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Soulspell: The Labyrinth of Truths

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!


Track Listing

1. The Entrance (instrumental) 01:20
2. The Labyrinth of Truths 07:52
3. Dark Prince's Dawn 06:35
4. Amon's Fountain 08:08
5. Into the Arc of Time (Haamiah's Fall) 07:12
6. Adrift 04:49
7. The Verve 06:48
8. Forest of Incantus 04:11
9. A Secret Compartment 07:22

Added: February 2nd 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Score:
Related Link: Soulspell Official Website
Hits: 2947
Language: english

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Soulspell: The Labyrinth of Truths
Posted by Gert Hulshof, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-02-02 06:26:53
My Score:

Heleno Vale the Brazilian drummer returns with his Soulspell Metal Opera. This time the album or Opera is called The Labyrinths of Truths. Yet again a heavy symphonic opera with many different singers, playing the roles of the cast of Characters.

Soulspell is Heavy progressive metal in purest sense, a fellow of the dutch progressive rockiconoclast Ayreon. Both bands or artists handle their musical project in more or less the same manner for the audience at least. Strong melody lines, gigantic vocals. Raving guitar solos, moody songs.

The Labyrinth of truths once again is a so called concept album, the story of the legacy of honours is duly continued as nothing happens by chance everything is here for a reason, but we often have the feel of walking through a massive labyrinth. In this case of truth. But what is truth.

A fantastic story, all to be read on the homepages of Soulspell on the internet.
The artists involved in this Metal Opera are way too many to mention in my review.
Over the years this symphonic music has become the backbone of modern day progressive rock scene, because it has elements of theater, classical music, symphonic, storytelling. People throughout the world are drawn toward storytelling, In ancient history done by the Bards. Taken over by folksingers, and now heavy metal bands.

This here is yet another stunning album and a good example of the genre in which we find artists such as Stratovarius, Savatage, Ayreon, but also Nightwish and Within Temptation on the more darker side.

Great listening material with a high entertainment level.




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