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STRANGER IN THE MIRROR

Sleepwalker Sun

Progressive Metal


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4 stars I have to admit it has taken me a long time to decode both Sleepwalker Sun albums. The reason is that this both their albums is strictly not progressive metal albums. Yes, there are some Dream Theater esque music here. But there is also a lot of other stuff here. A lot !

Gosh. Where do I start ? Let's start with the vocalist Giana Ara˙jo. She sounds like a cross breed between Dido and Dolores of Cranberries. In other words; she is not a progressive metal vocalist in any shape whatsoever. In her voice, Sleepwalker Sun deviates radically from the progressive metal genre and ventures into something else again. This something else is broadly speaking symphonic prog and rock/pop. Then the guitars and the synths drags the band back into Dream Theater territory now and then. The ballads here is very Dido like and would not be too much out of order on one of her albums.

My question is therefore: Is this album a muddle or a blend of everything ? Hence I have taken my time to listen to it because this album balances on a knife edge in many ways.

The difference between this album and their debut is that this album does not have the stand out track like the title track from the debut album. But overall, their new album is stronger. There are some great pieces of music here inbetween some strange choices they have made. The ballads here is simply no good and drags down the quality of the album. Then again, they gives Sleepwalker Sun an identity. It also proves that Giana Ara˙jo is a brilliant vocalist. The same can be said about the rest of the band. The quality of the deliverances here is outstanding.

So, this album is brilliant at places and have some pretty good songs too. In this respect, Sleepwalker Sun reminds be a lot about Jaimie Rosas Cuarteto. That band too is transgressing the genres. Maybe both of them are on a mission to renew the pretty stagnant progressive metal genre. In this respect, Sleepwalker Sun is doing a pioneering job on this album. Hence my four stars. But Sleepwalker Sun is certainly not a commercial band and others may regard this album as a muddle. It nearly is, truth to be told. But in my view, it is a great album and I hope both Sleepwalker Sun and other bands continue down the path this band had cleared on their two albums.

4 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#281903)
Posted Friday, May 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
seventhsojourn
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4 stars I was none too fussed with the first Sleepwalker Sun album and in fact my disappointment was such that I shelved my copy of ''Stranger In The Mirror'' until finally listening to it today. In comparison with the slightly dull experience of their debut, ''Stranger In The Mirror'' is a major step forward for this Brazilian prog-metal band. The main issue I had with their first release was the rather nasal intonation of Giana Ara˙jo's vocals, although that problem seems less evident on this disc; her voice doesn't grate on me here the way it did on the debut. They've also cranked the song writing up a notch or two with the megalithic title-track being an obvious highlight.

The band's strength remains its musicianship though; all tracks are full of motion and activity, with Luiz Alvim's shimmering Mellotron seemingly radiating from every track. This release should have strong appeal for fans of symphonic prog, especially those who like it on the heavy side. I don't know whether I'm simply a blockhead or if I need a bite of a reality sandwich, but I don't think there's a great deal of metal on offer here. No matter how Sleepwalker Sun are categorised I'm surprised to see that ''Stranger In The Mirror'' has only garnered one review so far. Anyway, it's the business and it doesn't deserve to be banished to obscurity so hopefully some readers will at least visit the band's website to check out their mp3 samples.

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Send comments to seventhsojourn (BETA) | Report this review (#383055)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | Review Permalink

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