Viper - Theatre Of Fate
When you hear of the combination Brasil and melodic power metal most likely one band immediately comes into mind and that's Angra. But perhaps not that many people have neither heard nor heard of Viper, which in fact is the band where Angra vocalist Andre Mátos started his career. The band has as far as I know released two other albums, Soldiers of Sunrise (debut) and Evolution but unfortunately I haven't heard a single tone from either of those so no comparisons can be made.
At the time of writing this I hadn't heard the album in well over 5 years but it still managed to produce one hell of a head-banging feeling. Matos delivers one brilliant vocal-line after the other and no matter which register he's using it just sounds great (and young!). Besides Matos the guitar leads and solos are true shining instalments and runs like a read thread from top to bottom and really explode on a majority of the outings. The music itself is very emotional and although it's got very strong influences of European melodic power metal with neo-classical touches Viper's still managed to create a music very much their own and over the years I actually haven't heard anything that I can instantly compare it to in regards of sound and composition style. There's a little Angra due to Matos singing, a bit of Helloween regarding speed and character, doses of Iron Maiden especially in some guitar sections and some small touches of early Rhapsody in terms of melody and orchestration but that's not really covering it all either so overall Viper definitely have a very unique sound signature.
Theatre of Fate compiles a full and very complete variety between the songs and Viper have managed to come up with some really great lyrics, very intelligent compositions and solutions to their music. It's quite complex but at the same time very easy to immediately take to heart. With exception of the instrumental intro Illusions and the closing ballad Moonlight (based on Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata) virtually every single track truly sticks. I also have to regard Theatre of Fate as one of the most emotional power metal albums I've come across over the years. The only downsides of the album are that the production could have been a little better and that it finishes after only about half an hour. The band really had a nice flow going and a little more of this excellent creativity by main songwriter Passarel could have left the studio. But at the end of the day you really can't have it all and what's already on display is definitely good enough to account for a great album.
There are so many hidden gems in the metal treasure chest and Viper's Theatre of Fate is one of extremely high value. Apparently the album has been re-issued on CD so it should be quite accessible so if you stumble across it somewhere you should definitely do a thorough survey of the goods and especially if you're an Angra fan. So believe it or not but metal from Brasil in the early 90's can actually prove to be a very enjoyable affair. In fact- a real classic!