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Soulspell: The Second Big Bang
Soulspell - The Second Big Bang CD Album Review

Soulspell: The Second Big Bang

Melodic/Heavy/Power Metal
3.5/5.0

It's been five years, but Brazilian drummer and composer Heleno Vale returns with his fourth act in the Soulspell metal opera, The Second Big Bang. For the uninitiated, for each Soulspell album, Mr Vale writes the songs and then gets both a national and an international cast of musicians and singers to bring them to life. These players include many notable people you will recognize like Ralf Scheepers, Tim "Ripper" Owens, Arjen Lucassen, Timo Kotipelto, and Blaze Bayley, to name a few. You can find the complete list of participants, according to which song, within this PDF document. Curiously, Vale appears to play on only three songs.

Soulspell Band Photo

Soulspell

As mentioned earlier, and according to Vale, Soulspell is an ongoing metal opera. Not to be intentionally dismissive, but the concept of the opera is rather vague and so perplexing. With each album, I've never had the lyrics, which makes deciphering the concept even more problematic. But you can read some of the idea on the Soulspell Facebook page, found above.

As for the songs, their style and composition, Vale essentially creates melodic power metal in the European, or Brazilian ala Angra, tradition and then tosses in some symphonic and progressive nuances. The songs are fast and heavy, but also bristling with melody and harmony. There's an abundance of thrilling guitar solos to be found throughout. Keyboards add depth, texture, and sometimes a solo. The vocal arrangements are perhaps the most interesting, and perplexing, element of the songs. The vocals are generally clean and melodic by both male and female participants. Yet Tim Owens can get into some fine screamo mode. Some sweeter tones come when a female voice is added, as with Daisa Munhoz within Sound Of Rain or The End You'll Only Know At The End. Alternatively, Dani Holden joins Ralf Scheepers for a heavy metal male/female screamfest within Horus's Eye. However, the vocal arrangements also created somewhat of a listening dilemma. Excepting the very first song, Time To Set You Free, every song has multiple singers, two at the very least to as many as five. Songs like Game Of Hours or The Second Big Bang, had five and four singers, respectively, I found the vocals confusing and, at times, nearly cacophonous. Nevertheless, all these elements are inherent and natural to Vale's compositions. In other words, The Second Big Bang is exactly what you would expect from Vale and Soulspell. If you liked the previous material, you will like this album. Simple.



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The Bottom Line

The Second Big Bang is exactly what you would expect from drummer and composer Heleno Vale and Soulspell: finely crafted melodic power metal performed by an international cast of players. If you liked the previous material, you will like this album. Simple.

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