Monday, 27 June 2011

Unsigned Review: Andragonia (Brazil)



Ricardo DeStefano - Vocals
Thiago Larenttes - Guitars
Cauê Leitão - Guitars
Yuri Boyadjian - Bass
Daniel de Sá - Drums

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Progressive Metal

You'll like this if you like:
Dream Theater
Symphony X
Pain of Salvation

Current Release:
‘Secrets in the Mirror’

Dream Theater is the behemoth of the progressive metal world, influencing countless bands with their flawless combination of progressive rock and heavy metal. It is this influence which is heavily apparent in the sound of Brazilian progsters Andragonia. Their debut album ‘Secrets in the Mirror’ is a homage to the grandiose rifts and the frankly beautiful ballads of the prog masters themselves.

For a band only on their debut release, they already have an impressive CV; supporting Symphony X on their Sao Paulo show in early June, their video for ‘Undead’ being shown on MTV plus their album being named ‘Best National Record of Progressive Metal’ in 2010 by Metal Militia radio. These accolades are thoroughly deserved, as these boys from Brazil have pulled off something spectacular. ‘Secrets in the Mirror’ would be a triumph for any progressive metal band, let alone an unsigned band with their only other release being an EP.

Vocalist Ricardo DeStefano could easily be mistaken for James LaBrie, with every word of his vocal work dripping with emotion. His vocals are most impressive in ‘Undead’, where he can reach notes only dogs can hear and still carry the tune. The frantic drumming in ‘Draining My Heart’ hooks you in almost immediately and the flawless guitar riffs could get even the geekiest prog fan headbanging. The bass heavy anthem ‘The Choice’ would remind us of old school Iron Maiden if it wasn’t for the delicate and beautiful slow, almost ballad-like intervals which break up the song. Title track ‘Secrets in the Mirror’ is so epic that even Dio would be proud, and easily the strongest song on the album (for me anyway) is the sublime ‘Prison Without Walls’; a 10-minute opus which changes time signatures more than i change my socks. This is impressive not only for the way it sounds, but for the love, effort and tears it took to make this album a reality. Hopefully it won’t be too long until Andragonia make their debut on our shores!

Rating: 5/5