Review by Carlos Garcia
We have to go back in time a little, in 2005, to tell the beginning of this story, which started, like any project, from an idea or dream. Something that seemed unfeasible, Heleno Vale accomplished: the conception of a Brazilian Metal Opera, along the lines of the successful Avantasia and Ayreon.
Remembering that famous phrase, not knowing it was impossible, he went there and did it!
Against all adversities, whether geographic, social or economic, with a lot of sweat and blood the project released its first album, “Act I: Legacy of Honor”, in 2008, with several vocalists from the Brazilian scene, some already experienced names, others, young revelations, something that even became a flag of the project: to reveal and give opportunity to young talents, even organizing a contest for this.
After the debut, three more works followed, and in addition to the new talents and strong names of the Brazilian scene, international guests (like Jon Oliva, Zak Stevens, Ralf Scheepers, Timo Kotipelto, Fabio Lione, Blaze Bayley, Tim Owens and others) began to appear on the following albums. SOULSPELL also managed to gather several of these vocalists for concerts in Brazil, taking the musical and theatrical spectacle to several Brazilian states.
But, Heleno felt that he needed to accomplish even more, that the project deserved an official live record, gathering as many guests as possible, in something new in Brazil again, so, going back to that phrase again, he went there and did it!
The Show was recorded in a theater, Adélia Lorenzetti, in Lençóis Paulista (SP), on 07/08/2018, and now “X Years of Soul” is finished and soon the public that did not acquire in the pre-sale, will also be able to soon to have this unique and historical record on hand.
And again, SOULSPELL innovate, launching the record in a beautiful package, which brings the show on a stylized pen-drive in the form of currency, thus being able to offer the material in a format in which the public can enjoy all the sound quality and Full HD image.
More than 30 artists were gathered, more than 20 voices taking turns! Singers who recorded the original albums, some experienced on the national scene, such as Leandro Caçoilo (Eterna, Viper), Dan Rubin, Alex Voorhees (Imago Mortis) and Mario Pastore (Pastore, Powerful).
The young talents revealed by the project also show their evolution and growth, such as Lucas Martins, Gui Antonioli and Jefferson Albert, in addition to Daísa Munhoz, the main vocalist of the project and one of the greatest voices of Brazilian Metal.
The world-renowned names, such as Fabio Lione and Andre Matos (the show was Andre’s last appearance on an official DVD), further brighten the vocalists’ cast, which was also supported by a choir with five voices.
Those who follow SOULSPELL know about all the hard work, putting the best of themselves, and against all the difficulties and risks that the investment represents, no efforts were made to deliver a fantastic material. The quality of images and sound is excellent, and the performances of the musicians ditto.
We can feel that they really got involved in heart and mind in the interpretations and executions. The whole cast had one single rehearsal on the day of the event, but the talent, experience and soul that was put into the show, contributed to an excellent result.
We have practically impeccable performances, where, according to Heleno himself, only a few stretches in which the microphone “blew” and the audio was not satisfactory, it was necessary some correction in the studio, that is, what is being seen and heard is almost 100% of what was executed on the day, as complete and real as possible.
The Show features prominent songs from SOULSPELL‘s works, carefully selected, which are presented not following the chronological order of the story, but containing brief explanations about each one, and this does not really affect the presentation in any way. Subtitles of the songs and dialogues are available in english. For those who are having contact with the concept for the first time, and want to understand the whole story, you will find on the official website everything you need, including in english version.
The order in which the songs were arranged worked very well, bringing a well balanced show, interspersing moments of more intensity, weight and speed, with others more emotional and melodious. In addition to the excellent sound, the stage production featured a great work of lights, with a real emphasis on sound and performances, and without many fancy effects.
When looking at the set-list, we realized how much quality music SOULSPELL created, and of course, with so many memorable songs, someone will always miss some, personally, the one I most missed was “To Crawl or To Fly”.
There are 20 songs and more intro, in about 2 hours of the show, and it is difficult to point out highlights, but I separated some moments in which I was more excited and even moved.
