Soulspell - A legacy of honor 4.5/5

Reviewed: 4-10-09





Tracklist:

1. The gathering
2. Age of silence
3. Troy
4. Alexandria
5. Milvian bridge
6. The blacksmith
7. The impaler
8. A little too far
9. Army of just one mind
10. Soulspell
11. Weight of evill
12. Eternal skies
13. The last life


We all knew that when Edguy’s Tobias Sammet created Avantasia’s ‘Metal opera’, with all of its guest vocalists and performers, that it would pave the way for other bands/performers to venture into the same endeavour. Here is one of those instances with Brazilian drummer Heleno Vale forming the band Soulspell. Created in 2004, Soulspell released a demo in 2006 called ‘Just let the time flows’ before constructing this new metal opera CD, entitled ‘A legacy of honor’.

In the same vein as Sammet’s metal opera, Heleno Vale has brought in guest vocalists and musicians, mainly from Brazil, to help with his metal opera quest. The band itself consists of 3 main vocalists (Luiz Magri, Edney Marques and Frank Langona), while 2 other musicians; keyboardist Fabiana Doce and bassist Daniel Guirado also lend their voices in the release. The bands rounds off with guitarists Juliano Grego and Thiago Pasqualinoto, 2nd keyboardist Shirlei Escobar, and of course Heleno Vale.

If that is not enough already, Vale has enlisted the help of fellow Brazilian singers such as Iuri Sanson (Hibria), Renato Tribuzy (Tribuzy), Nando Fernandes (Hangar), Mário Linhares (ex-Dark Avenger), Leandro Caçoilo (Eterna), Maurício Del Bianco (Innerforce) and a few more. There is also a group of guest musicians, mainly from the same bands mentioned above.

As with the structure of Tobias’ metal opera, there is a fantasy concept entwined with the CD and the various vocalists have been given “stage names” for their parts in the metal opera feast. The end result is much like Sammet’s project; with a spectacular musical journey of passion, emotion and great theatrical melodic power metal. This “superband” indeed delivers what Heleno Vale had in mind when he began constructing this masterpiece. All vocalists give their all throughout the CD, empowering so much exuberance and prowess to tell the story written superbly by Heleno Vale.

Musically, this is like a metalhead’s dream come true, particularly one who is a fan of traditional metal, power metal or melodic metal. With so much talent involved in this project (much like Avantasia, but on a lesser scale), every creative song is worth its weight in gold, whether it is the speedy tracks with riffs and solos galore, fabulous technical drumming and sensational vocals; to the mid-paced and slower ballad-esk tracks with soaring choir vocals full of heart and soul. There is not one weak point on this release, whether it be the performances of all involved, or the songwriting and structure.

I won’t mention many track names here because all of them are beyond great and you will just have to hear this CD for yourselves to realize the brilliance of ‘A legacy of honor’. But I must mention the following tracks, including “Age of silence”, “Troy”, “The blacksmith”, “A little too far”, “Army of just one mind” and “Eternal skies”.

If you are a fan of Avantasia when Tobias Sammet released the 2 ‘Metal opera’ CDs, then Soulspell will again tantalize your ears with their stunning contribution to a metal opera concept album. I also urge fans of those 3 metal genres mentioned earlier to track down this CD, as you will not be disappointed. I only hope that Heleno Vale and co. continue down this pathway for their next release and not let this project be a once off. This is a must have CD, hands down.



SEAN




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