SOULSPELL
Power Metal • Brazil

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Soulspell is a Brazilian melodic/symphonic power metal act formed in 2004. The project features many guest vocalists and instrumentalists.
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Hollow's GatheringHollow's Gathering
Nightmare / Inner Wound 2012
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$8.87 (used)
Labyrinth Of TruthLabyrinth Of Truth
CD Baby 2010
Audio CD$10.31
$6.99 (used)
Legacy of HonorLegacy of Honor
CD Baby 2011
Audio CD$15.67 (used)
The Labyrinth of TruthsThe Labyrinth of Truths
Extra tracks · Import
Universal Music Japan 2010
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.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Legacy of Honor
Power Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
The Labyrinth of Truths
Power Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Hollow's Gathering
Power Metal 2012

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SOULSPELL Reviews

SOULSPELL Hollow's Gathering

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
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Kev Rowland
Soulspell Metal Opera is a Brazilian Heavy Metal project put together by drummer Heleno Vale. This is the third album by the project, and Heleno brings together musicians and singers as is required so for example although he provides drums, so also do two others while there are three bassists and six guitarists for example. But it is in the vocal arena that he has really outdone himself with twenty singers, including Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth), Blaze Bayley (Wolfsbane, Iron Maiden), Michael Vescera (Obsession, Loudness, Malmsteen), Markus Grosskopf (Helloween), Amanda Sommerville (Avantasia) and Matt Smith (Theocracy) among the crowd. There is no doubt that the musicianship and singing is of the very highest quality throughout, and there are loads of different styles, but in many ways I feel that this is the album’s biggest downfall. Taken individually there are some incredible songs on here, (for example I love the blasting workout that is “Adrian’s Call”), but when listening to the whole album it is just that the individual parts don’t flow together as well as they might and at times the effect can be quite offputting.

I do wonder what the package that comes with the CD may be like, as this was provided as a download, and maybe with that in front of me this may make more musical sense, but as it is I found that it washed over me too much. It goes in too many directions (and this coming from someone who listens to the most complex jazz and prog imaginable) and I feel that if he had stuck to the Savatage/Helloween workouts then it would have been more effective.

SOULSPELL Hollow's Gathering

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
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adg211288
Hollow’s Gathering is the third full-length album by Brazilian metal opera project Soulspell. The album was released in 2012. Soulspell is led by drummer Heleno Vale, who is the only regular member of the act, although there are a number of common contributors across the three albums released so far including Tito Falaschi (Illustria), Daisa Munhoz (Vandroya) and Iuri Sanson (Hibria). Hollow’s Gathering features a total of twenty vocalists each performing a unique role within the album’s concept. Other vocalists on the album include Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (ex-Judas Priest, ex-Iced Earth), Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden), and Matt Smith (Theocracy). Guest instrumentalists include Markus Grosskopf (Helloween) and Rollie Feldmann (ex- Circle II Circle).

Musically a predominately melodic power metal release, Hollow’s Gathering also has some tracks which are closer to progressive power metal and symphonic power metal. The opening title track is a progressive power metal song while what follows on from it has a generally more straight forward sound, with symphonic and lessened progressive tendencies elements cropping up every now and then. Coupled with the variety that comes with having so many voices (twenty is even more ambitious than any of the Ayreon albums released so far) means that Hollow’s Gathering never runs the risk of feeling stagnant. Additionally there are some parts to the music which withdraw the power metal element to focus even more on melody.

While I can do nothing but appreciate the musical qualities of the album, and commend Heleno Vale for putting together such a stellar cast, I just can’t follow the story presented on Hollow’s Gathering. Maybe that would be different if it were not my first encounter with Soulspell, as Hollow’s Gathering continues the story begun in the earlier albums A Legacy of Honor (2008) and The Labyrinth of Truths (2010) but nevertheless this isn’t something I’m particularly worried about as I’m only really concerned with musical quality, and Hollow’s Gathering has that in abundance, although aside from its status as a metal opera, it isn’t exactly breaking any boundaries musically. And to be honest these things are becoming more and more common. There are a few definite standouts amongst the tracks, such as that opening title track and Change the Tide, or if you want something a little less speed obsessed, The Keeper's Game is a great choice. At the opposite end of the spectrum A Rescue into the Storm is the only real moment where a track fails to stand up to the bulk of the release. A great album tier rating is deserved.

80/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org/soulspell-hollow-s-gathering-t2748.html))

SOULSPELL Hollow's Gathering

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
To crawl or to fly...

Genre: power metal

Brazil-based Soulspell is one of those prog power metal acts who specialize in epic power metal operas, and this type of music - the power metal opera - is often a volatile affair: things can turn out really well, or the album can explode in a fatal cloud of cheese. On this album, Soulspell really balance on the razor's edge, but, at the end of the day, "Hollow's Gathering" is definitely a positive experience to listen to - even to me, who admittedly can't stand cheesy power metal.

The music on the album ranges from super epic and pompous symphonic power metal (as in the album's title track) to more straight-forward metal-rock (as in 'Adrian's Call'), but with the center point being Euro Power metal in all its glory. Balancing solid heavy metal riffs, rocky guitar solos, and twin guitar leads on the one hand with epic keyboards, neoclassicisms, and grandiose choruslines, Soulspell might be too over the top for some fans of more traditional metal, but at the same time this fan group is still guaranteed a lot of good old fashioned metal stuff. The catalyst of this blend is progressive keyboards, by the way, although the core style cannot be said to be progressive metal.

