domingo, 23 de setembro de 2012

Soulspell Act III - Hollow's Gathering: In Somewhere Near The Perfection

Some albums are truly a pleasure reviewing, because your great quality making the work more easy, but with a big responsality, after all, are many details involving this ACT III, the third full-lenght from the brazilian Power Metal Opera,  then, among many qualities and strengths of this album, it is easier to start pointing the two "defects" I found. First: I can not stop listening to the album!!, and second: He left me with that desire to "want more"! You know when you're watching a series, or an exciting movie that leaves suspended in the final?

Jokes aside, this third part, "Hollow's Gathering" features, as with the previous albums, an evolution, mainly due to the talent of the people involved and the rapport growing between them, highlighting, of course, the  work of Heleno Vale and Tito Falaschi, responsible for creation and production, resulting in an album, thatyou can realize, was created with great dedication, hard work and care, and of course with a lot of talent.

Heleno Vale
Heleno Vale perfectly described these first three acts: Act I: Legacy Of Honor, was an album with speed and with a certain naivety; Act II: The Labyrinth Of Truths, the proposal has evolved, having this album a more dense and mysterious aura with different and more experimental songs. as "The Verve," for example, which is very theatrical and operatic, and this Act III, "Hollow's Gathering" is an album that presents itself in some way, more "accessible", a little more dynamic, but also tense and emotionally charged, with the project taking more steps forward.

Heleno Vale himself commented that his intention was to try to make the album more balanced, better distributing the special guests (like Tim Ripper, Blaze Bayley and Amanda Somerville-see the complete list here), "correcting" what they felt would improve with respect to the previous album, which in his opinion has an unsurpassable climate (for the project) , in the first 5 tracks maintained a high level, losing some pace on tracks "The Verve" and "Forest of Incantus" which are quite different, and wanted to maintain a cadence, a climate in order to maintain the level , and hence the interest of the listener securing it from beginning to end, and he could therefore beyond this greater complicity and experience between those involved in the production, which brings a level higher and higher in the compositions, "Hollow's Gathering" is an album with more speed and repeating, with great dynamic, that leaves the listener breathless and its just over 55 minutes, go too fast!

Paved mainly melodic Power Metal and Prog Metal, with great quality, this Act II of Brazilian Metal Opera Soulspell, showing that if this or that style sometimes sounds worn, it is simply a matter of competence and creativity, and the album have great choruses and irresistible melodies, already on first listen stick in the mind, and I believe it will have another peculiarity, which is the ability to hold the listener's attention even if it is not familiar with the whole package, the story and characters, and certainly to arouse the interest of those who know more deeply, seeking the two previous acts (Legacy of Honor and Labyrinth of Truths).

We must note here, before making some comments about the songs, some points, as even if the album can be enjoyed seamlessly without you being inside the whole story, or is the first album that is listening Soulspell it is very important to read the lyrics, immerse yourself in history, which is available on the official website, meet the characters, the people involved, devoting several hearings (believe me, it will not be a problem, you'll definitely want to listen to the album many times !), this project, conceived and produced in Brazil, already deserves attention because the story is engaging and fascinating, leading the listener to experience the saga, encouraging imagination.

Another issue is the amount of equity, highlighting the amount of new talent, selected by the second competition of vocalists promoted by the producers, showing that we have a lot of promising and talented singers in Brazil, just waiting for a chance, some of the best brazilian singers, like Nando Fernandes, Mário Pastore and Leandro Caçoilo, also starring young talents like Daísa Munhoz and Jefferson Albert, and international holdings (Tim Ripper Owens, Amanda Somerville, Blaze Bayley, Markus Grosskopf, Mike Vescera, Matt Smith, and more), which also came in greater numbers, and the main thing is that embodied the characters and story, with emotionally charged performances.

Daísa Munhoz (As Judith) And Manuela Saggioro (Judith's Talking Diary): Two  amazing talents "discovered" by Soulspell
Only a short summary of the story so far, before commenting tracks by this ACT III: The saga revolves mainly around Tobit, Judith and his son Timo, besides the great villains of the saga, Samael, the prince of demons and Hollow the dragon, the most feared creature of the saga, the guardian of the Labyrinth of Truths. In Act I - Legacy of Honor, Tobit is visited by the angel Arlim, who reveals to him the reasons for this had visions, telling about the special gift that the young man had, that is the experience through the ages, telling him stories about his eight past lives, through the era of the Pharaoh Ramses II, the fall of Troy and World War the end Tobi must decide between following Arlim to paradise or to continue on earth, and a letter from Judith, telling them will have a child, does decide to stay on earth.

From this point begins Act II, Labirynth of Truths, Tobit and his family live a normal life, until the new visions torment him, and one day, in the forest, is imprisoned in the ark of the time, where only can watch everything without power interfere, and sees a copy your take his place, an impostor beside his famíly.

Trapped in this timeless dimension, called Amon's Fountain, the only way to escape was through the "Labyrinth of Truths". Timo begins to notice something strange in his "father", discovers the diary, where Judith wrote about him and his father, and read about the events of the life of his father and his childhood, flees to the forest incantus, until taking his mother's diary for the first time, not realizing that was not an ordinary human. Your imaginary friend Olaff, forwards him the "dead tree", the only entity that could answer all your questions.

