|Musical Style: Melodic Power Metal||Produced By: Lance King & Fabio Rocha|
|Record Label: Nightmare||Country Of Origin: Brazil & USA|
|Year Released: 2005||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 10||Rating: 90%|
|Running Time: 47:22|
Enter Eternity, the sophomore effort from Brazil’s Shining Star, can trace its beginnings back to the group of songs the bands guitarist Fabio Rocha put together following the release of its 2000 debut Fatal Mistake. Initially using a working title of Nightmare for the project, Rocha got in touch with vocalist Lance King (Pyramaze) through the Brazilian label, Frontline Rock, Shining Star shared King’s former band Balance Of Power. After leaving Balance Of Power, King was contacted by Frontline who requested that he contribute the lead vocals to the album in addition to producing and mixing it. He agreed, but once the project was complete and it came time to pay the studio bill, the money from Frontline never arrived. An entire year went by and with still no money from the label, King, believing in the project, paid the studio bill out of his own pocket. Three more years passed before Rocha and King finally worked out the details so that the new Shining Star album, now going under the title Enter Eternity, could be released on King’s own label Nightmare Records.
I might describe Enter Eternity as a versatile combination of melodic metal and power metal certain to appeal to fans of Magnitude 9, Rob Rock, Balance Of Power, Wingdom and Pyramaze. Yngwie Malmsteem is the first name that comes to mind when describing Fabio Rocha’s playing but that would only be telling part of the story. Mixing speed and melody with occasional elements of the blues, Rocha proves a well rounded musician who also invites a comparison to Joshua Perahia (Joshua), James Byrd and Rex Carroll (Whitecross. King, who has been very as of late in releasing new albums with Avian and his main project Pryamaze, brings out the best in the project with his soaring lead vocal style, putting forth a performance that brings to mind his work on Balance Of Power’s Perfect Balance. Juliano Collombo is a talented timekeeper who forms a well rounded rhythm section with bassist Kuky Sanchez. While keyboardist Dinho Zampier plays a prominent role in the music here, it is a complementary one that enhances and not takes away from the bands sound.
Production values are of the polished and professional sounding variety. The rhythm guitar sounds crisp and edgy, while the lead guitar and keyboards evenly rise above the instrumentation. The low end comes across full and heavy.
Opening the album to a quietly played guitar line, a crunchy rhythm guitar impels “Nightmare” at a driving mid-tempo pace until it culminates for a chorus accentuated in an eerie manner by keyboards. Once the song again slows, Rocha cuts loose with one of his trademark fiery guitar solos.
The pounding riff introducing “Insanity” gives way to several seconds of bluesy lead guitar work. Slowing slightly upon reaching its first verse, “Insanity” gains momentum until it attains a catchy chorus fortified by King’s abundant vocal delivery.
The classical flavored keyboards initiating “From Now On” fade from the mix as it tapers off to the aggressive riff that carries its verse hard and heavy. The keyboards return, however, as the song picks up in pace for a sweeping chorus advancing at an upbeat tempo. “From Now On” talks about leaving the past behind:
Take my hand now, I’m burning the bridges behind me
The past lost forever
Feel my rage now, I’m turning tears into fuel
And the power lasts forever
I’ll never be the same again
From now on, breaking these chains
Purified by the flames
From now on, never be the same
Rocha steps forward with more of his bluesy leads to open “Dangerous Game”. Immediately launching into its strong hook filled chorus, the song slows for its verse portions as the rhythm guitar moves to the front of the mix. More inspired lead guitar work carries the extent of a perfectly timed instrumental passage.
The quickly moving blend of rhythm and lead guitar at the start of “Insomnia” tapers off to a steady mid-tempo pace for its first verse. Gradually building in impetus, “Insomnia” peaks as it attains a very classy chorus that comes across near mesmerizing in its delivery. “Insomnia” talks about exactly that:
Sandman please bring me some rest tonight
A dreary nightmare of dreams blue as the sky
Anything that you wish as long as I’m asleep
I’m hangin’ on by a thread to my insanity
Insomnia tortured nights
Somebody stares at me from a window
Strong hands anchor the light
I need to close my eyes – Close My Eyes
A piano leads the way to the first verse of the ballad “Never Too Late” before keyboards slowly take the song forward. Abruptly picking up in pace, “Never Too Late” transitions to a chorus enhanced by a sublime blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards.
The up-tempo “Just A Man” is propelled through its verse by an edgy rhythm guitar underscored by a piano, the two leading the way to an anthem-like chorus with a huge radio friendly hook. The piano makes a cameo appearance to back several seconds of fast fingered lead guitar work. Great song.
“No More” gradually fades in to the sound of keyboards before it moves forward to a blend of rhythm guitar and frenetic leads. After the rhythm guitar drops from the mix as the song attains its first verse, it returns with just the right amount of edge to shore up a fleeting chorus driven in a fast paced manner.
“Lady Of The Night”, the albums second ballad, is carried forward by an acoustic guitar until the rhythm guitar kicks in as the song transitions to a chorus giving rise to a nice bluesy feel. Rocha’s lead guitar work carries an extensive instrumental passage.
Taking off at an upbeat tempo to a blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards, “Travel Through Time” slows as the rhythm guitar plays a commanding role during its verse. Picking up in pace, the song immediately launches into a graceful chorus buttressed by Collombo’s pounding drums. As its title implies, “Travel Through Time” focuses on going back in time to change the past:
Enter the garden, put the fruit back on the tree
Turn the long white beard into baby tears
Avoid a Challenger from flying to demise
Blow out the holy fire that burned so many lives
In summary, consistency would be the best word to describe Enter Eternity in that all ten of its tracks are of a very high quality and hold up under repeated play. The performance of Shining Star, at the same time, is very strong with Rocha and King comprising a formidable guitarist-vocalist team. The best way to close is to say I hope it is not another five years before we again hear from this talented band.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “Nightmare” (4:38), “Insanity” (4:06), “From Now On” (4:24), “Dangerous Game” (4:04), “Insomnia” (5:12), “Never Too Late” (5:28), “Just A Man” (4:12), “No More” (4:42), “Lady Of The Night” (5:19), “Travel Through Time” (5:12)
Lance King – Lead Vocals
Fabio Rocha – Guitars
Dinho Zampier - Keyboards
Kuky Sanchez – Bass
Juliano Collombo – Drums
Also reviewed: Shining Star - Fatal Mistake, Shining Star - Reset, Avian - From The Depths Of Time, Balance Of Power - Perfect Balance, Defyance - Transitional Forms, Pyramaze - Melancholy Beast, Pyramaze - Legend Of The Bone Carver