BRASIL METAL UNION FESTIVAL
Dec. 9th and 16th, 2000.
Led Slay, São Paulo-SP, Brazil
Review and photos by Thiago Martins
South American Field Agent for Metal-Rules.com
The First Day - Dec. 9th 2000
The first day of Brasil Metal Union Festival showed why it's very
difficult for Brazilian bands to reach a success inside the country
without being promoted on foreign countries. The first band, Portrait, got
on stage with a delay of about two hours, and their sound was very bad in
the beginning. Also, there were some problems with the equipments between
Other problem here is about venues. There isn't a good place for the Brazilian
bands play with quality. This festival took place at Led Slay, a
terrible venue. No good acoustic, a stage hot as hell: everything bad for
the band to play and for the crowd to enjoy the gig.
Even so, the 1,000 headbangers stood on the venue as long as they could.
The running order of the concert wasn't very sure for anyone. There was a
special appearance of a project called Motorblues, that includes Angra
members Ricardo Confessori and Luis Mariutti (now in Shaman), and no one
knew when they would play. Symbols was scheduled to make the final
concert, but the order changed and Dragon Heart has made it, with about
70% of the initial attendance.
Line Up: Gustavo Monsanto (Vocals); Gilberto Bressan
Emerson Barcos (Bass); José Antonio Cardillio (Keyboards); Marcelo Rocha
Setlist: Prision; Voices; Over the Mountain (Ozzy Osbourne); Shadows and
Doubts; Hall of the Mountain King/ Edge of Thorns (Savatage); Livin' Ain't
Breathing; Moscow (Genghis Khan).
Songs for Download:
The concert of this band from São Paulo was one of the better gigs of the
festival, though the sound was terrible in the beginning of their set,
getting better during the concert. In the end of the show, it was very
Portrait plays a melodic power metal, with some prog-metal influences.
Well-known in the Brazilian scene for supporting bands like Gamma Ray and
Blind Guardian gigs, recently the band has reformulated almost entirely
its line-up, and only the drummer Marcelo Rocha and the bassist Emerson
Barcos kept from the old line up.
The band kept the crowd interested during all their set. The highlights
were the powerful song Voices, song-title from their first and now sold
out EP, the new song "Livin' Ain't Breathing" (it might be on the
first album), as well as the cover of Savatage's "Edge of
Thorns" (which features on the tribute Return of the Mountain King),
that received a macabre intro of "Hall of the Mountain King".
The band has also played Ozzy Osbourne's "Over the Mountain",
and their famous version for Genghis Khan's "Moscow", a song
that the crowd always asks for, but when it's played the biggest part of
them seems to don't know the song!
It was the best gig I've seen from this band, and their highlight is the
powerful singing of Gustavo, who is a very good frontman too. Also, the
bassist Emerson and the keyboardist Jose Antonio have a very good and
funny stage performance. The guitarist Gilberto and the drummer Marcelo
just stand quiet on the stage, just worried on playing their instruments
correctly. Maybe now Portrait is prepared to achieve the position on
brazilian scene that they always deserved. Now we keep waiting for the
first full-length album!
Line Up: Alex Vorhees (Vocals); Fabricio Lopes (Guitars); Alex
Guimarães (Bass); Fabio Lopes (Bass); Flávio Duarte (Drums)
Setlist: Dying Pantheon; Bring Out Your Dead; The Shoemaker; Deus Lhe
Pague; Envy; Réquiem; Pain; Res Cogitans; Countess Bathory (Venom);
Symptom of the Universe (Black Sabbath).
Songs for Download:
"Seed of Hate"
/ "Bring out Your Dead"
The band from Rio de Janeiro is one of the most interesting in Brazilian scene, but their problem is that their doom metal does not works out so
well live. Most of their songs are long, and with lots of tempo-changes,
but in most of the time they are slow, and this fact made their set not so
warm as the previous band was. Musically speaking, the band is amazing.
Their lead singer Alex Voorhees is a fabulous singer, with a high
versatility. Also their guitarist Fabricio Lopes is very good, with lots
of sensational riffs. The keyboards are played by Alex Guimarães, and he
does a very good job keeping the dark feeling of the songs. The rhythm
section keep the songs very "full" and strong.
