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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Inquisicao

Reborn

Review by Larry Toering

This review lacks somewhat in details because they're from Brazil and my Portuguese is much worse than my Spanish. Inquisicao are a metal act from South America who I came across when they opened for Deep Purple there. Already knowing the singer Silvio Mazzi for some time I knew they were special, as he is a hugely talented vocalist, and one that can actually be compared to many great singers such as Ian Gillan, David Coverdale, Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickenson and many more. All the while he has an originality of his own.

On Reborn the consensus is they're exactly that. This disc consists of live studio recordings at various different studios in 2010, but to my understanding the bonus tracks are demos from 1985 to 1987. I'm impressed with how modern it comes off with such old tracks on the bonus material. As for Reborn itself, this is a hot slab of pure Brazilian hard rock genius. Mazzi is backed with fantastic melodies which allow him to soar over and above the arrangements with magnificent power and conviction. The bonus tracks are really just part of the album, but noted as separate revisited recordings in 2010. Mazzi is backed by a killer band of players featuring guitarist Luiz Machado.

Reborn is a metal masterpiece with a strong progressive feel to it, making it all the more interesting for metal lovers who need that just a little something more to keep returning to it time and again. Top marks are given to the boys of Brazil. What a smoking hot band!

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Darkest Dreams

Things begin with a frantic pace and Mazzi instantly rings of Ronnie James Dio in his approach to the lyrics. I make these observations of similarity to point out what style of metal is showcased here. Sometimes Mazzi's influences are felt through a lyrical approach, and sometimes in his vocal deliveries. I even sense some Badlands here, as well, and all of these are nothing but compliments. This is a beefy slice of metal here, indeed.

Midnight Wanderer
This is another fat piece of work. The overall tone is husky with high pitched guitar parts for a perfect contrast. The vocals simply fly over the chunky beat like two opposites made for one another. This isn't the kind of stuff you put in and just forget about. It's some seriously impressionable stuff. Power and glory collide here and combust like a smoldering fireball.
Bullets Flying
This is another killer track in the same vein as the first two.
Break Down The Walls
This is a more comprehensive number, perhaps because it's slower paced, but certainly not lacking in power. I think Mazzi clearly enjoyed recording this, as it has a vibe that brings a joy from it directly to the ear of the listener. A track like this is a nice touch to show variation very early on the disc. There is a pleading here from him that makes the track stick in your head. This is the mark of any great songwriting process, and obviously Inquisicao possess such a prowess.
Reborn
The title track is a killer piece of work, and this is the first time on the record where the instruments have a chance to stretch out and blend together with precision. There are some refrains lifted directly from The Who on this and it adds a very cool effect. This is fantastic musicianship.  It is absolutely brilliant!
Burn You Down
Here is another completely awesome track with a hint of Iron Maiden but also some fine keyboard flurries. Mazzi puts on another outstanding performance, and I can't imagine any hard rock fan not appreciating this.
Death Of The Sun
Things slow down on the start of this number and then they're off with another frenetically paced track. More of the same, basically it's a one hundred percent effort on every note of Reborn. Some more keyboards cut through the mix here for a rather cosmic effect. Spot on!
Judgement Day
The vocals go nearly over the top here with a maniacal approach, and some awesome guitar work is displayed. This reminds me of Ian Gillan's better work in the early 90s, musically more than vocally. It is another excellent tune indeed.
One Man Revolution
This starts with another familiar riff. I love the underlying groove here on this tune with a very cool arrangement. It cruises along with perfection as one of the highlights for me. A one man army is launched. This is very cool!
Grey Skies
This is evidently a darker track with a quite sinister ring to it. I rate this as another one of the best cuts on the disc. More cool keyboards are featured on this one, too. By the time this is heard there is almost a prog metal feel going on. It's just not your normal straight forward metal. in fact this tune is very progressive.
Brand New Day
On the closing number of the set proper, it's as if they're just getting started, and that to me is another mark of truly great songwriting. So many tend to save the weaker tracks for the last, which is an approach. Not here, every track is consistently as good as the one before it.
Caes Malditos
This is the first of the bonus tracks, sung in Portuguese. Right away there is a ring of retro Inquisicao all over this, starting off with a riff very reminiscent Rainbow's “Starstruck” before the vocals kick in. Once again Mazzi is featured very well with a lot of that Iron Maiden style which was going around back then, and the guitar parts sizzle here. This is incredible!
Crus De Perro
On this number they come off most original and I like the instrumentation so much it's easy to forget it's not sung in English. The vocals shriek with a power and energy that can't be denied, regardless of what language. This is yet another extremely enjoyable slab of metallic hard rock.
Tempo Fechado
This has massive swagger from all as they display such a chemistry that it's amazing.It has a particularly fine performance in the percussion department, which manages to steal most of the thunder here with its ever changing tempo. This is fantastic!
Insano
Things get even wilder here, and things aren't so hard to understand as the title is rather easy to decipher as Mazzi does nearly resemble insanity on this track. If revisited just a few times it's easily fitting to the title of this fine disc, as they do seem to have a Reborn afftect as a unit.
O Exocista
The closing track starts with a beefy sort of Bolero riffing before it goes into a speed fest between guitar and drums. The vocals here are fascinating with a sort of back singing approach in some spots, talk about brilliant, this is completely over the top. What a way to end such a complex number of  such artistically crafted heavy rock. One just can't get enough of what's going on all over this beauty of a recording.
 
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