe Lynn Turner, Glenn Hughes, Jorn Lande, Doogie White or Goran Edman albums - this demands buying. It is a masterpiece!
PRODUCTION: 98% SONGS: 95% VIBE: 93%ATTITUDE: 94%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of great European hard rock and every fan of the involved artists.
DISCOGRAPHY:Brazen Abbott - Live & Learn . Eye Of The Storm . Bad Religion; Nostradamus


01/09/03: Superstitious1 - azaleaplace1@aol.com
Rating: 100
What an incredible body of work! A masterpiece! This 2CD set has allowed me to see music in a whole new way. An outstanding blend of hard rock and classical music. Outstanding vocal performances, songwriting and musicianship. I will cherish this forever!

25/08/03: Hanuk Baac - Temporarily Unavailable
Rating: 100
This is what we have to call a true masterpiece. Nikolo put 4 years of hard work into this and I can tell you it was well worth it. I purchased this cd 2 years ago and still play this a lot.

02/07/03: luca - info@studiofalorni.com
Rating: 100
un classico per tutti i tempi. Ogni amante dell'hard rock dovrebbe avere questo cd e custodirlo come gemma preziosa.
pelle d'oca!!

30/06/03: Edwin Baeyens - edwin.baeyens1@pandora.be
Rating: 95
Man, this a great album. Definitely not something to play in the background, but an album to really listen to. The music in itself is great, but once you get into the story and visualize it in your mind, this really is stunning! Wonderful performances by all singers and musicians. Can't recommend this enough.

13/08/02: Scott - sslb75@aol.com
Rating: 100
Brilliant! I bought this as soon as it was released, have listened to it many many times, and I still haven't absorbed it all. A true masterpiece. Legendary. I sincerely hope this could be performed live and released on DVD!

14/05/02: PABLO RIOFRIO - priofrio@hotmail.com
Rating: 99
Excelente trabajo. No puedo decir mas, es extraordiario y recomiendo la compra a todo el mundo. Es un disco hard y melodico, no cae en el AOR sino mas bien en un buen hard con partes a cargo de una orquesta. Buenisima opera donde creo que se lleva las palmas el seņor GORAN .

09/10/01: Alex S - alex@azalea.se
Rating: 100
This is defenitely one of the best albums I've ever heard. I'm a big fan of Europe and for some reason I've never had the opportunity to hear Brazen Abbot, but last week I got Nostradamus (too late, I know...) and I can't stop listening to it. Everything about this CD is just brilliant and my main task right now is to make all of my friends buy this masterpiece.

Melodic rock at its best!

09/09/01: Tom Cavanagh - TCav34@aol.com
Rating: 100
This CD is amazing. I really want to learn more about the life of Nostradamous now that I've heard this CD. All the vocalist did a great job, but I bought this CD because Joe Lynn Turner was singing on it, and I was not disappointed. Jorn Lande also does an awesome job. If you like the music of Brazen Abbott, this CD is a must. Nikolo, you are a genius. Awesome CD...

01/09/01: Lazarus Contra - pelivor@hotmail.com
Rating: 83
I guess I should've heeded the warning that "Nikolo Kotsev's Nostradamus wasn't for everyone." All this CD did is really tell me rather or not I was heavily into rock-opera, and I guess I'm not. But hey, it's great to hear Joe Lynn Turner's voice again, seen as how I only own his LP only solo release "Rescue You." (Dang it, PLEASE reissue it to CD in the states, PLEASE!!!) I'm sure everyone who buys this CD will love it, because of it's high-quality production and high-quality rock-opera songs. I bought it mostly because I wanted to know more about Nostradamus, being the superstitious basterd that I am. So ignore my review because it's mostly pointless.

08/08/01: Jason Lurcott - jlurcott@msn.com
Rating: 100
This is one of those cds that I'm going to have forever. I'm just trying to soak all of it in. The man is a genuis.

Jason

03/08/01: Glenn Odin - gmcmillan@vtown.com.au
Rating: 100
Absolutely stunning. The vocal work of Goran Edman,Glenn Hughes and Jorn Lande is up to their usual high standard whilst Joe Lynn Turner simply gives the best vocal performances of his life. The music? Well with the rhythm section of Europe and the guitar chops of Nikolo Kotzev what do you expect....stunning!
A MUST for any AOR/Rock fan.

19/07/01: Ardian - nurcahyo@tf.itb.ac.id
Rating: 100
The masterpiece of rock opera!!! Nuff said!!!

17/07/01: Irma - bulte40@zonnet.nl
Rating: 100
I wouldn't call Nikolo Kotzev God, but he definitely must have spoken to him, for this man did create a MASTERPIECE that will rock on until 3797!! I am not surprised at all that it took 4 years of making it: anyone who has read the verses of Nostradamus knows that the material is very complex and I am really impressed by this result. I don't agree so much with the statement that the listener has to be in the mood for it, I think it's also a matter of knowing who Nostradamus was, what happened in his life and what he wrote, and then this whole album falls into place.
And what a magnificient line up!! Only the best of the best for this brilliant work of art. It makes you wanna hear every note and every word from start to finish.
Kotzev deserves a statue and worldwide fame for sharing his amazing talent with us. Not only is it an ode to Nostradamus, it's also an ode to rock music.
And wouldn't it be great to see this rock opera live on stage...?
To everyone out there: don't call yourself a (hard-)rockfan if you don't buy this album, this is a MUST.
Too bad the rating goes to 100, I would like to give much more.

17/07/01: Ive Michiels - aor.ive@mailandnews.com
Rating: 100
Nikolo Kotzev has released one of the best albums of the last five years with his awesome Nostradamus project .
After a long wait its finaly here and it was worth waiting for every single second .
Featuring Glenn Hughes (the best vocalist of the seventies) , Joe Lynn Turner (the best vocalist of the eighties) , Goran Edman (the best vocalist of the nineties) and Jorn Lande (probably the best vocalist of the next 10 or 15 years to follow) this cd probably features the best sung lyrics ever .
Nikolo Kotzev is in my book one of the best guitarists , alround musicians , composers and producers of all times .
He is in my top 20 of the most talented musicians / songwriters of all times , together with names like Neal Schon , Jim Peterik , Michael Romeo , Timo Tolkki , Mark Spiro , Yngwie Malmsteen , Richie Blackmore , Mike Slamer , Steve Lukather , Dan Huff , Van Stephenson and .... .
Most of the songs are fantastic after one listen , but every time you listen to it again it every songs keeps on getting better and better .
Every fan of classic hardrock , melodic hardrock and even AOR ( it features two of the best ballads ever written ) should have this one in his collection and if you don't think the same of it like me than you probably aren't a fan of these 3 genres of music .
Nikolo Kotzev is probably GOD .


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