REVIEW: VANDROYA – “One”
Posted by Metal Divas
Sometimes, out of nowhere comes a band that energizes your musical world and leaves you in awe. Such bands are hard to find nowadays so the enjoyment of the discovery is thrilling and overwhelming. Well, I am delightful to introduce to you Vandroya and their debut album “One“.
Vandroya could be Brazil’s best kept secret and most definitely one the best female fronted metal bands of our time. Formed in 2001 the band released the EP “Within Shadows” in 2005 and in late 2010 started recording “One“. A long process for a debut album some may think but “good things come to those who wait” and -believe me- “One” is astonishing! Well worth the wait.
Most likely the best way to describe the band’s sound would be progressive/power/melodic metal with female vocals. To make it even easier, just keep in mind bands like Symphony X, Adagio and Kamelot but with a female vocalist. Heck, Vandroya could even be the female Angra! Listen to “One” and correct me if I am wrong. Vocalist Daisa Munhoz is incredible and her performance strikes gold! Having a very strong warm voice and extended range Daisa delivers some first class songs.
Needless to say the band’s musicianship is exceptional and peerless. The songwriting is very well done and the instruments well orchestrated. A relish of some musical heaven if you like. Musically everything is leveled and even, from the heavy guitars to the eminent keyboards “One” appears fresh and harmonious. The intro “All Becomes One” preludes the album’s atmosphere with it’s beautiful melody only to be graciously intruded by “The Last Free Land” – an uptempo prime example of how keyboards and guitars could (and should) share space in symphonic metal.
“No Oblivion For Eternity” follows next in the same motif as speeds are kept fast, while vocal and guitar lines compete against each other. “Within Shadows” slow down the rhythm for a little bit, before it bursts out into a speed/power metal tune only to break down to a beautiful piano interlude and then back to power metal headbanging glory. Such diversity in Vandroya’s songwriting is what makes for a great band! There’s not even a single moment to discomfort you, on the contrary “One” keeps the listeners enthusiasm sharp from beginning to end.
“Anthem (For The Sun)” is another prime example of diversity within a band’s song. While the keyboard and guitar work in this album is very carefully arranged, the rhythm section contributes as much to make for a grand and radiant release. In other words, drums and bass kick ass. There, I said it. Almost 24 minutes into the record and “Why Should We Say Goodbye” kicks in, perhaps my favorite song of the album, a definite highlight and most certainly one the best power ballads ever to see the light of day. Vocalist Daisa is in perfect harmony with her fellow band members and they put on a fantastic performance of a divine song.
Right after that, the band returns to their known speed/power metal tempos and “Change The Tide” emerges with a surprise. That’s the only song with female and male vocals! A duet, if you like and a very pleasant one. “When Heaven Decides To Call” follows with it’s colossal drums and keyboards intro. Again speeds are kept mid to up tempo and Daisa unleashes prodigious melodies left and right. That girl can sing, I tell you! “This World Of Yours” continues in the same pace and manner, before the album’s second power ballad “Solar Night” kicks in with it’s wonderful piano melody and hammond organ sounds. Once again Daisa Munhoz shines with her exceptional voice and performance.
Overall I must admit, “One” has taken me by surprise. I haven’t heard such a complete, flawless and positive album in a very long time. Musically everything is there. Heavy guitar riffs, terrific keyboard orchestrations, tenacious bass and drums and to top it off, the cherry on the cake – tremendous vocals. The guitar and keyboard solos in this record have their fair share and just that alone would convince you to buy “One“. Add the catchy melodies and illustrious choruses and you have your monies well spent! I promise. Last but not least, I must mention the stunning piano version of “Why Should We Say Goodbye“. An extra bonus for your listening pleasure.
Well done Vandroya, we salute you.
RATING: 9 / 10
“One” – Track list:
01. All Becomes One
02. The Last Free Land
03. No Oblivion for Eternity
04. Within Shadows
05. Anthem (For the Sun)
06. Why Should We Say Good Bye
07. Change the Tide
08. When Heaven Decides to Call
09. This World of Yours
10. Solar Night
11. Why Should We Say Good Bye (Piano version)
Daisa Munhoz – Vocals
Marco Lambert – Guitars
Rodolfo Pagotto – Guitars
Giovanni Perlati – Bass
Otávio Nuñez – Drums