Perpetual Dreams - The eternal riddle 3.5/5
1. Hotter than fire
2. Broken mirrors
3. Strong like a storm
4. Between lies and truth
5. Devil woman
6. Blood diamond
8. Hold on
9. Shine your pride pt. 1
10. Shine your pride pt. 2
Brazilian band Perpetual Dreams is back with their 3rd CD 'The eternal riddle', and since their 2nd CD 'Arena' was released in 2005, it's been over 5 years since we've heard from them. For those unfamiliar with the band, their debut 'Eyes of infinite' is an excellent melodic/neo-classical power metal CD with many catchy and memorable songs. There are some serious highlights on that CD, but the band took a step backwards with the follow-up 'Arena'. Even though it's in the same style as 'Eyes of infinite', the production isn't very good (not even at the level of 'Eyes of infinite') and the songs don't stand out near as much. It's still a solid CD, and I still found myself looking forward to 'The eternal riddle'. Thankfully it's an improvement over 'Arena' in all areas, including the production.
For the most part, the CD continues the style of their previous CDs, except there are some songs that enter melodic/hard rock territory. This will obviously be a good or bad thing depending on personal tastes, though it only affects a portion of the CD. Vocalist Eduardo D' Avila returns with his fairly high-pitched voice, and he does a fine job - plus he's somewhat typical of a Brazilian vocalist, which will be a positive for fans of Brazilian power metal. Along with Eduardo's vocals, the band's songwriting skills are what make this CD great, and the CD's truly a step above 'Arena', though I probably like their debut the most, as my favorite few songs exist on that CD.
What's really interesting about this CD is that it seems to be broken up into 3 parts. The first 4 tracks are upbeat and exciting, with moments of speed, flashy guitar work, screaming guitar solos, and terrific keyboard solos. The middle of the CD is where the melodic/hard rock influence shows up, especially with track 5 "Devil woman" and track 6 "Blood diamond". The end of the CD contains slower songs though; track 8 "Hold on" is a wonderful ballad-type song, track 9 "Shine your pride pt. 1" is a slow yet really cool instrumental, and the closer "Shine your pride pt. 2", while one of the best songs on the CD and it does have some killer moments of heaviness, is overall on the slower side. I'm not sure if the CD would be better or worse if the tempo/style was more consistently mixed up, this is just an interesting observation. In fact, I actually like how the CD starts off with a bang and ends with slower songs, though the middle of the CD is merely decent for me personally, as melodic/hard rock isn't a genre I regularly listen to and enjoy.
As a whole, I consider Perpetual Dreams to be a great band and metal fans who have their first 2 CDs should certainly grab 'The eternal riddle'. For those who are learning of the band for the first time by reading this review, there's absolutely no reason to avoid checking them out, especially if you're into melodic/neo-classical power metal.
Oh, and on a slightly-frustrating side note: I had this review entirely written (totally complete!) and after having computer/saving issues I lost it. So basically, this is the first review that I've written twice. Hopefully it was a good read and worth the extra time. ;)
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