Vandroya | Beyond The Human Mind | Album Review March 2017
Label: Inner Wound Recordings
Release Year: 2017
Genre: Progressive/Power Metal
Daísa Munhoz – Vocals
Marco Lambert – Guitar
Rodolfo Pagotto – Guitar
Giovanni Perlati – Bass
Otávio Nuñez -Drums
If you are a metal fan whether it be power metal, progressive, melodic metal, etc .. it is no secret that Brazil has been setting herself up to be a major stronghold for metal for the last 30 years. Starting out with pioneers like Oficina G3 in 1987 to bands like Angra, Dr. Sin, Viper in 1991, Brazil has been a true under rated force within the Melodic/Progressive/Power Metal communities. Recently in the 2000’s bands like Mindflow, Shadowside, Alma Souspell and Vandroya have taken the Brazilian progressive/power metal sound to the global community. Brazilian power progressive metal is a bit heavier with a more attitude much like American power progressive metal much like Virgin Steel, Fates Warning and Crimson Glory. Vandroya embody all the above mentioned bands.
To those of you new to Vandroya here is a brief biography from their official Vandroya Official Facebook Page
Formed in 2001, Vandroya started as a band of young musicians that were all very passionate about heavy metal. Initially focused on playing cover versions of the bands that inspired them, the increasing involvement with the metal scene in Brazil led them to record their first demo. The “Within Shadows” EP was released in 2005 and helped the word of Vandroya to be spread and to get shows around Brazil.
A deal was inked with the Swedish label Inner Wound Recordings for Europe and North America and with Spiritual Beast for the Japanese market, and the debut album “One” was finally released early 2013. The album received excellent feedback in Brazil and around the world and is often described as a perfect mix between bands like Angra, Kamelot and Symphony X. Vandroya played many shows around Brazil and name of the band continued to spread around the world because of the good feedback for “One” and for the bands first music video “Why Should We Say Goodbye”.
In 2015 the band contributed to the Brazilian Helloween tribute album “30 Years of Happiness” with the song “March of Time”. Members of Vandroya also contributed to other projects like Soulspell Metal Opera [feat. Tim “Ripper” Owens, Blaze Bailey, Arjen Lucassen and others] and Project Aegis [feat. Rob Rock, Matt Smith and others].
Early 2016 Vandroya released a digital EP containing the Bryan Adams cover “Heaven” and an acoustic version of the song “No Oblivion For Eternity” from the debut album.
The long-awaited new album “Beyond The Human Mind” is set to be released on April 28th. With a more evident progressive influence but without giving up the weight and virtuosity of power metal, the new album brings a more mature band, a more balanced sound and reflects the musician’s technical and artistic evolution since “One”.
Vandroya have sure matured greatly on their current album Beyond The Human Mind. They have certainly not compromised their power metal integrity by adding more progressive elements to this new album Beyond The Human Mind. If anything they have enhanced their power metal roots including the more progressive elements. The band have even added a few more symphonic elements to this new album. The many of the progressive elements run more towards the Pagan’s Mind, Circus Maximus, Vanden Plas area as far as chord progressions and time signatures. Daísa Munhoz – Vocals has established herself as a powerhouse vocalist with Beyond The Human Mind, even more so than on Vandroya’s One debut in 2013. This is probably why her vocal presence has shown up on Metal Opera’s like Soulspell and Theocracy’s Matt Smith’s charity track Project Aegis Now I would like to take some highlights from every track on Vandroya’s Beyond The Human Mind.
Columns Of Illusion opens up with a heavily rich symphonic element. It is much more symphonic than any previous work Vandroya have done to date. It also contains some heavy percussion portions. This instrumental sets the album like a film score opening sequence of a movie. It is top heavy with drum rhythms and guitar solo’s with lush keyboards serving as a orchestral instrument making it sound like a symphonic atmosphere. Instrumentally this seamlessly bleeds into the next song on the album The Path To The Endless Fall.