Here begins the Act III, with the track "Hollow's Gathering" with the dragon (Carlos Zema) convening a meeting interdimensional between demons and leaders of each dimension to assess who was the carelessness of allowing a human in the Labyrinth of Truths. The song begins with a surprise, the memaid's call (Sybil, interpreted by Ligia Ishitani, one of the new talents presents on the album) thereafter, in his more than nine minutes, the song is a perfect example of Metal Opera, bringing a whirlwind of emotions, many variations, corals bright, with lots of tension and fantastic performances, highlighting the vocalists Daísa Munhoz, Lígia Ishitani ,Victor Emeka and Pastore, and, of course, a brilliant addition of keyboards and orchestrations of the great Fabio Laguna (Hangar, ex-Angra).

"A Rescue Into The Storm" is the moment when Timo feels that something is wrong and goes back to his home, arriving too late, see his house on fire, and Judith was killed by Samae. The level remains very high, and tense climate, great chorus, highlighting the beautiful melodies with harmonics and the bass lines of the special guest Markus Grosskopf (Helloween), the sweeping orchestral arrangements and the incredible performance of Nando Fernandes (interpreting Samael, the prince of demons).

Nando Fernandes, as Samael
"To Crawl or to Fly" not let the listener catch their breath, with beautiful vocal melodies, has a very special aura, with wonderful performances from Amanda Sommerville, Daísa Munhoz, Manuela Saggioro and Matt Smith (Theocracy), highlighting the orchestrations also very beautiful. Account the time Judith wakes up in another life and have to make a decision proposed by the snake and the falcon. Crawling like a snake or fly like the falcon? This music aims to make us reflect on that not everything they teach us is correct, and that not all choices are obvious. 

A triad of songs more than perfect!

"Anymore", is an emotional ballad, driven by acoustic guitar and voice, a great duet with Manu Saggioro and Daísa Munhoz, counting the time that the Judith's daily speaker realizes that her owner is not more alive. It is the lament of the diary and the last words of Judith written on it.

Amanda Somerville, as Wayna, The Fênix
"Adrian's Call", comes with parts alternating with speed riffs more marked, and very interesting textures on keyboards. It is the part where a sect tries to conquer the most special beings to the dragon Hollow. The convening of Adrian, who escapes to the call. I highlight here the performances of experienced Mário Pastore and Leandro Caçoilo and new talents, like Daísa Munhoz, which has gained more and more fans from Act I; Gui Antonioli (Tierra Mystica), who was one of the winners of the first contest, and already has an impressive résumé, and Emeka in another beautiful participation, plus a talent discovered by the project.

"Change the Tide" is also very fast and dynamic, is the part where Judith tries to bargain with Charon (Mike Vescera) to try to return the land and care for Timo ("Let me guide him forever, is the sole to drop enough to change the tide?). Great chorus, this song has one of the most striking choruses on the album.

"Echoes from Hell" is a vignette where Samael recounts his relationship with the aforementioned sect.

Blaze, as Banneth, The Guardian
"The Keeper's Game ', Blaze Bayley brings prominence as the guardian that Timo (here interpreted by another new talent, Pedro Campos) must face to reach the sacred dead tree in order to seek salvation for his father. It is worth mentioning the great performance of the ex-Iron Maiden vocalist, the keyboard and guitar solos, plus the very special atmosphere of the keyboards in the chorus. Mention with merit to the work of keyboardist Gabriel Mangioni, brilliant. He also took care of all album's orchestrations (minus the orchestrations of the title track, which was made by Fabio Laguna).

"The Dead Tree" has taken in very rapid drum's kicks, mixing and Power Prog, highlighting again the keyboards, which give a very special sauce, combining the classic Progressive, with more modern lines, and, of course, the vocals of Tim " Ripper "Owens (who plays the role of the sacred tree), also a beautiful participation, plus a very good performance of Pedro Campos. Many elements that make this track one of the highlights on an album full of high points. In this part Timo reaches the tree, and to understand it, has to leave his human form and use your spirit, in order to communicate with the most wise creature of all dimensions.

Tim "Ripper", as The Sacred Dead Tree
"The Whispers Inside" ends the album, giving us a chance to catch our breath with this sad ballad, where Judith, in the other side, decides to create a new diary, Yared, interpreted for one more youg talent, Michel Souza. A beautiful voice and piano duet with Amanda Somerville ( Wayna, the phoenix) and Souza, that in many moments sounds like Andre Matos. And at the end, the cue for the next act....

Impossible to describe so many details and so many stakes, with the musicians putting a lot of will and feeling in their holdings, really embodying the characters and givin to the songs the whole climate that the story ask. And that is, the album is just makes you want to listen again, and that feeling I mentioned earlier, that urge to "want more", and yes, I believe it is also an album more "accessible", but no way to quality was impaired, was made with more experience, and making sure that we still have much more (Heleno plans more four acts), and also depends of us, fans and lovers of good music and Metal!

We say that perfection does not exist, then I say that this album came very, very close to her, and what I consider most important in music is sincerity, honesty, feeling and the emotions that it is able to convey, and these questions the Soulspell reached the top marks!
Carlos Garcia

Official Launch in EUA and Europe on october 12, and Brazil on October 19, purchase your pre-sale directly on the official Soulspell website...

...or at Inner Wound Recordings:
Inner Wound Official Site

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