In the past, my exposure to the metal scene in Brazil outside of Sepultura has been through the heavier bands, like Maestah, Skin Culture, and Doomsday Hymn but now I was handed Something Powerful Inside by Efrata, which is more melodic and almost progressive in parts.
Efrata formed in 2006 and the band from Curitiba, Brazil, which looks to have a good metal scene, has seen its share of lineup changes over time much like other bands. The band originally recorded the song “Led By the Spirit” and four other tracks and began touring locally to build their base in Brazil. Unfortunately, vocalist Rodrigo Godoy experienced vocal cord problems and took a hiatus until 2011 when his voice recovered and fan pressure led to the band becoming active again. After extensive touring the band signed with Conspiracy Records and began recording their debut album Something Powerful Inside at Silent Music Studio with Karim Serri (guitars for Doomsday Hymn) producing.
I would imagine fans of Efrata who were waiting on this album may have become a bit impatient. The video teaser clip for the album posted to YouTube in May of 2013 and the song “Words of the Wise” showed up in October of that year, quite a bit ahead of the album which did not debut until the following October. With the keyboard intro for “Butterfly Effect” Efrata wastes no time in letting the listener know that this is likely going to be a progressive or power metal album and the songs largely fall into that sort of characterization. The song itself has a rumbling, pummeling type of riff to the main verse parts that is somewhat in the background behind Rodrigo Godoy’s vocals. With bands in this genre, vocals are especially important and Rodrigo’s remind me a lot of Dennis de Young of Styx for some reason. Throughout the album that was one thing I was struggling with as the vocals are more power metal in style and approach but the music is often a bit heavier.
The band cites influences including the likes of Petra, Stryper, and Narnia, and include some songs from those bands in their live sets from time to time and the influence is readily apparent. The songs in general include a heavy sense of melody with vocal harmonies and strong musical performances that includes keyboard solos in addition to guitar and bass solos in some songs like “Words of the Wise”. The keyboards seem to be a bit out of place at times, like in the several parts of “Take My Heart Again” and “Light Your Eyes” where they don’t seem to mesh well with the overall tone of the song despite taking a dominant role in those sections.
Almost expected given the feel of the album is the presence of the metal ballad and “Take My Heart Again” and “Sacred Blow” fulfill those expectations. “Take My Heart Again” opens with just vocals and piano, sounding much like many other ballads from the late 80’s and the song does tend to stay to the metal ballad formula. Once again, performances are solid but the song has that feel to it like you have heard it many times before. In contrast, “Sacred Blow” starts out with keyboards, clean guitar, and some harmonized voices before drifting a bit more toward slower progressive metal songs and bringing in some sections that sound reminiscent of Rush.
I think “Like the Book Said” may provide the best example of the album for me. The song is filled with some great guitar licks and the musicianship is solid but there are some softer, keyboard and vocal sections that really take away from the song and just don’t seem to fit. In this case, perhaps as a bow to their progressive leanings, I get a bit of Yes feel from these sections. Other sections of the song have a driving metal feel to them and contrast quite a bit with the rest of the song. Due to the strength of the performances and the quality of the sound and production, those interested in progressive, power, and late 80’s metal should check out Efrata.
Written by John Jackson
01. Butterfly Effect
02. Growing Time
03. Words of the Wise
04. Led by the Spirit
05. Take My Heart Again
06. Light Your Eyes
07. Come Back Home
08. Sacred Blow
09. Like the Book Said
10. My Hero
Rodrigo Godoy – Lead Vocals
Ricardo Augusto – Keyboards
Leandro Paiva – Bass
GE – Drums
Celso de Freyn – Lead Vocals
Lucas Bastos – Bass
Karim Serri – Bass
Yeanpierre Caipo – Bass & Lead Guitar
Record Label: Conspiracy Records, Oct. 2014
Lyric video for ‘Take My Heart Again’
Video below: “Something Powerful Inside” (Album Teaser)