The songs from their first album "Images from the Shady Gallery"
are very interesting, as "Bring out the Dead"," The
Shoemaker", and "Res Cogitans" have proved. The new ones,
from which I liked very much "Envy", are even better than the
first ones. Their version for the classic Venon's "Countess
Bathory" and Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe" are very
good, but the highlight for me is their heavy version for the song
"Deus Lhe Pague", made by one of the most important Brazilian popular composer, named Chico Buarque.
But their style is one that, in my opinion, is not very good to see live.
But it's very attractive. Their fans were surely satisfied with their gig.
Well, this was the most boring part of the night, and this band has made
me lose my good mood for this day. First, there was a long delay for them
to get on the inferno, ops, the stage. Luis Mariutti and Ricardo
Confessori could be seen on the stage trying to put their equipments in
order. Well, for more than fifteen minutes, they stood there, and nothing
(it was about 2 am).
When they finally started playing, well, their sound was completely boring
too. This band sounds like a workshop music, where the musicians try to
prove who is the best one playing, and the songs are non-sense, lots of
solos, no vocals, and, hell, when I thought that it was over, the just
stopped their set to correct the problems with the guitar player.
I got angry and went off the room, to a open-air place, where I could
breathe and not only sweat.
Line Up: Eduardo Falaschi (Vocals); Demian Tigueis (Guitars); Rodrigo
Arjonas (Guitars); Tito Falaschi (Bass, Vocals); Rodrigo Mello (Drums)
Setlist: Introspection; The Traveller; Call to the End; Scream of
People; Save My Soul; Stop the Wars; Rest in Paradise; What Can I Do?;
Eyes in Flames
Songs for Download:
There will be a download section on http://www.clickbairros.com.br/symbols/media.asp
Symbols is a band that has been involved in lots of problems here in
Brazil. After releasing their self-title first album, the band had become
one of the best upcoming Brazilian bands. Last year, they had played in a
festival where the Germans Primal Fear would be the headliner. But, due to
the late of time, the schedule had been changed, and Primal Fear played
before them. When Symbols got on stage, less than half of the audience was
still there to see the band. More recently, some rumours about a
side-project from the bands members called "Bola Jones" would
finish the band's career, but the band has carried on and released another
album, named "Call to the End". On Brasil Metal Union, Symbols
was scheduled to be the headliner of the festival but, due again to the
late of time, the running order was changed and Symbols has played before
Well, I couldn't see their whole concert, as I've got some personal
problems and I had to leave the venue. But all I can say is that Symbols
visually sucks (I ain't got any pics, but you can see it on http://www.clickbairros.com.br/symbols/fotos.htm). Their members are not that kind of "headbanger" style, all of
them has "modern" haircuts, wears some "modern"
clothes, well, lots of stupid shit that can give the band a terrible first
But, musically, the band is very good. Their sound is near to the European
power metal, and all their members are very talented musicians. Their
highlight is the singer Eduardo Falaschi, a kind of legend in Brazilian's metal, and one of the best
Brazilian singers nowadays. The other musicians
keep the very good instrumental of the band, I was told that the
highlights of their set were the powerful songs "The Traveler",
"Scream of People" and "Eyes of Flames", that closed
A week after the concert, the band announced that Rodrigo Arjonas and Tito
Falaschi have split up with the band, and now they are currently searching
for their replacements.
Line up: Eduardo Marques (lead vocals, guitar); Marco Caporasso
(vocals, guitar); Mauricio Taborda (vocals, bass); Marcelo Caporasso
Setlist: Mountain of Rising Storm; Night Corsairies; Rebellion (Grave
Digger); Dynasty and Destiny; Black Smith; Balls to the Wall (Accept);
Arcadia Gates; Welcome to Dying (Blind Guardian); Gods of Ice
Songs for Download:
Well, I wasn't there to see Dragon Heart gig, but my friend Eric Piccelli
(firstname.lastname@example.org) was there and he made a short review of it.
When the four-piece powermetal band from Curitiba took the stage, the
crowd was almost going home to sleep - yeah, it was THAT late.
Nevertheless, the audience completely forgot about the time at the sound
of the first - and fast - guitar riff played. A great display of melody
and power followed, and fists started to pound in the air as the songs
from Underdark, Dragonheart's debut, were played: epic themes, with
beautiful solos and catchy choruses - which earned them their nickname,
Brazilian Blind Guardian -, all backed with a strong wall of three
singers. "Arcadia Gates" and "Night Corsaries" are
already local classics.
