|Musical Style: Hard Rock||Produced By: Ricardo Parronchi & Dracma|
|Record Label: Megahard||Country Of Origin: Brazil|
|Year Released: 2002||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 11||Rating: 65%|
|Running Time: 49:41|
Combining elements of power metal and straightforward hard rock on its full length debut Perfect Creation, Dracma deserves to rank with other top notch Brazilian Christian metal bands such as Dynasty, Shining Star and Destra. The bands first rate musicianship stands out as a strength of the project. Guitarist Ivan Alatxeve contributes a solid rhythm guitar sound while showcasing his abilities on lead guitar best on tracks such as "Riders" and "Suffering Violence". Keyboardist Andre J. Silva adds just the right amount of touch to the bands sound. Drummer Lieno Medeiros forms a tight rhythm section with bassist Thiago Medeiros. The area of lead vocals, however, proves a bit of a weakness in that the dry vocal delivery of Alexandre Schultz can come across in a manner that is strained and at times borders on the abrasive.
Perfect Creation showcases a superlative production job capably handled by Ricardo Parronchi (Destra). Crisp and refined sonics allow for just the right amount of rhythm guitar and keyboards to underscore a near perfect mix of lead guitar, bass and drums.
A brief (2:22) but overdone instrumental album opener, "The Glory - Khristos Voskres" combines medieval choir-like vocal harmonies with a blend of rhythm guitar, keyboards and a bit of double bass.
Set in motion by a drum solo, "Lavdate" advances through its first minute to an anthemic combination of rhythm guitar and pounding drums that gradually gain momentum. As the song reaches its first verse, a double bass driven riff quickly propels it to a very strong chorus delivered in a forceful manner. "Lavdate" presents a portrayal of judgment day:
The judgement day comes to earth
Safe will be all that have the mark of the Lamb
The good will get eternal life
And the evil eternal fire
Kicking in at breakneck speed, the energetic "This Generation" roars through its first verse before launching into an instrumental passage driven by an edgy rhythm guitar backed by double bass. Slowing slightly for the second, the song picks up in pace and repeats its first verse prior to arriving at a second instrumental passage. "This Generation" repeats its second verse and closes to a third and final instrumental break.
"The Fall", a very well done instrumental, progresses from front to back to a catchy combination of keyboards and rhythm guitar.
The melodic hard rock of "Waiting" begins to a few seconds of clashing symbols before a driving rhythm guitar slowly carries it forward. Once the rhythm guitar plays a reduced role in the mix, the song moves through its first and second verse at an even mid-tempo before it attains a good catchy chorus. An instrumental passage closing its last minute and a half begins to several seconds of lead guitar that gives way to a blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards. "Waiting" talks about God's faithfulness:
I know that evil will try to tempt me
But You are stronger, You won't desert me
After "Mountain" jumps out of the gate in a hard rocking upbeat fashion, it slows as a grit-laden rhythm guitar slowly conveys it to a sweeping melodic flavored chorus. Alatxeve follows with a guitar solo that begins quickly only to transition to a slower more blues based style of playing. While quite solid musically, "Mountain" serves to reveal the limitations Schultz's raw edged voice, particularly upon reaching its demanding chorus.
An acoustic guitar slowly takes the creative "Riders" through its first and second verse. Abruptly picking up in pace, the rhythm guitar kicks in and pushes the song to a powerful chorus carried at an upbeat tempo. An awesome two minute instrumental passage gives Alatxeve ample opportunity to display his abilities on lead guitar.
"Suffering Violence" comes across with a laid back seventies influenced feel. Beginning to several seconds of bluesy guitar feedback, a gritty rhythm guitar underscored by an organ gradually pushes the song to a brief but hook laden chorus. A bass guitar solo opens an instrumental passage allowing Alatxeve to cut loose with more of his standout lead guitar work.
Commencing to the sound of blowing wind, "Clouds In The Desert" gives prominence to a catchy melody as a near perfect blend of acoustic guitar and keyboards bolsters its first verse. Alatxeve follows with an exquisite minute long guitar solo. The song continues through its second and final verse in an acoustic laced direction until it fades out to a well timed flute solo. "Clouds In The Desert", unfortunately, is another track in which Schultz's forced vocal delivery fails to complement the pace and feel of the music.
Once the albums hard rocking title track gets underway to a brief drum solo, a catchy combination of rhythm guitar and synthesizers evenly impels it strong and steady to a good hard hitting chorus. I wish the band had expanded upon an instrumental passage limited to several seconds of rhythm guitar. "Perfect Creation" deals with the end of time:
At the end of this time
There will be no more night
Jesus will be our light
And we will see Him face to face
The power ballad "Suor de Sangue" is the albums only track sung in Portuguese (the liner notes provide an English translation). Advancing to an anthemic blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards, "Suor de Sangue" slows to a near crawl for its verse prior to picking up in pace as the rhythm guitar carries it to a catchy emotionally charged chorus.
Perfect Creation is a solid album musically in that each of its ten full length tracks holds up under repeated play. An immaculate production job and the bands first-rate musicianship only adds to its appeal. That being said, a marginal at best lead vocal performance proves a major detracting factor. Once Dracma gets its lead vocal situation straightened out - a Leandro Cacoilo (Eterna) or Rodrigo Grecco (Destra) type is needed here - I anticipate a standout follow up effort.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: "The Glory – Khristos Voskres" (2:22), "Lavdate" (5:47), "This Generation" (3:22), "The Fall" (3:46), "Waiting" (4:42), "Mountain" (4:18), "Riders" (6:05), "Suffering Violence" (5:04), "Clouds In The Desert" (4:21), "Perfect Creation" (3:54), "Suor de Sangue" (5:54)
Alexandre Schultz – Lead Vocals
Ivan Alatxeve – Guitars
Andre J. Silva – Keyboards
Thiago Medeiros – Bass
Lieno Medeiros – Drums
Marcelo Reis – Guitars
Celso Pecuraro – Bass
Marcelo Saorin - Flute