If you’re looking for an album filled with phenomenal musicians and a different collection on each track, you will want to check out Vox Heaven and its collection of Brazilian metal musicians. Fast riffs, soaring vocals, and ripping guitar solos abound in this collection of songs.
Vox Heaven is the branchild of Celso de Freyn (Maestah, Stauros) and his desire to show some unity within the metal scene in Brazil. In the end there are something like 14 guitarists and 26 different vocalists along with a collection of bass players and drummers that contribute to the songs on the album. Karim Serri (Doomsday Hymn, Legacy of Kain) took care of the production and mixing at Silent Studio.
“I Choose to Believe” opens up with a crazy, fast, and great riff and knowing nothing about the project, my interest was instantly captured. This was going to be some potentially great power metal. Unfortunately, the vocals and drums were mixed a bit too loud for me and dominated the sound over the great guitars. The combination of guitars and soaring chorus instantly brings to mind bands like Dragonforce but while the guitars did start out incredible, it seems as if they were a bit too controlled in the solos.
“Virtual Chase” follows along the same lines although the overall sound and tone changes enough to make it obvious the band members have changed as will be a theme in this album. Again, drums and vocals rule the mix. Production is clean overall. This time the guitar solo seems a bit out of place in terms of the mix, like an obvious late addition while some of the later solo work and fills fit in better.
On “Irmãos de Sangue” everything from a mix perspective seems to fit better and the vocals, while in Portuguese, seem a better fit structurally for the song than the previous tracks, which may have something to do with native Portuguese speakers writing in English, but that is just speculation. Musically, this is still melodic, fast power metal with some phenomenal extended guitar work.
The songs on this project tend to stay within the realm of fast melodic power metal with the exception of “Swindler” and “Fear” and to me, these are the songs on the album that just don’t seem to work. “Swindler” slows things down quite a bit and brings in some death metal growls on vocals that feel out of place with the brighter overall tone of the song that does fit with the clean vocals in the song. “Fear” on the other hand is the closest song to a power ballad on the album even though it does speed up and become heavier toward the end, it just never seems to really find its groove.
After that short interlude of different styles, the album returns to songs in a similar vein as the beginning. Again, though as this is a project with 14 guitarists and 20 vocalists listed, one can expect a good bit of variety in sound, tone, and style but staying within the melodic power metal genre.
Given the mix on the album, I would say that “Vox Heaven” is designed to showcase the vocalists, which to me is too bad as there is some phenomenal guitar work on the album that tends to be somewhat lost. The songs are catchy, vocal performances while varied are strong and the rhythm section especially the drum work really stands out as well and keeps the songs moving on a solid foundation.
Writen by John Jackson
01. I Choose to Believe
02. Virtual Chase
03. Irmãos de Sangue
04. Preachers of Lies
07. Break the Chains
10. Renascido na Luz
11. Me Tentregar
All-star project featuring 14 guitarists, 26 vocalists, and a multiple bass players and drummers.
Record Label: MSL Records, 2017
Video for “Renascido na Luz”: https://www.facebook.com/voxheaven/videos/347809582269631/