Adiastasia - Life War (CD)

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A literal flood of Christian metal bands have come out of Brazil in recent years.  And Adiastasia, with its double bass driven brand of power metal, is the next in line in what has been at times an erratic and at others a very rewarding succession of talent to originate from the country in question: Belica, Destra, Dracma, Dynasty, Eterna, Menahem, Seven Angels, Shining Star, Stauros, Sunroad and many others.  So how does Adiastasia measure up?  Quite well, as a matter of fact.  Easily inviting comparison to Stratovarius, Helloween and Gamma Ray but also certain to appeal to fans of Seventh Avenue, Divinefire and Dynasty, Adiastasia combines elements of speed and aggression with occasional symphonic and progressive touches to create quite the powerful full length debut Life War.

Originally a Bombworks Records release from late 2006, Life War was re-mixed, re-mastered and re-issued in the summer of 2010 - again on Bombworks – with new album artwork.

Life War delivers its share of variety, ranging from up-tempo numbers “Father Of Light” (neo-classical touches) and “Kingdom Of Glory” (plenty of double bass) to mid-paced pieces “Freedom Call” (emotional feel) and “Eternal Life” (symphonic elements).  You will also find a couple of progressive based tracks – the dramatic “A Terra” and palatial “Adiastasia” – along with two lengthy ballads in “By Dreams” and “The Winner”.

Musically, I might describe the album as above average to good but not quite great.  At this point it must be reinforced that the material here is well crafted and ably performed; there is no filler, throwaway tracks and nothing I skip over.  That said, something seems to be missing at the same time- and that is the catchy hooks needed to pull me in with repeated listen.  In other words, the songs do not grab me.

Now, in no way am I implying there is not melody.  Yes, you will find melody but it is somewhat subtle- almost too subtle for my taste.  Part of the problem is that the songs are too long, with four clocking in at the seven minute range and two others over six.  This is an issue I find particularly troublesome with the albums two ballads, which never seem to end.  Perhaps if the guys had tightened up their songwriting things might have held up a bit better.

Irregardless, the overall feeling is that Adiastasia at this early stage in its career is not quite on the same level musically as countrymen Angra, Scelerata and Eterna- not to mention Stratovarious, Gamma Ray and Helloween.  But the potential is there.

And that potential comes in the form of the bands musical abilities.  It all starts with the classic tenor vocal style of Jeff Winner.  Occasionally cutting loose in high pitched falsetto fashion, Winner puts forth a professional performance that brings to mind Rob Rock and Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) but when reaching down low he hints at Mike Lee (Barren Cross).

Janinho Di’Nizz delivers the goods on rhythm and lead guitar, adorning the album with his tight as a nail and at times fluid playing.  As a matter of fact, Adiastasia must be commended for the confidence it exhibits in its instrumental sound, best showcased on the abundant instrumental sections gracing “The Winner”, “Father Of Light”, “Kingdom Of Glory” and “A Terra”.  Ryvson Lacerda adds the needed touch on keyboards while the rhythm section of bassist Joab Marynne and drummer Dinho Caetano anchors the low end strong and steady.

In my original review of Life War (from late 2006) I described the production as “crisp and clean but slightly raw”.  The re-mastering of the re-issue cleans things up by balancing the mix – the guitars deliver more bite and the low end added weight – while highlighting a previously lacking element of polish.  As a result, I upped the final grade from 70% to 75%.

 

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