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The Second Big Bang
Released: 2017, Hellion
There is a certain disadvantage to reviewing a digital product, especially when it comes to grandiose conceptual bands like Soulspell. I wrote three fairly extensive reviews of the first three Soulspell albums that made up a trilogy and used their excellent website and the liner notes as my research guide. The new Soulspell album, THE SECOND BIG BANG is out and I don’t have a hard copy (yet) and their website seems to be down (as of time of writing)…so I’m going in a bit under-prepared I must admit.
At first glance THE SECOND BIG BANG seems to be another conceptual piece but I was not clear if it is a continuation where HOLLOWS GATHERING (2012) left off. However, thanks to an excellent (and timely) interview with Heleno Vale, conducted my our very own Anders Sandvall, we learn it is Part IV in the story. With a five-year wait we are treated to the fourth Soulspell album., the saga continues! I’m not thrilled with the album title personally but the cover art with the twin-headed ice-dragon on a frozen statue of Liberty looks awesome. Andreas Marshall rules!
Drummer, founder and mastermind, Heleno Vale is Brazil‘s Tobias Sammet…or is it the other way around? He recruited no less than 30 guest stars to appear on this album and among them many, many huge international stars in their own right. Bayley, Hartmann, Kotipelto, Lione, Lycassen, Mataos, Owens, and Scheepers are among a few of the powergods of Metal who lend their vocal talent to the project each handling a different character/role. I love these types of things, it’s so much fun to hear the different voices for the different characters and trying to recognize them.
Thankfully Heleno has not altered his writing style at all so we are treated to another superb album of melodic, progressive, symphonic, neo-classical Metal. No more, no less. The variety of moods and tempo suits the story to the best of my following it without the lyrics. Building on a solid Power Metal foundation Heleno adds all the bells and whistles one would expect. To top it all off, the production is great enhancing the already bombastic sound.
If anything this album is slightly more conventional and straight-forward in terms of composition and arrangement but it is still better than so many bands out there these days. Another triumph for Vale and Soulspell and totally worth the five-year wait.
1. Time to Set You Free
2. The Second Big Bang
3. The End You'll Only Know at the End
4. Dungeons and Dragons
5. Horus's Eye
6. Father and Son
7. White Lion of Goldah
8. Game of Hours
9. Super Black Hole
10. Sound of Rain
11. Soulspell (Apocalypse version)
12. Alexandria (Apocalypse version)
Heleno Vale- Drums
Cleiton Carvalho Guitar
Eduardo Ardanuy Guitar
Jani Liimatainen Guitar
Kiko Loureiro Guitar
Leandro Erba Guitar
Rodolfo Pagotto Guitar
Thiago Amendola Guitar
Tito Falaschi Guitar, Bass
Markus Grosskopf Bass
Fábio Laguna Keyboards
Frank Tischer Keyboards
Rodrigo Boechat Keyboards
Eduardo Santos Drums
Gabriel Viotto Drums
Camille Kitt Harp
Kennelly Kitt Harp
Jefferson Albert Vocals as "Padyal, the Worshipful Master"
Tim "Ripper" Owens Vocals as "The Holy Dead Tree"
Victor Emeka Vocals as "Adrian, the Apprentice"
Andre Matos Vocals as "The White Lion of Goldah"
Daísa Munhoz Vocals as "The Princess Judith"
Fabio Lione Vocals as "The Dungeon Master"
Blaze Bayley Vocals as "Banneth, the Keeper of the Tree"
Timo Kotipelto Vocals as "Greibach the Mathematician"
Ralf Scheepers Vocals as "The Clairvoyant"
Arjen Anthony Lucassen Vocals as "Space and Time", Guitars, Keyboards
Oliver Hartmann Vocals as "Space Agency Director"
Pedro Campos Vocals as "Timo's Mystical Body"
Dani Nolden Vocals as "The Shadows"
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