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HARDWARES

VANDROYA

One

(Inner Wound Recordings)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 8.0

To some degree, Brazilian female-fronted bands seem to be popping up more and more, what with SOULSPELL and SHADOWSIDE gaining recognition and now VANDROYA takes the spotlight with the release of its infectious debut studio album, One. Led by the soaring vocals of Daisa Munhoz, who also participates in Soulspell, the band inject some progressive elements into its traditional power metal flavor in the vein of GAMMA RAY, PRIMAL FEAR, STRATOVARIUS and DRAGON FORCE. Throughout the album, the guitar work is fluid — often times breaking into some dual harmonized leads. The song structures show great dynamic and the use of keyboards come into play at the right moments; 'Within Shadows' and 'The Last Free Land' are a good examples of this. Drummer Otávio Nuñez is like a human metronome, slaying with his lightning-quick double bass rudiments. The chugging guitar riffs of Marco Lambert and Rodolfo Pagotto cut through like razors while bassist Giovanni Perlati does a commendable job, but his bass is a little low in the mix and seems to follow the guitar rhythms most of the time. Munhoz holds her end of the band up well in the vocal department; her highs are operatic and theatrical while her multi-layered vocal harmonies really shine come chorus time, and ballad 'Why Should We Say Goodbye' shows off her melodic, softer vocal side. 'No Oblivion For Eternity', with its Middle Eastern-tinged riffs, is one of the highlights of the disc. One is a pleasing slab of traditional Euro power metal done the Brazilian way.



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