After the intro with the “joker” presenting the show, the opening is with “The Labyrinth of Truth”, the title track of what for many is the band’s best work. A perfect start! That already arrests us immediately, making us immerse ourselves in the magical atmosphere of the show.
One of those moments of greater prominence, is precisely in the only “cover”, “Espelho Vazio”, excerpt from the tribute in Portuguese that the band made of “Theory of Everything”, by Ayreon (one of their greatest inspirations). Exciting duet by Daísa Munhoz and Manu Saggioro.
Right after the lull we have “Dungeons and Dragons”, which sets fire to the stage in great vocal “duels”, and right after that, another magical moment, with the beautiful ballad “Adrift”, with Daísa enchanting everyone, with the original duet alongside Lucas Martins. A shower of shredded paper completes the magic of the moment.
Other moments of greater prominence are with two more themes of “The Labyrinth of Truth”, “Dark Prince’s Dawn”, and its diverse climates, and the incredible “Amon’s Fountain”, both with several of the vocalists participating, highlighting Mario Pastore, Daísa and the choral of voices.
“Father and Son”, the best song from the latest studio work, with its beautiful and striking melodies; and also “A Little to Far”, from the first album and mandatory in shows, and “A Secret Compartment”, also from “Labyrinth”, which explosively closes the show.
But the great moment comes with the presentation of Andre Matos in “Time to Set You Free / The Second Big Bang”, alongside Fabio Lione, it was already something special, because it brought together two great vocalists of Metal worldwide, for the first time side by side. side on stage, and now, the emotion is double, because there is that sadness that we prematurely lost a talent like Andre (died on 06/08/2019).
In this excerpt, in addition to making a statement about the event and Soulspell’s work, he participates in a tribute to Mário Linhares (Dark Avenger, who also participated in an album and tour with Soulspell), and dedicates the music that takes the project name, “Soulspell”. Linhares also died prematurely in December 2017. So, in view of so many special moments in the show, this is perhaps the most emotional one.
In addition to the shows, the material features a beautiful booklet, with many photos of the event and even extras with the making-off and backstage, in very special images, which will make you feel even more within the whole process.
A historical record that will be remembered as a milestone in the history of Brazilian Heavy Metal. A material with a lot of quality, in a presentation in which the artists put their heart and soul. ATTENTION, high loads of emotion and musicality. Get it now.
Watch the Video Teaser here:
CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL RELEASE AND HOW TO PURCHASE: X YEARS OF SOUL | THE DREAM. THE UNION. THE REGISTER.
The most audacious project of Metal Nacional brought together live some of the greatest legends of Brazilian and worldwide Heavy Metal. A record that goes beyond any barrier and will be marked forever. A superproduction that will immerse you in the magical universe of SOULSPELL.
Recorded on 07/08/2018, at Teatro Adélia Lorenzetti, in Lençóis Paulista / SP. In Soulspell’s homeland.
The biggest gathering of great vocalists in the history of Brazilian Heavy Metal: 25 vocalists.
The last official live release of our dear maestro Andre Matos
The only live meeting of Andre Matos and Fabio Lione.
Limited special edition:
Access the Store: https://soulspell-metal-store.lojaintegrada.com.br/show
1) A beautiful round Pen Drive, 5 cm in diameter, in the best GOLD DRAGON COIN style, personalized with the X Years Of Soul logos on both sides, 32 GB, with 2 hours of show in FULL HD quality (Blu Ray 1080p quality) + 1:30 h of Making Of +
2) 42 cm high Cover Poster (Cover by Caio Caldas from CadiesArt) +
3) a wonderful booklet in the same mold as a DVD booklet (Art of the booklet by CadiesArt) +
4) a printed fold-out map with the places where the songs of the band’s odyssey take place +
5) a Digifile (Digipack without the DVD media tray) with bags to store the booklet + map + pen drive +
6) a very special and very limited box to store all the content of the “X Years Of Soul” with optional slot for storage of your dragon gold coin (the pen drive).
Soulspell thanks the support of:
Secretary of Culture of Lençóis Paulista, Landscape Audio, Christian Cardoso Photography, Don Romanian Ink
More information at www.soulspell.com