Mr Ego | Se7en
Label : MS Metal Records
Release Year: 2015/2016
Genre: Progressive Metal
Paulo André -Bass
Ricardo Longhi – Drums
Igor Nogueira – Keyboard
Iuri Nogueira – Guitar
André Ferrari Anheiser -Vocals
Over the last 25 to 30 years Brazil has well established itself as a major hub for heavy metal, particularly power metal and progressive metal. To name a few progressive metal and/or power metal bands are Angra, Souslspell, Shadowside, Vandroya, and now Mr Ego. A month or so back I friend founder and bass player for Mr. Ego Paulo André . Paulo was generous enough to send me a physical and digital copy to Se7en, their latest most recent effort.
Mr. Ego’s sound is widely debated. Some called them Brazil’s Symphony X. I refuse to believe this and when you really listen to Se7en you begin to hear and see so much more. They are more Jorn Lande era Masterplan meets Allen/Lande with a twist of the Joe Lynn Turner fronted Sunstorm with light elements of early Dream Theater. On Se7en you get a little bit of all those bands I mentioned as a influence to Mr. Ego. You get the progressive heavy metal of Masterplan and Allen/Lande with the added spoken word element effects used by earlier Dream Theater. Se7en is one of those albums where people can relate a little bit with every track.
Opening Se7en is the beautifully used choir intro 16:2. It also has some background effects with children playing and helicopters a a buzzing before exploding into the next track Fall On Our Knees.
Fall On Our Knees begins with a blistering distorted rhythmic section with bass/drum and rhythm guitar with a clean keyboard. This track does not waste the listener’s time hooking them into Se7en. The vocals are a fine blend of Jorn Lande, Russel Allen and Joe Lynn Turner. It has a killer hook and melody in the solo. The keyboard converts to a hammond old style in the vein of Deep Purple on steroids. This track ends with a Dream Theater style spoken word excerpt edit from President Regan’s speech in front of the Berlin Wall where he says, “Mr Gorbachev tear down this wall.” Thus using it as a nice bridge segue to the next track Broken Walls.
Broken Walls explodes with some vicious rhythm progressions and time signatures that are not for the faint of heart. The hooks and melodies may sound like traditional heavy metal however far from it. There are still some serious time signatures and breaks especially in the stringed portion between guitar and keyboards. Iuri Nogueira – Guitar executes his playing so well and it is so well produced it gives the listener the appearance there are more than one guitar playing at a time.
1917 starts out with a proto thrash element in the way of Pantera yet with a cleaner more progressive sound. Some other elements that come to mind here are elements of progressive metal band Watchtower with the intricate time signatures going in and out. The vocals and backing vocals really balance well in harmony here and it seems the band is starting to to melt like a fine cohesive weld. The solo’s are thunderous as well as the double blast beats in the drums.
Deceived opens straight up with a blistering ear splitting rhythm guitar riff that commands the listeners attention. The first 1:00 or so is a all out sonic assault on the senses. This track also has a special guest feature. It is Symphony X’s Mike LePond. The guitar riffs have some very tasteful breaks allowing for the drum to be the backbone to this track. The vocals appear to feel more like Jorn Lande again yet on the Avantasia projects. The keyboards ride the razors edge between hammond and mellotron style instead of the typical cliche glossy keyboards. The keyboards also sound more like a additional guitar on the song.
For The Last Time is a very dark and brooding segue. The piano has a sound of dark chamber music. There in the background are some more spoken word effects as if a news cast is happening.
Injustice starts out with a heavy clean bottom rhythm section between the guitar and bass before the passage takes a serious bass affair with a nice isolated vocal leading it. This track displays the bands willingness to slow a track down and give something different to to the audience. It continues to get increasingly heavier in the riffs as the track progresses. Vocally this one is of the ‘most harmonic and melodic ‘ on the album.
Black Gold is another really blistering track both vocally and instrumentally. This track displays the higher end and range of André Ferrari Anheiser -Vocals. The rhythm riffs totally remind me of Iced Earth’s Days Of Purgatory meets Angra. This track is white hot from start to finish.
End Of Times opens up like early 1980’s Armored Saint in many ways yet with 21st century riffs of Dream Theater meets At Vance. The riffs are not a blistering power metal style. The hooks and melodies are more a progressive metal based. They have that time signature and rhythm change up. At the 3:00 mark appears another spoken word effect within the song as the vocal softens up with warmth before exploding into the guitar solo.
Tears Of An Angel is a ballad on Se7en. It is a more piano/keyboard and rum driven track. The guitar’s and bass are not on a shred fest here. The instrumental side of this is a very easy listen to every metal fan out there. Once again the spoken word effect appears to be a simulated news cast in the background.
Silence Of The Lambs Pt.1 Future Of Illusions opens up a 12 minute multi tracked epic. Part 1 Future Of Illusions starts it off in a ballad style with just piano and vocals. The keyboards serve more like a orchestral instrument portraying a stringed section from a symphony much like a violin it drops before moving on to Silence Of The Lambs Pt.2 Chain Of Events.
Silence Of The Lambs Pt.2 Chain Of Events really explodes into a progressive and melodic metal frenzy. With steady riffs and steady progressions Silence Of The Lambs Pt.2 Chain Of Events takes you on a really journey with the riffs and vocal harmonies. It also makes Silence Of The Lambs into a mini epic especially when Pt. 3 7063 RM kicks in. Especially much in the vein of Dream Theater’s Learning To Live meets Symphony X’s Church and The Machine of Twilight of Olympus.
Silence Of The Lambs Pt.3 7063 RM closes out the trilogy and the album with with great melodic and harmony savvy progressions and passages.
After listening to this and digesting this as long as I did, I am confident when I say the Mr. Ego are NOT Brazilian Symphony X clones. When approached with a open mind and objective ear, Mr. Ego do have their very own sound. This band also solidifies Brazil as a major global hub for heavy progressive power metal. I give this a 4/5 for a well written and self produced effort.