Although formed in 2001, it wasn’t until late 2010 Brazil’s power metal sensation, Vandroya started to record their debut album One featuring SoulSpell vocalist Daísa Munhoz. Musically, Vandroya play power metal with progressive and symphonic elements. After the symphonic instrumental opener All Becomes One , the band launch into the epic The Last Free Land which has a vintage Helloween sound to it. Munhoz has a powerful voice with a great range befitting a power metal band, rather than a mezzo soprano voice so common in symphonic metal these days. Dual guitarists Marco Lambert and Rodolfo Pagotto have some shredding guitar skills as well as some tasty harmony leads. No Oblivion For Eternity has a nasty main riff that brings recent Symphony X to mind (also see the proggy Anthem (For The Sun); yet Vandroya doesn’t come across as a cheap knock off, even though they do wear their influences on their collective sleeves. Speaking of influences, the harmony guitar intro on Within Shadows has a Maiden-esque quality to it, but with a power metal vibe. The band shows it’s progressive side with a piano breakdown and some off time drum patterns courtesy of drummer Otávio Nuñez.
The band showcases Munhoz’s softer side on the power ballad Why Should We Say Goodbye , while formulaic, it is still effective thanks to Daísa’s powerful expressive delivery. The power metal glory comes charging back on the fast and heavy Change the Tide , a duet with an un-credited male vocalist, which has an Avantasia type vibe to it. The album’s heaviest track This World Of Yours features some lightning fast double bass drum work from Nuñez and razor sharp riffage from the tandem of Pagotto and Lambert. The album’s final track Solar Night is also the most epic and progressive, clocking in at over 7 minutes, with piano interludes and plenty of guitar riffage to keep the prog fanboys / girls happy. Munhoz’s vocal takes command once again without overpowering the song. As a whole, One is not a game changer of an album, but it doesn’t have to be. What it is, is extremely well done power metal that fans of fellow Brazilian metal acts such as Shadowside and Angra, as well as U.S. prog and power metal heavyweights Symphony X and Kamelot will definitely appreciate. One of the surprise releases of 2013 for me
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