Album Review: Marco Garau’s Magic Opera – “Battle of Ice” (Symphonic Power Metal)

Written by Valkyrjiaa

Magic Opera – Battle of Ice
> Symphonic power metal
> Milan, Italy
> Released January 27
> Independent/self-release

Magic Opera is the solo project from keyboardist Marco Garay (Derdian), where he is joined by a number of accomplished artists, including vocalist Anton Darusso (Wings of Destiny, Savage Existence), rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Enrico Pistolese (Derdian, Sick Society), lead guitarist Luca Sellito (Stamina), drummer Salvatore Giordano (Derdian, Sick Society), and bassist Ollie Bernstein (Illusion Force).

Following in the steps of the previously released The Golden Pentacle in 2021, Magic Opera re-emerged less than a year later with Battle of Ice based on the Amtork Saga created by Marco.

In a very far away land, in the reign of Amtork, people were living in peace and harmony under the leadership of King Leiber. Everything was going fine, but there was a feud between two mighty wizards for a long time in the reign. The first one, Lord Kama, was a loyal friend of the king, whereas the second one, Sir Dohron, had gotten an evil soul and was very tired about this feeling of love and happiness. He was living in the shadow, conspiring and planning something to get the control of the reign bringing suffering and slavery everywhere. To succeed in it he was searching for a very ancient and powerful magic item, hidden many years before by the Amtork’s ancestors to give back peace and civil rights to everyone. It was a GOLDEN PENTACLE with an incredible outstanding power. Anybody who will get in touch with it will become almost invincible. Will Lord Kama be able to find the Pentacle and keep Dohron away from it?

Kicking off our theme is “The Black Sorcery” – our introduction to this tale, executed as a delicate ballad, slowly rising with powerful riffs, and a melody that’s calm yet suspicious. Naturally, the beat picks up and we’re carried away on another power metal adventure. It’s the tragedy of a prison-bound soul, and the contemplation of value over life or battle. It’s a cautious intro, one that doesn’t go too heavy or wild but, greets you with warmth and a potential treasure should you be interested enough to continue down the road. 

Following up is the tale of “The Cursed Crown” that brings the heat. We hit the heaviness we’ve been expecting, with the light-hearted melody still carrying through. The hunt begins, will you aid or will you flee? The speed kicks up, the double kickers calling out as the vocals command attention. “I am here alive, ready for the fight, in the darkness of the night” is a line that shouldn’t go as hard as it does but man, it leads into a wicked solo instrumental that’s totally stunning. The demonic harsh vocals come as a surprise to accentuate the double-edge of this track and its tale, furthering the energy and passion put into this project by dropping into one hell of a solo. 

“The Legend of the Demon’s Cry” seems to start with the same eerie commencement as the others, dropping into that speedy run before taking off from the herd. The stanzas in this one don’t seem to line up for me, and it’s told more as a story than sung, like a bard recounting a tale to tavern patrons, and failing to remember certain details. The track, however, is filled with wicked instrumental breaks from keys to deep bass lines that add that atmosphere of darkness and dread necessary for such a tale. 

“Ride into the Sun” got me! The energy is high, the vocals ascending, and the melody ever-rising. It steps up from the tone of the previous tracks and offers up that cheesy power metal goodness I’ve been yearning for. “So, I’ll take my Unicorn and then I’ll go as far as possible, for me, for you, for everyone”, a line so downright cheesy and solid I couldn’t get enough. It’s that light break that this album needed and its delivered so majestically you’re like “damn, I can actually see this,” while still holding a serious face. It’s got delicate piano solos, taller riffs, and a lighter, igniting melody, and that’s all I could ask for. 

Continuing through, we meet “The Shadow Man” and the vibe changes. The guitar intro is SOLID, leading into a ballad-like jam with some passionate instrumentals to carry this emotional track forward. “In the silence of the shadows, I will try to ease my pain” introduces a chorus that’s really got no business being as deep as it is. It’s catchy, and lighter-in-the-air worthy as you sway along, riveted, a tear streaming down your cheek in solidarity. If you’ve been waiting for a jaw-dropping guitar solo, it’s here, and it’s EPIC. 

The finale is our title track, “Battle of Ice” as the story finally reaches its climax. As the longest track on this album, running just over 11 minutes in length, you’re sure it’s to be epic. It touches on the tales of each previous title to bring completion to this chapter of our divine saga. Bringing in the heavy keys once again, it creates a thunderous atmosphere of frigid snow and blackness, launching us skyward through mesmerizing riffs and heart-stammering drums that go all out. “But when I learn to use this stuff, I’ll go back and turn you into a big pile of dung” is like being threatened by a 5 year-old and I laughed out loud at the line. The back-and-forth banter is both heart-warming and cold in its ceaseless offerings, truly giving this album its power metal feel and sound in totality. 


It’s not what I expected for a power metal album with a fantasy backdrop and a symphonic core. Still the originality can’t be denied, and the lyrics turning from vivid to hilarious almost seamlessly make this album hard not to enjoy. So, if you’re keen on hearing a fresh story with a few familiar nods and some chuckle-worthy lyrics, check out Magic Opera’s newest album – Battle of Ice