Released: 2010, Metalodic Records
In the summer I came across an album called HYPERBOREA, by a band called Vorpal Nomad, which is just fantastic. I reviewed it in September I noticed the album was released was on the up and coming Canadian label, Metalodic Records, which I knew had been around for a couple of years but I had not given the label the attention they deserved. Impressed by the quality of the Vorpal Nomad, I went to the Metalodic company web-site and basically bought their entire catalogue of eight albums by a roster of seven bands, at a hell of a good price I may add! So now, I’ve decided to review all those releases (minus the Vorpal Nomad of course) in a feature on Metalodic Records to support the label and it’s high-quality, international roster. The bands in the spotlight are Aclla, (Brazil), Caravellus (Brazil), Icewind (Canada), Instanzia (Canada), Kaktus Project (France) and two albums by Kerion (France). Please check out the reviews of these bands in this Metalodic Records feature.
I always pay particular attention to the debut album that is released by a new record label. A new young label, spends time, energy, resources and of course, money making a plan and creating a company, investing, advertising and supporting Metal. I admire people who have that drive to get in the music industry at a time when physical product has less relevance to some markets. I believe feel you can accurately guess the future of a record label based on the early decisions they make, such as, What is the first band they sign on their roster? How does the label present themselves? Are they serious? Do they have money to invest to support the artist? Are they professional? Are they only signing bands in their area or from around the world? By looking at the debut release on the Canadian Metalodic label, I feel the label is destined for great things. The first album they put out is KNOWLEDGE MACHINE (MLC 001) by the Brazilian band Caravellus. If you can judge a book by it’s cover Metalodic can pick winners, based on this album.
KNOWLEDGE MACHINE is the second album by this Brazilian quintet, and is the follow up to the oddly titled LIGHTHOUSE AND SHED from 2007. The CD is well appointed with a full colour 20-page booklet with cover art that ties in to the cover art from the debut, namely a giant eyeball in the sky. The album was recorded in Brazil and sounds as good as anything coming out of the nation. The band have caught the attention of a few people as Ana Mladinovici, vocalist of Magica, who puts in a nice performance on the song ‘The Divine Comedy’. She sings a duet with vocalist Raphael Dantas on the longer song, which is naturally based on the epic poem written by Dante. Also appearing on the song is Dario Grillo the ex-vocalist of Thy Majestie.
The band, led by primary songwriter, guitarist and lyricist, Glauber Oliveira is a sterling example of progressive Power Metal with heavy European influences. I say ‘European’ but there are so many good bands from South America and Brazil in particular that there is no regional definition on this global sound anymore. The band write longer compositions with four songs on the hour long album running over seven minutes long including the grand finale epic, the title track ‘Knowledge Machine’ that runs well over 15 minutes long. Every song has a good sense of composition giving each player room to shine with various flourishes and solos, without being too technical. All the individual performances are very solid, playing effortless with a classic flair. There are some acoustic parts, both piano and guitar on the tender song ‘Wherever I Am’, which includes some symphonic elements as well as beautiful vocal line from Raphael. It’s the shortest song and breaks up the fairly intense album quite nicely. Elsewhere his voice goes through a range from gruff to clean to soaring to some spoken word interludes as well. The whole album is supported by some nice keyboard work that compliments to the songs and interacts with the chugging guitars very well.
KNOWLEDGE MACHINE is a very sophisticated album, with many moods and interesting time changes, and an adherence to the principles of Progressive Power Metal. I expect many good things from this band in the future and I hope we don’t have to wait to long between albums. Since this came out in the summer of 2010 I hope to see their next album in 2013!