Sagga (Holy) - Planetude 5/5
1. Breaking frontiers
2. Searching for the sun
3. Fight for survival
4. The sign
5. Fly away
9. Rise again
10. Dagger of words (bonus track)
So why was Sagga's debut 'Planetude' on my "Playlist" for almost all of 2004? Well, the CD was actually released in 2002, but it's extremely memorable and absolutely flawless from start to finish. It's a CD I crave regularly and I would really miss it if it wasn't in my posession. 'Planetude' is a perfect mix of Italian power metal bands like Labyrinth, Highlord and Vision Divine, and Brazilian power metal bands like Angra, Wizards and Symbols. Sagga is Brazilian also, but the Italian influences are very strong, so expect more keyboards than with the Brazilian bands. In fact, they might even be as keyboard oriented as Highlord. The way they blend the 2 styles is not only suited to my tastes, but is nothing short of amazing!
Track 1 "Breaking frontiers" starts out with the catchy guitars, then quickly to the catchy keyboards, and just as fast the vocals have hooked you. This fast song is filled with great guitar work, and you can hear the power metal style we all know and love right away. Track 2 "Searching for the sun" has some Sonata Arctica like excitement and a chorus where the vocals just soar unbelievably (the superb vocals of Mauricio Queiroz sound very similar to Andre Matos of Angra/Shaman, but I prefer Mauricio's vocals, as they're not as high-pitched as Andre's). The song continues with noodling guitars the entire time, and is one of the most exciting songs on the CD for sure. Track 3 "Fight for survival" sounds really similar to better Angra, is very melodic, and has some excellent keyboard solos. Andre Matos is even a guest on this song! Track 4 "The sign" starts out slow, showing off the spectacular voice of Mauricio, but it picks up midway and a similarity to Angra is heard again. Track 5 "Fly away" is definitely one of the highlights, and probably the most memorable. This song has an intense feeling of passion, and the keyboards are very well done.
As we reach the 2nd half of the CD, we get an instrumental with track 6 "Planetude" that's complete with skilled guitar and keyboard work. This song has me thinking of Skylark a bit with its fine style of keyboards. Track 7 "N.O.V.A" is where you realize you're listening to a masterpiece! I can't think of a song to date with more memorable vocals than this one! It starts out slow with some really cool acoustic-sounding guitars, then hits you with the soaring vocals and strong music. Songs like this are what make music so special. A short instrumental, mostly with keyboards, hits us with track 8 "Incident". This is a really nice song with interesting keyboards that are done in a style similar to Highlord's. Track 9 "Rise again" is another great song that sounds similar to, and competes with, the better part of Angra's 'Rebirth'. We finish off with a bonus track "Dagger of words" that is just as good as any song off the rest of the CD.
The reason I wrote this review is because I haven't seen anything on this CD anywhere. This CD has literally blown me away! I'm saddened that there isn't a way (at least that I know of) for power metal fans to easily grab this. I don't even think it's distributed in the U.S., and I only wonder how this can be possible. Take the absolute best songs from the Italian and Brazilian bands previously mentioned and create one "greatest hits" CD, and you might match the brilliant Sagga 'Planetude'. I only wish I could share this masterpiece more easily.
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