Release: June 27, 2019
After the success of their previous album “Novos Rumos” (2015) and many positive reviews and feedback, Brazilian metal band Newsonic return with “Vorax”, which was independently released on June 27. The quintet currently consists of powerhouse vocalist Anderson Khross, guitarists Erik Cholovski and Luke Freitas, bass player Flavio Almeida, and drummer and Bruno Perrone. In between the five of them, they have crafted a highly emotional album, that shows layers of energy and contemplation in 11 powerful songs.
Combining electronic patterns, with heavy guitar, groovy bass lines, awesome drums and powerful vocals, “Vorax” deals with many current themes like the human need for attention and the immersion in digital platforms, mental health issues, natural disasters and even mythology. It’s an album whose lyrics will make you reflect on the way we are living our lives.
The way I see it, this album is like a mix between Cyhra and old school Metallica.
King of ice
Some of the guitar lines, electronic arrangements, the flow of the songs and the general high-energy feel reminded me of “Letters to Myself”, while at times, the vocal delivery made me think of a younger James Hetfield (especially on “Transcendental”), but with a darker timber, something akin to either Zaher Zorgati (Myrath) or even Tommy Karevik (Kamelot and Seventh Wonder). It’s quite an odd description, I know, but the bottom line is that “Vorax” offers some quality (heavy) metal. Now, I may not be the biggest fan of heavy metal as a genre, but this album offers such a fresh perspective on what it can become when mixed with elements of power metal (“I’m alive” or “Icebergs”) and modern melodic metal (“Terminal” or “Nemesis”), and as such may be seen as opening the door to new possibilities.
“Tornado” makes for a slow but great introduction to the record, and if that excellent guitar solo doesn’t get you interested in the rest of the album, not sure what will. “I’m alive” has a rather harsh and aggressive vocal delivery backed up by powerful instrumental, while “Nemesis” is such a fun and energetic track with a hooky chorus and overall melodic delivery. It’s in between these 2 tracks (plus “Lobo”) we get to see how versatile Anderson Khross is as a vocalist, and yes, I am quite impressed with what I am hearing. After the mid-paced semi-ballad “King of Ice”, the album picks up pace and momentum with the heavy duty yet emotional “Terminal”, which features the album’s best guitar solo, while the instrumental “Maveth” showcases the melodic side of the band. The second half of the album doesn’t offer any new surprises in terms of variety and style, but still manages to deliver intense guitar riffs (“Offline”), big drums (“Transcendental”), electronic overlays (“Lobo”) and top-notch vocals (“Vulgar”), enough to keep the listeners interested. Besides the vocals and the guitars, I am impressed with how upfront Flávio Almeida’s bass is in the mix, as it brings a certain amount of groove to the music.
All in all, “Vorax” is quite a cohesive album, with a dense, rich, and nuanced sound to it, making for a very engaging sonic experience. Though the strong point of the album is undoubtedly Anderson Khross’s vocal performance, we cannot overlook the excellent display of musicianship from the rest of the band. Newsonic is the rising star of the Brazilian metal scene, and I am eager to see what the future has in store for them.
Rating: 8.5 / 10
Anderson Khross – Voice & samplers
Erik Cholodovski – Guitars
Lucas Freitas – Guitars
Flávio Almeida – Fretless Bass
Bruno Perrone – Drums