Black Fortress of Opium‘s Stratosphericalis is another album that didn’t fit with Summer’s heat, but is quite enjoyable in Autumn’s chill. Named for the Turkish town of Afyonkarahisar and led by “The Turkish Queen” Ajda, Black Fortress of Opium has the kind of haunting Goth sound of late ’90s/early aught bands like Lacuna Coil, Miranda Sex Garden and Rasputina. Standout tracks are “Blood Diamond,” “Blind,” “Regret & Rue,” “Unraveling” and “Cherry Blossom.”
1 copy of Black Fortress Of Opium’s self-titled CD
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The opener “House of Edward Devotion” rises from an exotic gypsy banjo pluck into churning rock guitars, and “Black Rope Burns” is a bluesier track accented with lovely mandolin. Meanwhile, it’s Ajda’s voice that carries most of the hypnotic “Ari” – inspired by Velvet Underground singer Nico’s only child – until the guitars kick in for the extended second half. “Model Café” takes a surprising turn into country twang, and the seductive blues number “From A Woman To A Man” would suit a David Lynch bar scene.