Released: 2002, Encore
I’m glad Crash Music picked up the rights to this band and re-issued this disc this year because it probably the only way many of us will ever have a chance to hear this fairly obscure Brazilian metal band. This is an interesting release and my first time hearing the band despite this being their fourth album already! Keeping a consistent pace with CD’s in ’97, ’99 and ’01 the band released with is a type of EP with bonus tracks.
Terra Nova has 11 tracks but there is an instrumental intro and a radio edit version of the title track. I can’t see the point of this as the radio edit is a 1:19 shorter, but perhaps in Brazil they might have a chance to be on commercial radio where song length is a consideration. It doesn’t end there they include a version of the title track with English lyrics! It’s a great song but do we need three versions of it?
What is odd is that Eterna include four new versions of four songs from the 1999 album PAPYRUS. I suppose they want to update the songs with the new vocalist, who joined in 2001, but why not have reworked versions from the debut as well. However, I do want to track down PAPYRUS and compare the two versions back to back to see if there is a significant difference. They also include a track called ‘Goodbye My Dear Ophelia’ from the massive melodic metal project a recording of Hamlet with tons of Brazilian artists. The fourth track is an instrumental so in reality there are really only two new songs with lyrics on this disc! Ultimately it doesn’t matter as I have not heard the original versions so they are all ‘new’ songs to me.
So to summarize we have a neat little extended EP for die-hard fans a quite a nest introduction to the band. Something for everyone! The band is supposedly Christian but you can’t really tell from the lyrics, but they are positive in a Narnia sort of way. The package is nicely put together, complete with lyrics and a gorgeous cover by Eric Philippe. No photos though! Modest fellows.
Even if I didn’t know ahead of time these guys sound Brazilian. I know that sounds dumb but really you can hear a big Viper/Angra influence. They are very smooth, silky production, clean, clear delivery some might even say over-produced. The guitars are peppy but lack grit and crunch. Lots of tasty solos and licks and a vocalist with a sky high voice. Fans of Narnia, Edenbridge and so on will certainly delight. The title track Terra Nova/Motherland has an instantly catchy and hummable vocal melody. The fastest , heaviest cut on the disc is probably the re-make of ‘Working Man’ (not the Rush tune) which drives along nicely almost into speed metal territory. The cut ‘Pa Pacem Domine’ also has a very infectious vocal hook for a chorus.
It didn’t take me long to get hooked on this disc and I’m surprised how much I listen to it, considering that with all objectivity it is not that original. But it so well done that I have no hesitation recommending Eterna to any melodic metal fan.