|Musical Style: Hard Rock||Produced By: Rildo Vellosa & Belica|
|Record Label: Megahard||Country Of Origin: Brazil|
|Year Released: 2002||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 12||Rating: 55%|
|Running Time: 65:53|
Brazil's Belica got its start in 2000 while under the name Vollig Heilig when it released an inconsistent and unrefined sounding debut effort entitled Looking For The Light on Megahard Records. Permanently changing its name to Belica, the band displays demonstrated improvement on the gritty and straightforward hard rock of its sophomore release For All. A great deal of credit must be given to Belica for the confidence it exhibits in its instrumental sound, reflected in several extended instrumental passages allowing the guitar team of Luciano Novi and Edson Boleti to showcase their abilities. Bassist Cezar Augustus and drummer Dany Martins form a tight sounding rhythm section. Karl Ellwein does an effective job accentuating the instrumentation on keyboards. While lead vocalist D'Tarso contributes a solid but raspy mid-octave ranged voice, his delivery at times can come across in a manner that is strained and overbearing.
For All is held back by a low budget production job. The albums low end sounds particularly weak with the bass and drums in need of a cleaner mix. The lead guitar often struggles to rise above the instrumentation, while the rhythm guitar can sound thin and muddy.
"Life's Victory" opens the album to a driving guitar riff that carries it in a no-nonsense manner to a smooth sounding chorus backed by vocal harmonies. Boleti cuts loose with a minute of sharp sounding lead guitar work accentuated by synthesizers.
A blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards propels "Mistake" through its first minute until the keyboards drop from the mix at the start of its first verse. Slowing for several seconds of rhythm guitar, "Mistake" moves on to a catchy chorus that ranks among the albums best.
Introduced to a minute of rhythm guitar and pounding drums, "Serpent Of Bronze" slowly moves forward until it gains momentum for a strong chorus delivered at an upbeat tempo. Boleti and Novi combine for nearly a minute of dual lead guitar work.
The groove flavored hard rocker "Little London" begins to several seconds of bluesy lead guitar work before it tapers off to a near crawl for its first and second verse. The melodic flavored chorus that follows gives way to a minute of the albums best bluesy lead guitar work.
Advancing through its verse to a quietly played guitar line, “Give Me Strength” abruptly picks up in pace as the rhythm guitar kicks in to bolster a good hard hitting chorus. The song closes out its last minute to more of Boleti's stylish lead guitar work. "Give Me Strength" is literally about the need for that:
I feel loneliness
I become desperate
I pray and I cry
I know that this will change
God, give me strength...
After an energetic blend of organ and rhythm guitar takes "Fire" through its first and second verse, a distorted rhythm guitar highlights the instrumental passage that follows. "Fire" continues at its frenetic guitar driven pace during its third and final verse before both an organ solo and a bass solo drive a second instrumental break.
"God Is The Heart Of The World" opens to a crisp rhythm guitar perfectly accentuated by an organ. Once the organ drops from the mix as the song reaches its first verse, it quickly advances on a good non-stop hook filled chorus. Boleti steps forward with a minute of gritty lead guitar work. The chorus to "God Is The Heart Of The World" stands on its own without need for further explanation:
Breath the life of God - and you will live forever...
"Insane" embarks to a driving riff backed by a muscular bass line, the two conveying the song hard and heavy until it picks up in pace for a chorus buttressed by heavy handed vocal harmonies. Several seconds of blues lead guitar work opens an instrumental passage ending to a blend of rhythm guitar harmony and keyboards.
The album closes to its four least noteworthy tracks.
The straightforward hard rock of "Full Salvation" fails to hold up under an ordinary sounding chorus I might describe as marginal at best.
"Confession" commences to a piano before a blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards pushes it to a chorus that lacks in depth and staying power.
The punchy bass line and edgy rhythm guitar at the start of "Fight Girl" takes the song in an upbeat manner to a hard hitting but repetitive chorus that does not quite make the grade.
Advancing through its verse at a driving mid-tempo pace, "Power Of God" culminates for a chorus that is not quite strong enough to always keep my attention riveted. The songs lyrics, on the other hand, are quite good:
He comes over the clouds
Thunder announces Him
Breaking the self of proud
And removing every sin
Abyss lifts up it’s hand to the Creator
In front of Him trembles the mountain
While For All gets off to a pretty good start, it turns into a tiresome listen as a result of too many of its tracks lacking melodies strong enough to allow them to hold up under repeated play. The album, for example, is simply too long in coming in at over sixty-five repetitious minutes; I cannot help but think it would have turned out the better effort if reduced to 8 or 9 songs. A weak production job and inconsistent performance on lead vocals are further detracting factors. That being said, I appreciate the strength of Belica's musicianship and the confidence it displays in its instrumental sound. However, in order to create the more noteworthy follow up effort the band needs to come up with better material reflecting stronger melodies and catchier choruses. If Belica could compose ten songs the quality of "Little London", "God Is The Heart Of The World" and "Insane" they would end up with a very fine album.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: "Life’s Victory" (5:09), "Mistake" (5:41), "Serpent Of Bronze" (5:59), "Little London" (6:27), "Give Me Strength" (3:58), "Fire" (3:51), "God Is The Heart Of The World" (5:20), "Insane" (6:41), "Full Salvation" (6:07), "Confession" (6:41), "Fight Girl" (5:12), "The Power Of God" (4:41)
D’Tarso – Lead Vocals
Luciano Novi – Guitars
Edson Boleti – Guitars
Karl Ellwein – Keyboards
Cezar Augustus – Bass
Dany Martins - Drums