It’s taken these Brazilian Power Metallers 4 years to follow up on their impressive, energetic and entertaining debut. Despite the frantic pace of many of the songs on that debut the band themselves were clearly in no hurry – there was plenty of live-work to do and it has given Vandroya plenty of time to really decide who they are and how they want to forward. The Power Metal elements are still there, alongside many a progressive twinge, but whilst still being in the main a full-on Metal album, the emphasis is perhaps a little more on variation and musical expansion.
Though once the epic intro has set the scene, there’s plenty of bluster and speed surrounding opening track ‘Columns of Illusion’, as there is on later track ‘You’ll Know My Name’. Both could easily have been straight from that debut! They remind me a little of Axenstar with their classic Power Metal delivery (mainly musically and within the vocal structure – Axenstar were of course without the fabulous vocal prowess of Daisa Munhoz!) and these tracks are the perfect bridge between the two albums. The energy continues throughout the album, but there’s subtle signs of reeling things in a little – ‘Maya’ for instance has the vocals pushed further to the fore, includes a Stream Of Passion style bridge, before a memorable melodic chorus.
As the album progresses I notice that the drumming throughout “Beyond The Human Mind” still has plenty of speed and power, but is less frantic, more structured and has a bit more variation than on the debut, to match a more melodic, roomier guitar and keyboard approach, which in turn gives more space for Daisa to wind her terrific voice around more complex and memorable vocal lines. There’s a couple of very heartfelt and epic ballads this time around which certainly mixes things up and gives Daisa even more opportunity to impress with different tones, power and passion.
So what we have here in it’s entirety is a Metal album that is based around a Power Metal attitude, has plenty of speed and energy, but by a band that is brave enough to make things more accessible – a little like the approach Sinbreed have taken with their last release. I’m sure it’s a move that gives the band more scope to develop and it’s not like they have lost any of their previous vigour. They’ve just matured and grown a little. They certainly still have plenty to offer their current fan base, but also greater potential to entice some new ones.
(7.5/10 Andy Barker)