VANDROYA — Beyond the Human Mind (review)

VANDROYA — Beyond the Human Mind album cover Album · 2017 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Brazilian progressive power metal act Vandroya have a history that actually dates all the way back to 2001, but those who know their name probably heard it through their debut album One (2013), released twelve years later. Their only prior release was the Within Shadows (2005) demo. They've again left it a few years but the group is now back with their second full-length album Beyond the Human Mind (2017), though they did release the two track EP Heavenly Shadows (2016) in the meantime.

Beyond the Human Mind basically picks up with where One left off. That means guitar driven, progressively inclined power metal topped with the excellent and powerful voice of Daísa Munhoz. The production seems a little less polished on this album compared to the previous but I actually see that as a positive thing as it gives the guitars of Marco Lambert and Rodolfo Pagotto more grit and that never hurts a power metal band in my view. The band's progressive elements are perhaps a little less obvious this time around, but the band have included their longest song yet which is the title track, which really shows off this side of the band.

Power metal is one of those ironic genres though: it's music is based around speed, yet the bands are also more likely to include ballads compared to other forms of metal. I find that most power metal artist's ballads end up being their weakest tracks, disrupting otherwise strong albums. It's all very well being able to play the actual power metal parts well, but the best artists are the ones who actually manage to get their ballads right. Blind Guardian are the masters of this, but Beyond the Human Mind proves that Vandroya are made of the same kind of stuff when they deliver anthemic power ballads like Last Breath and If I Forgive Myself. Daísa Munhoz is an excellent vocalist for power metal, but its during these songs where she shines the brightest. This is some very emotive singing right here. Some listeners may find it a small issue that a power metal album has two such tracks, but the band do them so well that it shouldn't be too much a surprise that they doubled down on a good thing.

I do think that overall I preferred the band's previous album One by a small margin, but this is an excellent follow-up from Vandroya that shouldn't leave anyone feeling dissatisfied. So far in 2017 power metal albums of this kind of calibre have been in short supply, so Beyond the Human Mind should be a priority for any fan of the genre to check out.
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