It is really amazing what this band is capable of when on stage. Although
they do have one lead singer, Eduardo Marques, who's also a guitar player,
both the bass and the other guitar player handle the vocal spot in a fine
way. And that was proved when they smashed the amps with cover versions of
Accept's "Balls to the Wall", Blind Guardian's "Welcome to
Dying", and Grave Digger's "Rebellion". The setlist also
included a new song, blockbuster-style, that will be included in their
next studio effort, due out next year, and will be called "Throne of
The Second Day (Dec. 16th 2000):
On the second day, I think I got a more optimistic about the Brazilian scene, and the festival was completely different on its organization than
on the day before. After a biblical storm (even an airplane fell on a
important street in São Paulo!), well, the delay wasn't very big, nothing
that makes you tired of waiting, as on the first day.
The space between the bands set was a lot shorter, the only time it got a
bit longer was before Eterna played, when there were some problems with
the drum equipment, and on the begging of Dark Avenger set. The rest of
the festival has gone without any serious problems. The attendance was
about 1,000 people again.
If the goal of this festival was to prove that Brazil has a very good
heavy metal scene, well, mission accomplished. But not only this: this
festival had a very good crowd, about 1,000 each night, and it has showed
that it is worth a try to put all these good bands together. Now I'm waiting
for another festival like this. The Brazilian scene will become stronger,
and that will be very good for us, Brazilian headbangers.
Line Up: Michael Polcholwicz (Vocals, Keys); Eduardo Martinez
(Guitars); Nando Mello (Bass); Aquiles Priester (drums)
Setlist: Legions of fate; Eagle fly free; Voices; Savior; To tame a
land; Last time/Inside your soul; Living in trouble; Perfect Stranger
(Deep Purple); Absinth
Songs for Download:
/ "Angel of the Stereo"
This band from Porto Alegre made the first concert of the second day, and
they sound a lot like a usual power melodic metal, although they have some
some prog and hard rock influences.
Their singer Michael Polcholwicz is very good, he has a great voice - he
is responsible for the keyboards. The main attraction of the band is its
drummer, Aquiles Priester (rumors say that he will be next Angra drummer).
He has a powerful style, he destroys his drums, as well as he does a lot
of technical things that seems to be very difficult, and they sound very
well on the songs.
From their own songs, I liked very much a new one called "To Tame a
Land", from their new album, called "Inside Your Soul". The
song "Absinth" from their album "Last Time" is also
very good and deserves to be mentioned. During the set, they played a
correct version of Eagle Fly Free and a renewed one from the Deep Purple
classic Perfect Strangers, faster and more powerful, when Aquiles showed
all his skills at the drums - although the results on the song didn't
satisfy everybody in the venue (I personally liked a lot!).
TUATHA DE DANANN
Line up: [Not Sure, but this line up is from their self titled album]
Bruno Maia - Vocals, Guitars, Flute; Giovani Mendonça - Bass, Vocals;
Rodrigo Berne- Guitars; Felipe Batiston - Keys, Acoustic Guitar; (??????)
Setlist: ????? (included covers from Rainbow's "Man on the Silver
Mountain", Grave Digger's "Rebellion", and Ozzy Osbourne's
"Mr. Crowley", as well as some songs from their album, like
Bards of the Infinity, and Tuatha de Danann)
Songs for Download:
If I had to choose the best concert of the entire festival, here's my
choice. I had never had the chance to listen to this band before this
concert, but all my friends always told me to give a try.
Well, this band that comes from Varginha - a city known here in Brazil for
some rumors related to ET's - has showed the most interesting sound of
this festival, mixing some medieval/Celtic songs, like Jethro Tull and
Blind Guardian, growling death metal and traditional metal, and, hell,
that sounds amazing!
Their lead singer, guitarist and piper (yeah, he does play flute on the
songs!) Bruno Maia has a good voice, and he alternates the singing of the
songs with the bass player Giovanni, who mads the guttural vocals. The
songs keep on changing styles from begging with acoustic guitars and
flute, to death metal tempo and vocals, then some catchy traditional
choruses, and it all works out very well! Also their other guitar player
Rodrigo is very good, as well as the key player, who also played the
The songs from the first self-titled album are amazing. "The Bards of
the Infinity" is a spectacular song, and it was the highlights of the
concert. As well, the bands played three covers: an exceptional version of
Grave Digger's "Rebellion", a good version of Rainbow's
"Man on the Silver Mountain" and a correct one of Ozzy's
"Mr. Crowley". The crowd saw the gig wondered by this bizarre
yet amazing band.
