PALANTIR E.P. Review: “Nightmare Opus”

“Nightmare Opus”
E.P. Review by Iron Mathew


Palantir are a power metal band from Sweden formed in 2012, to date releasing two albums – ‘Lost Between Dimensions’ (2017), and ‘Chasing A Dream’ (2022), and one E.P. ‘Nightmare Opus’ emerging in 2023.

Released through Stormspell Records, the E.P. is thirty minutes in length featuring seven songs – three new, one acoustic version (of an older song), and three, one minute ditty’s. Although ditty does make them sound simple – when they’re definitely not! They’re all fucking dramatically emphatic! Especially the first one, the E.P.’s opener ‘Engage!’, depicting an epic fanfare that could easily be used as the soundtrack to a science-fiction movie. But hang on a minute, that’s exactly why it sounds so familiar – it was used for a science-fiction movie. Not this version obviously, but the original that Palantir have based ‘Engage!’ on. The original is a tone poem composed in 1896 by German composer and conductor Richard Strauss, titled “Also sprach Zarathustra Opera No. 30”, and an adaptation was used for the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968), and its sequel “2010: The Year We Made Contact” (1984). I knew ‘Engage!’ sounded familiar…

…and at the risk of my review rocketing off to space on a very big tangent – the tone poem by Strauss has also been used in numerous films, “The Rugrats Movie” (1998), “Toy Story 2” (1999), “Zoolander” (2001), “The Simpsons Movie” (2007), and “Wall-E” (2008), just to name a few, and was also used as the basis for the fictional superhero Superman’s fanfare, heard in the character’s 1978 film debut “Superman”. So all you Hollywood movie directors – for your next big science-fiction epic, how about you seek out Palantir’s version! It’s bold and bombastic, sending just as much chill down the spine as all the other versions I’ve heard over the years. So that’s Palantir – metal band based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Right then, best grab hold of the moment and steer myself back to earth for the matter in hand, a review of ‘Nightmare Opus’ E.P. – and methinks that’s enough said about song number one! Song number two ‘A Distant Place’, is the first of the three new songs on offer, and sees Palantir galloping forth at speed, pounding the ground hard and shaking walls with the iconic sound of European power metal. A breathless barrage, ‘A Distant Place’ is incredibly infectious and loaded to the hilt with head bang ability – as is (the second new song) ‘Sailing On’. Albeit at a much faster pace, the Swedish outfit hurtling along the motorvag well in excess of the local speed limit! But nothing’s gonna stop Palantir now they’ve got the wind in their sails – the one minute ‘Griftkvade’ an atmospheric ballad-like stroll leading into the E.P.’s centrepiece, the ten minutes plus title song ‘Nightmare Opus’.

And what a ten minutes! Everything the band have in their arsenal is on show here, from a cinematic aura to a powerful punch to a symphonic swagger and a traditional metal majesty – there really is something here for everyone. The orchestration, arrangements and execution are perfect, the band delivering a flawless slice of exquisite power metal. I could go on to describe ‘Nightmare Opus’ (the song) even further, but I don’t wanna offer too many spoilers of the delight that awaits you.

The acoustic song on offer is ‘Escaping Reality’, taken from the bands debut album ‘Lost Between Dimensions’, showing a totally different side to the band, a side that not too many metal bands show off – Palantir having the utmost confidence in their music to strip it back and lay it bare for all to see, or rather hear! The final song, the one minute ‘Lost Between Pixels’ plays on the title of the bands aforementioned debut album, and is the second instrumental on offer. And as I commented earlier, ‘Nightmare Opus’ E.P. is fairly lengthy for an E.P. and could well have been released as a mini-album, but when the music on offer is this fucking good, it doesn’t really matter what format it comes in. 

Overall, an infectious gallop of symphonic power metal, ‘Chasing A Dream’ is a catchy and highly addictive album.


A Distant Place
Sailing On
Nightmare Opus
Escaping Reality (acoustic version)
Lost Between Pixels

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