Monday, January 7, 2013

Scelerata: Brazil’s Power Metal Criminals

So while reviewing some metal content online, actually it was a podcast episode of Focus on Metal, I came across a great power metal band called Scelerata. 
First, to quench your curiosity, Scelerata is a Latin word. Loosely translated it means “criminal.” The band hails from Port Alegre, Brazil and has been in existence since 2000.

The current line up consists of: 
Fabio Juan – Vocals

Magnus Wichmann – Guitar

Renato Osorio – Guitar

Gustavo Strapazon – Bass

Francis Cassol – Drums

In 2006, 2010 and 2011, Scelerata performed as the band backing up ex-Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno during three tours of Brazil. This may explain why the band, in my opinion, sounds like they have a very heavy Maiden influence. Not just the early Di’Anno Maiden, but the Dickinson years as well.

The band has released a few CDs. The first, Darkness & Light, was released in 2006. The second effort, Skeletons Domination, was released in 2008. However, the one that caught my ear is their current 2012 release titled, The Sniper.

Darkness and Light

Skeletons Domination
The Sniper
I had planned to also do a review of The Sniper, but there are quite a few websites that have done some and I agree with just about all of them. This particular write-up, courtesy of The Metal Review, just about sums it all up:

This album starts out strong and doesn’t let go. “Rising Sun” kicks off with a fast guitar melody and traditional power metal drumming. The riffs continue on through the song, but when the vocals come in the real hooks begin. The songwriting is strong yet simple, easy to enjoy and fun to sing along to. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, an overwhelming dueling guitar solo hits and I am sold on this band for life! “Must Be Dreaming” starts out slow with a nice bass feature, but opens up into a strong song with amazing vocal presence that sends shivers down my spine. The combination of Andi Deris and Fabio Juan creates the most pleasant of listening experiences. This song is very reminiscent of Dark Ride era Helloween (go figure). I really love how the overwhelming feeling of darkness in the music is contrasted by the power metal vocals. All of this tells me that Andi and Fabio need to work together in more projects in the future.

The next notable track, though all songs have proven themselves great in one way or another, is “’Til the Day We Die”. This is by far my favorite track on the album. The song opens with this thrashing riff and guitar solo, layered over pounding bass work and drums. As it goes on, I manage to get lost in the catchy choruses and impressive guitar work when all of a sudden, everything slows down. The thrashing ends and a beautiful rendition of the chorus ensues, complete with layered vocals that practically brought a tear to my eye. The album closes with the near ten minute long title track “The Sniper” showcasing even more fantastic musicianship and leaves me wanting so much more from this band.

Give these guys a listen. If you like them, or don’t like them, leave us a comment and let us know why. You can check out the band at their main Scelerata webpage, as well as MySpace and Facebook.

Meanwhile, enjoy a couple of videos of two of the songs I like.  Enemy Within from Skeletons Domination and Rising Sun from The Sniper.

Hopefully, there is a promoter out there that can get these guys a tour in the USA. If they ever come through Texas, I will definitely go see them.

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