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Brazilian band SCELERATE has been around since the year 2000. “Darkness and Light” is their debut, released in their native Brazil in 2006, then in Europe and the States in 2007. While the band seems to bear influences from a variety of power metal and prog metal bands, much of the recording brings to mind something halfway between early Helloween and Dream Theater, revealing an obvious tendency towards creating melodramatic and epic soundscapes. To be more precise, the musicians vary between fast-paced, almost thrash-sounding short power metal tunes and longer, more progressive, epic-sounding songs rather than combining the two types of music in each individual song. The guitars are obviously the main instrument for this outfit, but like other groups playing similar music, the vocals are quite important to Scelerata as well. Vocalist Carl Casagrance’s approach has much in common with Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, a high-pitched classic heavy metal wailing. It takes a good vocalist with restraint and an excellent natural ear for judging pitch to pull that one off. Unfortunately Casagrande isn't that type of singer; at least he wasn't when this album was recorded. The songs themselves are rather good, but the singing unfortunately ruins most of them. If vocals aren't that important to you, this CD is worth checking for fans of aggressive power and epic-sounding prog metal. But people sensitive to vocal performances should approach this one cautiously.
OMB: March 4, 2008
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