The Path To The Endless Fall opens up with a classic power metal signature. It opens up with straight away shredding guitars that are almost iron Maiden like galloping guitar up tempo speed riffs. There is a very tight exchange between rhythm guitar and lead guitar that Marco Lambert – Guitar Rodolfo Pagotto – Guitar both really tied together in harmony with the bass/drum rhythmic section. Daísa Munhoz – Vocals really attacks the lyrical lines with great passion and conviction on this one as well. Her vocal prowess just powerful setting the mood for the rest of the album ahead. There is a killer drum line atmospheric progression with a beautiful spoken word element over it. The guitar solo’s continue to add depth to the song building further anticipation for the remainder of the album ahead.
Maya opens up with another blistering guitar chord progressive passage with power metal elements accented over it. The blistering progression takes a break and allows for the vocals to come in and breathe where the listener can absorb it. There is a passage where there is a piano atmospheric passage and the vocals are laid over it sweetly. This is just a solid and modern power/progressive metal song with intricate guitar parts over virtuosity. There is a section where the drums and the bass do a rhythmic dance around one another lending further creativity and depth to the song. The vocals have a warmth element through this one.
Time After Time opens up with a blistering dark yet brutal drum/bass rhythm section along with a Hammond Organ style keyboard in perfect harmony with that dark progression. The track is like this throughout the composition. The vocals take on a beautiful; depth of warmth allowing the song to both breath and satisfy the audio pallet. The lyrical content deals with very personal life matters. This is one of the faster up tempo tracks on the album.
Last Breath opens up with a beautiful acoustic guitar passage adding a very warmhearted atmosphere. The vocals come in with the same warmth and depth. This track takes on some very classic AOR Hard Rock elements. Last Breath is certainly a very radio and video friendly song. This has some very heavy elements of a ballad within it and that is not a bad thing at all considering the overall arrangement of the album. Lyrically we can all find ourselves in this situation.
I’m Alive opens up with a very old school blistering twin guitar attack. The bass/drum rhythm section is also just as blistering as the guitar making for a beautiful blistering power speed metal harmony. The vocals really take on a depth of conviction I have not heard in a while. In all it intensity I’m Alive still allows the listener in and become absorbed with both lyrical and instrumental narrative’s. The guitar solo’s remain relentless as well on this track.
Video Courtesy Of ( Inner Wound Recordings Official YouTube Channel )
You’ll Know My Name opens up almost like a power metal anthem that you may experience at a European summer metal festival. The twin guitars and rhythm section take on heavy European flavour. The double blast beats on this one almost give this a thrash metal element at times. This is a perfect track for a Prog/Power USA or Europe festival or even for Keep It True European Festival’s. This truly has a very broad Brazilian, European, and American power metal vibe through it. The intricate progressive elements will open them up to even a broader audience.
If I Forgive Myself is another track the really has a ballad flavour about. It contains a heavy piano atmosphere with the vocals in isolated harmony with that part of the stringed section. The vocals are very soulful and executed with such perfection. This also has a very AOR vibe about it. The song is a very introspective track and I can vision the listener relating to or taking something away from this song. The guitars are very atmospheric both on the lead and rhythm sections. The song really plays in harmony with the drums that serve as the primary backbone on the track. This is another very mature track both lyrically and instrumentally.
Beyond The Human Mind the title track and namesake track on the album open up with various effects done by the drums and bass. This track takes on a very heavy progressive element building layer upon layers with intricate chord progressions and time signatures. The intro seduces the listener before the warm beautiful vocals come in to really take the listeners heart away. This is the true epic of the album. Lyrically it is very thought provoking. Progressively the track really takes on a more Dream Theater or Kamelot style. About the 6:20 mark the band really channel a inner Dream Theater or Shadow Gallery guitar/keyboard style. This track allows the full maturity from the entire album to come together and be displayed. It will open more doors into the progressive metal world I am sure.
Vandroya’s Beyond The Human Mind is sure to open more doors and platforms for the band as far as festivals and live billing’s are concerned. The band have taken a big step towards becoming a more international act with Beyond The Human Mind. The focus and objective to blend both power metal and a more progressive metal approach was done with perfection. For this being only the second album for the band they wrote it and recorded it like the true 16 year veterans they are. I am giving Vandroya’s Beyond The Human Mind a 5/5 .
March Of Time (Bonus Video)
Courtesy of:( Vandroya Official YouTube Channel )