Soul Spell, A Legacy Of Honor, 2011

soul spell - a legacy of honorDespite being a 2011 release, this is the European version of a CD originally released in 2008 elsewhere. When discussing the follow up, The Labyrinth Of Truths from 2010, I already spoke highly of the music of this project by writer and drummer Heleno Vale.
And while I am tempted a little to say that it is obvious this is the first, and the second one is better blah blah, I actually doubt if that is the case.

Yes, this album takes a little more time to get into, and yes, maybe really stunning tracks are fewer, but in all honesty I think both albums are pretty equal. (and it is no competition anyway!) This is progressive metal as it should be. Various singers and players (hardly big names on this one, mostly Brazilians I guess), songs from fast to slow, from heavy to technical to moody. And while those melodies may sometimes take longer to sink in, I found that on repeated play this album keeps growing.  A track like Milvian Bridge is a perfect example of the beauty Vale can create.And rest assured, that is far from the only one!

To sum it up, another no brainer for fans of the genre. Thanks to InnerWound for bringing this into the European territory. Buy it!


Soul Spell, Labyrinth Of Truths, 2010

soul spell - labyrinth of truthsThis is Act 2 of the Soul Spell (or Soulspell) metal opera from Heleno Vale. Guesting are people like Edu Falashi, Jon Oliva, Zak Stevens, and a lot of fellow Brazilian musicians. Heleno Vale not only wrote it, but also plays the drums.

With metal operas you expect some things. Like various singers, variety in songs, metal and melody, excellent musicianship and a production that does justice to all that.

Well, Soul Spell have achieved just that! And while in some cases it appears as would the complexity be a goal in itself, here that is not the case. Not that the playing is not of a high quality, and some instrumental parts are definitely stunning, but I would go as far as to say some melodies and vocal lines here are very memorable and simply breathtaking. So this gives us an album we can easily relate to on an emotional level. Part of this is because it is not a metal record as a whole. Some tracks border more into symphonic rock territory, thus breathing a lot of fresh air into the feel of the album. I like that a lot! This album will appeal to a lot of people because of this. Metalheads, proggies, sympho lovers, unite and support this great project. Contender for a top 10 rate. And makes me want to pick up part 1, as well as wonder how many Acts will follow… Buy it!

No personal play tips, just fire it up and hit repeat.