Take a look at the line-up on this album, and you will see that it is pretty much an all-star project. As is typical of modern day power metal operas, a plethora of vocalists appear on "Hollow's Gathering", and - to be honest - the initial impression I had upon having to take in all those different singing styles was that of bewilderment. But using so many vocalists also ensures variation, and, although I still find the title track to be over the top in this department, I do think that each and every vocalist does a good job - and I especially like Ripper Owens' and Blaze Bayley's performances.

If you dig prog power metal operas, then you must not miss out on the experience of pure epicness that is "Hollow's Gathering".

SOULSPELL The Labyrinth of Truths

Album · 2010 · Power Metal
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The Block
The labyrinth of truth

Soulspell really dipped into the talent basket on this great album. With great guests such as Jon Oliva (Jon Oliva’s Pain, ex. Savatage), Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex. Helloween), Zak Stevens (Circle II Circle, ex. Savatage) and Germán Pascual (ex. Narnia) Soulspell really made this album something that many people will like, and enjoy. One of the many reasons for this is the great musicianship on the album.

Every musician on this album plays absolutely superbly. The great riffs in guitars mix really well with the underlying tones of the keyboards. The song that shows this off the most is the all instrumental song, “The Entrance” which, as the name suggests, leads right into the album. It’s kind of like a pick up mote to a measure providing a preview of what is to come on the rest of the album. The drums are a bit typical for power metal albums, but some thing else in the mix, whether it be the guitars or keyboards at times, make them sound much more original and different. Guitarist Rodolfo Pagotto is one of my favorite musicians on the album. He brings so much talent to the album, especially in his solo sections like the one on “Dark Prince’s Dawn”.

The vocals on this album are top notch. Since it is a metal “opera” type album, with tons of guests, there are so many good vocals to listen to. Everyone who sings does a perfect job throughout the whole entire album. I really like the song “Adrift” where one of the many male singers trades lines with off and on with Daisa Munhoz, the only female singer. Besides her higher pitched voice blending with the lowness of the rest of the band, I really like how they utilize this, unlike many other power metal bands that have no women vocalists. “The Verve” is another great example of this, too. Perhaps my favorite song on the album, “Into the Arc of Time”, features one of the best known singers in progressive power metal, ex-lead singer of Savatage, Jon Oliva. You can definitely hear his influence here, since it sounds like it was taken straight from one of Savatage’s albums. His gravely voice and minor notes on the keyboard, add a whole new sound to the album, which wasn’t there before.

The production by Tito Falaschi and mixing by Heros Trench is pretty good except for a few instances on the album were it sounds just a bit cheesy, but it is easily overlooked.

This album comes highly recommended to any fan of power metal of progressive power metal. Also if you are a fan of bands such as Ayreon or Star One, you will really enjoy this album, since all three of these bands are made up of a bunch of high quality musicians playing together. Soulspell includes a great, all-star cast to make this one of the best recent power metal albums that I’ve heard. For their superb release they get 4 stars.

SOULSPELL The Labyrinth of Truths

Album · 2010 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Into the Arc of Time...

If you're someone who enjoys metal operas from acts like Ayreon and Genius, it'd be a real shame to miss out on the latest outing from Brazil's Soulspell. With an all-star cast, irresistible compositions, and a powerful overall sound, the end result for The Labyrinth of Truths is one of the best progressive power metal albums of 2010. The Labyrinth of Truths is a rock opera of sorts, with a host of guest vocalists, a conceptual story, and a generally bombastic sound. I haven't paid much attention to the lyrics here, but the story supposedly revolves around the concept of how just living a normal life can affect the lives of people worldwide. The lyrics never come across as outwardly cheesy, and the music is so fantastic that I wouldn't care even if they were an endless cheesefest. The latest album from Helono Vale's brainchild is essential listening for people who enjoy metal operas - The Labyrinth of Truths can compete with the best of the best.

The music here is a progressive/power metal opera played in a style not unlike Ayreon, Star One, Genius, or even Savatage. One of the most eye-opening things about The Labyrinth of Truths is the lineup filled with metal legends; something surprising for a relatively unknown project. On this album you can find vocal contributions from the likes of Jon Oliva (Savatage), Zak Stevens (Savatage), Roland Grapow (Helloween, Masterplan), and Germán Pascual (Narnia), to name but a few. The instrumental section is impressive as well, but the main hook that The Labyrinth of Truths possesses lies in the fantastic compositions. On this album you'll find operatic power metal madness in the title track, a beautiful pop-oriented song in "Adrift", or a stellar progressive epic with "A Secret Compartment". There's plenty of variation on The Labyrinth of Truths in the vocal arrangements and compositions themselves, and the album rarely (if ever) feels derivative of itself. The vocal melodies here are very appealing - just listen to some of those harmonies in "A Secret Compartment"! People who tend to look down upon pompous and symphonic power metal won't have their minds changed by this album, but for someone like me, the only way to look at this album is one of the best progressive power metal albums of 2010.

The production is great (in my opinion). There's a bit of "cheese" added because of the stressed production values, but I think it gives the music a powerful and commanding edge.

Conclusion:

The Labyrinth of Truths took a few listens for me to appreciate, but it's safe to say that the more I hear this album, the more I love it. Soulspell has crafted an excellent progressive/power metal opera here that's an essential purchase for anyone who enjoys albums like The Human Equation by Ayreon, Victims of the Modern Age by Star One, or Streets by Savatage. 4 stars are well-deserved here. I can't say I was expecting anything this great when I first acquired The Labyrinth of Truths, so you could call this a positive surprise for me. Highly recommended!

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