Released by: Power Prog Records
Release Date: July 18, 2014
Genre: Melodic Prog/Power Metal
Alírio Netto (Vocals)
Nathan Grego (Guitars)
Gabriel “T-Bone” Soto (Guitars)
Giovanni Sena (Bass)
Pedro Senna (Drums)
02. Under The Sun
03. Broken Bridges
04. The Waking Hour
05. Hunger And Shame
06. Melted In Charisma
08. Your Smile
10. New Revolution
11. Winding Road
12. Take Me Home (CD Bonus)
The Brazilian band Age Of Artemis was formed in 2008 by drummer Pedro Senna with the Alirio Netto (vocals), Nathan Grego (guitar),Gabriel Soto(guitar) and Giovanni Sena (bass). The band originally was named simply Artemis but then renamed due to another band in Brazil had the same name. In the 2011-2012 the band with the help of the producer Edu Falaschi (ex-Angra, Almah) has released their debut album “Overcoming Limits” that presented decent Symphonic Power Metal with Prog elements in style of Angra. This release got very positive acclaims and Age of Artemis became a new Brazilian Metal hope. Since then the musicians have recorded the follower “The Waking Hour” which will be released by Power Prog Records, July 18th 2014.
The new album features a change in musical direction. It is still Melodic Metal but Power Metal elements are significantly decreased along with symphonic arrangements. There are many calmer and mid-tempo tracks with strong Brazilian national melodies and Progressive Metal influences are stronger. Angra’s influences are even more intense but in fact, the music is much closer to their late works with some nodes to “Holy Land” especially the use of Brazilian melodies and rhythms.
All those changes are slightly disappointing to me because I have expected the developing of their debut album with fast Power Metal songs. However, there are many worth moments on the album and the sound, mixing and producing are flawless here.
The whole picture will be clearer with the obvious track-by-track review.
“Penance” is an atmospheric acoustic intro which turns into “Under the Sun” – a slightly up-tempo track with notable Brazilian rhythms and Melodic, Progressive and Power Metal influences. It reminds me not exactly of Angra but other Brazilian band – Eyes of Shiva (especially their second CD “Deep”). A good opener but I expect more driven music, though the second part of the song contains cool speedy solo.
“Broken Bridges” starts faster but changes into more melodic style. It includes Progressive middle part with complex riffs and then classical Power Metal solo. It is a decent song but not outstanding though I could highlight the impressive chorus.
The title track “The Waking Hour” is more powerful and heavy with several vocal lines but the chorus is melodic though it is not as bright as in previous tracks. Symphonic arrangements are not used here. The song is again a bit up-tempo but without real fast moments. It is still good, the heavy riffings are cool, but in the whole, this number is less impressive. “Hunger and Shame” is a slow track, a kind of ballad. Brazilian color is noticeable but nothing special to me.
The main riffs and guitar work in “Melted in Charisma” remind late Rage (sounds exactly like Victor Smolski) but the chorus is slow and made in different tradition, it’s surely melodic but not very exciting. National Brazilian moments in the middle are interesting, some speed-ups are also good. But we have one more mostly mid-tempo song. “Childhood” uses Brazilian percussion again, some melodic lines reminds me Labyrinth. Melodies is OK but mid-paced tempo again is tired. A guitar solo is nice but calm and something lazy. “Your Smile” is a slow half-acoustic track with accordion arrangements. It’s not a Metal at all, just Brazilian music which is boring to me, I do not comprehend this song. “Exile” has a very impressive melody and bright guitar solo. Everything is great here except a tempo. It is possibly the most memorable number here, strong and impressive. “New Revolution” tries to be fast but failed in most moments. There are more symphonic arrangements here, the middle prog part with bass and piano theme and shredding guitar solo are in Symphony X tradition. Another good song could be better.
“Winding Road” is an atmospheric track; it is actually symphonic prog rock which reminds me something from Pink Floyd. This song is a bit original but I should take into account that it is actually the third ballad here. I consider it’s really disappointed when an album of a Metal band has 3 ballads.
Bonus song “Take Me Home (Piano Version)“ is a remake of song from debut album. The 4th ballad and this fact is awful to me. The song is average, the worst from the “Overcoming Limits” that does not become better here.
The most songs are good but the pace is not enough to me. Too many slow ballads are annoying. The first album was much more energetic and it is very pity that musicians lost their fervor. The band had a great potential after the debut album but decided to grow in different way. I am sure that many metalheads will appreciate this work and primarily “The Waking Hour” is recommended to all fans of Brazilian music-influenced Melodic and Prog Metal; however, the lovers of Power Metal could be possibly dissatisfied with the total lack of speed.
Written by Egor “EG Power”
Ratings Egor 7/10