Akashic - Timeless Realm

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Scallabis Sound Production
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:00:00

Talk about an undiscovered gem. To this day, I cannot figure out whether this band is from Brazil or Portugal. The info provided in the CD Booklet is as vague as the information on the Akashic web site. The fact that the web site offers the words in Portuguese will lead one to believe they are from Portugal, but there are tons of references to Brazil around as well, although maybe the main language in Brazil is Portuguese? [Yes on the language; the band wrote (after this was initally published) to say they are Brazilian -ed.] Well, you figure it out. In the meantime, be prepared to be blown away by Akashic no matter where they are from. Combining a style that lies somewhere between Symphony X, Artension, and some classic metal ala Rainbow, this band is certainly prepared to knock the listener down with neo-classically influenced prog metal without being too flashy or too indulged in the style. People have certainly compared them to Symphony X, and some have even called them clones of that band, but I think that the main reason for this is that the singer, Rafael Gubert, sounds eerily like one, Sir Russell Allen of Symphony X. Of course, this is complete with a thick, Brazilian / Portuguese accent, but nonetheless he has the tone and aggressiveness of Russell Allen.

The band uses a combination of heavy, crunching guitar that is neo-classically influenced, as well as keyboards that sometimes remind me of a watered down Vitalij Kuprij style, and the songs range from speedy (very few though), to soft ballads, but most are mid-paced chunkers that hold a better interest than an entire repertoire of speed demons. It is clear that the band is neo-classically influenced, but would rather use the elements of progressive metal to showcase their talent. Many time changes, many tempo changes, and tons of progressive chops show that this band is truly encased in the progressive movement. At times, the band seems to throw in just a subtle amount of classic metal, but it's mostly to garnish the main flow of progressive metal that flows from this band's veins. Never overly complex, never too indulged in their instruments, the band relies on the great vocals of Gubert to tell the stories of Akashic, rather than show off how great they are with their playing styles. The ballads prove that this band can slow it down and display the beauty that lies beneath their aggressive and progressive sound. The keyboards also help to keep the sound in the realm of beauty rather than put them in a stereotypical sound of so many bands.

The singer, Rafael Gubert, is clearly the reason that this band gets compared to Symphony X so often. In short, try to imagine what Russell Allen might sound like with Andre Matos' (ex-Angra, Shaman) thick accent attached to it. Gubert has the aggressive tone that sounds eerily like Allen's - with the underlying, thick Matos accent, it has a beautiful sound to it with those combinations. Gubert does not leave his mid-range style most of the disc, except to croon on some pretty ballads, which he does incredibly well. I cannot comment on his high-range as he does not venture from a particularly aggressive mid-range style throughout the entire disc. He brings forth the songs with passion, glory, and a certain fierceness that shows he believes and feels what is singing.

The production is very well done. It is a bit on the dry side, especially the vocal production, but the keyboards give it an airy, open, atmospheric feeling. The guitars are crunchy, but not as heavy as one would like from a band of this power. The bass is a bit low in the mix, as is the heavy end of the drums, but these are minor complaints from an otherwise nicely produced disc. Again, the vocals are so well produced that even with Gubert's think accent, his words can be heard clearly and precisely over the instruments but never overbearing. I'm hoping that the next disc gives the band a chance to have someone turn up the decibals a bit on each instrument and show the true power of this band.

This disc was an unexpected surprise, and I certainly hope more people find this disc and appreciate it for what it is, rather than what some think it is trying to be like. Sure, the band obviously has roots in the neo-classical genre, but they never overindulge, and they never try to show this off and stuff the listener full of speedy, over the top songs. Instead, we are treated to many facets of song styles, the 9:25 "Memories" being the song that shows what the band is truly made of, and showing that they are capable song writers as well. Hopefully, there will be a another disc, and the band will have the opportunity to capture everything they are capable of producing, as shown on this wonderful debut disc.

Find some reason to hear this band, and find some way to listen to some clips and make the decision for yourself. This band has a lot to offer, and I'm looking forward to their next release with baited breath.

Heaven's Call / For Freedom / Voices And Signs / Who Am I? / The Fire Of Temptation / Dove / Memories / Salvation / Gates Of Firmament / Veiled Secrets

Rafael Gubert - Vocals
Marcos de Ros - Guitars, backing vocals
Fabio Alves - Bass, backing vocals
Eder Bergozza - Keyboards
Mauricio Meinert - Drums

Timeless Realm (2001)

Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

Origin BR

Added: December 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.akashic.com.br
Hits: 1190
Language: english


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