The sound of their gig wasn't very good, with problems on the acoustic
guitars and the keyboards, and that made some losses on the quality of
Also, their drummer X had departed from the band one week before their
concert, and a guest drummer called Rodrigo played with them tonight. I
can assure you that less than 1% of the crowd would have noticed that!
Line Up: Danilo Lopes (bateria e vocal); Jasson (baixo);
Leandro(Vocal);Paulo Frade (guitarra); Douglas Codonho (teclado)
Setlist: Social Sacrifice; Working Man; Da Pacem Domine;
Mary's Son; The War is Over!; Longevity; Papyrus-Part I; Papyrus-Part II;
Download the full song Mary's Son
Eterna is a band from São Paulo that plays a very good
"prog-white-metal", in the vein of bands like Dream Theater and
Symphony X. Well, as 'white metal' I don't want to mean "preacher's
band": their lyrics are more epic, using some themes and telling some
stories from the Bible.
The band has an amazing drummer called Danilo and, well, he is a great
singer too! In studio, his voice is very similar to Ronnie James Dio, but
on the live performances he loses this quality, although he keeps on being
a great singer. But he's not the only singer in the band: the band now
also has a new frontman, also a great singer (not better than Danilo)
called Leandro. The inclusion of a frontman is very good to the band, that
now has a person to keep in touch with the crowd.
Well, this gig was perfect. They played the best songs from their very
good album called Papyrus, even the long and almighty title track, but
their only problem is the sequence of the songs: I think they could close
their set with a better song like Mary's Son, but nothing that can reduce
the qualities of this band.
Line Up: Mário Linhares (Vocals); Hugo (Guitars), Pablo (Guitars),
Thomas Galuf (Keys), and George (Drums)
Setlist: (Don't know the new ones, but from their first album they
played Armageddon, Who Dares to Care, Die Mermaid, Call of Fight;
Rebellion, Ghost Divinity, and Morgana.)
This band came from Brasília, Brasil's capital. They are a kind of legend
inside Brazilian heavy metal. Their first and self-titled album is, in my
humble opinion, the best traditional heavy metal album ever made by a Brazilian
band. But it was released in 1996, and since then the band has
passed through twists and turns along their career, and they have never
released any other album yet! After the album, the band has changed all
its line-up, just keeping its singer, Mario Linhares, in my opinion, the
best Brazilian singer nowadays.
Now the band has recorded its second album called Tales of Avalon, and it
will be released on two volumes in 2001.
This concert on Brasil Metal Union was a kind of resurrection for the
band. Due to their behavior since they released their first album, the
band has been considered arrogant among the bands in the scene, and they
now are trying to change this "fame", and on this concert they
were trying to show that they changed their manners.
When they got on the set, they've got problems with the stage pa's: the
band couldn't hear anything they were playing. After about 10 minutes,
finally the band opened their set with the powerful
"Armageddon", and so it was clear that Dark Avenger is one of
the most famous bands here in Brazil, as the crowd got crazy and started
singing the whole song together with the singer. The fast and strong
"Who Dares to Care" kept the vibe and there weren't any doubts
around the results of the concert: Dark Avenger had a glorious night.
The band has played for around one hour and thirty minutes, mixing old
songs and the new ones from the upcoming albums. The highlights were
"Rebellion", "Call of Fight" (when lots of their fans
invaded the stage to sing with the band), and the amazing
"Morgana" that closed their set as it begun: everybody singing
The highlight of the band is sure Mario Linhares, with his strong voice
and great stage performance, his only problems were the excess of
screaming (his screams are amazing, but he should keep it to more
appropriated parts) and the lots of speeches between the songs (well, this
time he was showing everybody that the band has changed its attitude - I
think that on the next gig he will reduce them a lot). The new musicians
are very good and able to keep the band's quality in the future.
Well, it was a great concert from a band that now finally seems to have
found its way to establish in the top of the Brazilian heavy metal scene
and is prepared to fly even higher.