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(34 min, 'Raven Rock')
TRACK LIST: 1. The Call of Peace 4:23 2. Shadows 6:55 3. Dark Eyes 7:24 4. Searching for the Light 1:17 5. Streets of Darkness 5:25 6. Time for the Time 4:38 7. Helpless Cry 4:40 All tracks: by Ata D' Arc. Produced by Ata D' Arc. LINEUP: Tulio Torres - lead vocals Otavio Medeiros - guitars; vocals Teo Hautequeste - keyboards, piano Ricardo Linassi - drums; vocals
Prolusion. "Call of Peace" is the debut CD by Brazilian quartet Ata D' Arc. According to the press kit, the band's name considers the wills and fight of the French heroine Jeanne D' Arc.
Analysis. The CD features seven tracks, one of which, the short Searching for the Light, is credited as an instrumental. In fact, it's a light Classical music-like intro to the song that follows, Street of Darkness. Here, and also on the album's boundary tracks, The Call of Peace and Helpless Cry, the music is immediately recognizable. This is Judas Priest circa "Painkiller" meets Helloween of the times of "Keeper of the Seven Keys", the lead vocals being not unlike those of Rob Halford. Thus, this stuff shouldn't be defined differently than NWBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal), perhaps at its most progressive, particularly on Street of Darkness, which is abundant in shifting meters and other remarkable progressive components. Well, the last track is lushly colored with keyboard patterns, but this matter doesn't change its primordial essence. I am not certain if I like the others songs better, but at least, I am more satisfied with them, as I don't find derivative features there. No drums on Time for the Time, which is an airy symphonic Art-Rock ballad with the exquisitely tasteful interplay between acoustic guitar and synthesized flute in the middle. The remaining two songs: Shadows and Dark Eyes are the longest and are most diverse, at least stylistically. Symphonic Art-Rock textures alternate with those of classic Prog-Metal, each featuring the excellent acoustic guitar solos running nearly throughout. Otavio Medeiros dexterity with both of the electric and acoustic guitars (some solos were certainly overdubbed) is getting solid support from keyboards and drums, though I somewhat miss the lack of authentic bass guitar solos.
Conclusion. Overall, this a rather strong debut effort from a promising band. Recommended to those started getting into Prog-Metal not lately. Don't worry! Ata D' Arc could not fully avoid flirting with the most traditional, widespread tendencies on the genre's contemporary scene, but there is no Neo heresy here.
VM: October 14, 2005
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