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Thessera: Fooled Eyes

It seems as if more concept albums than ever are flooding the progressive-music market these days. Among the latest is Fooled Eyes, the cinematic and haunting debut from the Brazilian sextet Thessera.

Originally released independently in South America earlier this year, Fooled Eyes was picked up by U.S.-based ProgRock Records a few months later and is now enjoying worldwide acclaim. Indeed, Thessera sounds like a band beyond its young years, filling a sonic canvas with the tale of a young artist celebrating his engagement to the woman of his dreams. During the engagement party, he falls ill and faints, which begins a musical journey through his unconsciousness, traveling across memories both joyous and sorrowful. Two-thirds of the way though the album, the artist is awakened with news that his fiancée has been in an accident, and a series of irreconcilable events are set in motion, culminating in a tragic finale. The album becomes an emotional rollercoaster that sounds best when the members of Thessera allow themselves to break out of the musical templates created by the likes of Dream Theater and Angra. The ballad "The Leading Roles" and the heavy melodic rocker "Party's On" sound unlike anything else on Fooled Eyes, and the band also manages to incorporate fusion, blues, Brazilian rhythms and even classical music into some of the arrangements.

Hmm: An independent-thinking progressive-metal band that creates credible concepts rooted in the real world? If Thessera can pick up where they left off on Fooled Eyes, these guys could be on to something.

Track Listing:
1) Le Chef D'oeuvre
2) The Gallery
3) Broken Psyches
4) Candlefire
5) The Leading Roles
6) Party's On
7) Inverse
8) Conflagration
9) Heaven's Gate

Added: December 3rd 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Thessera Web Site
Hits: 4634
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Thessera: Fooled Eyes
Posted by Steve Pettengill, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-12-03 07:19:19
My Score:

Fooled Eyes, the debut album from Brazilian progmetal band Thessera may not break any new ground for listeners of Dream Theater, Queensryche or Angra, but it's plenty entertaining all the same. A concept album that in some ways mirrors Ayreon's The Human Condition-the protagonist falls ill, passes out and takes a journey through his unconsciousness-Fooled Eyes is considerably less grim than its subject matter might suggest.

Certainly from a music standpoint, what we get is an uplifting hour of progressive metal that occasionally flirts with neoclassical rock, Brazilian folk and even pop here and there. "Party's On" seems to be a popular favorite and with good reason: it's a very catchy track. It's also where the album really begins to pick up steam, both compositionally and thematically with regard to the story.

I suppose the weak point of the album is when a few key plot points are literally acted out, sort of like what After Forever did on Invisible Circles. This sort of gimmick seldom works well, particularly if English is a second language for the band in question. But these passages are relatively brief and certainly forgivable given that everything else is done so well.

Thessera are garnering raves for Fooled Eyes and while I share much of the enthusiasm, I predict even better things to come from this young energetic band.

» Reader Comments:

Thessera: Fooled Eyes
Posted by Steve Clements on 2006-09-11 07:10:34
My Score:

Bought this album on the strength of some reviews on the their record labels site and some soundbytes. Althoughly technically brilliant and with some moments of pure magic, overrall I found this album a difficult listen. It reminded me of the first Empty Tremor albums. The main problem I have is that it is too busy too much of the time. For example the drummer, who is technically very good, is too busy on the snare and fills which , for me,detracts from what the other guys are doing. In my opinion the phrase 'less is more' is appropriate here. The vocals sometimes seem to get lost particularly in the verses despite the fact that the vocalist is a competent singer. It is the keyboards that shine for me on this album. Always good to hear the piano having a major role and not just synths etc.. Certainly a good start but personally I would prefer stronger, simpler strong structures.

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