Rygel – Imminent
Rygel – Imminent (2012)
Reviewed by Mark Nagy
Rygel is a Brazilian power metal band that plays a brand of melodic power metal with just the slightest tinge of thrash. I’m going to sidestep the Angra comparison here and point out that this album features a stunning vocal performance from Mr. Daniel Felipe, who loyal Black Wind Metal readers might know from the phenomenal Lothloryen album that we were fawning over last year. Arno summed up Felipe’s vocals quiet well, comparing him to a cross between Hansi Kursch, Jens Carlsson, and Apollo Papathanasio. Apparently we didn’t catch the full blast of 2012 Felipe-mania, because his performance on Imminent is just as laudable.
The biggest change I see between this vocal performance and my past experience with Felipe is that he seems more comfortable with his own vocal identity, whereas on Raving Souls Society, it felt much more like he was drawing out a Hansi Kursch imitation. In fact, on the album’s penultimate track “Realities”, the vocals show ever further versatility.
Still, despite this excellent performance, it was actually not the vocals that represented my prime draw to the album. That’s right, blazing rhythm guitar time! Imminent is absolutely balls to the wall when it comes to the guitar performance, and even through slower songs like “Leave Me Alone”, there’s a strong a consistent power to the songs. Unlike some of the traditional metal that I struggle with, Rygel manages to swing from aggressive and fast verses to melodic and catchy choruses in a very natural way.
As an aside before concluding the review, I’d like to comment on the fifth song “Asking For Your Vote”, which features a spoken word passage, which is something I typically hate. I draw your attention there, dear reader, because it’s a very rare instance of a tasteful use of this kind of thing. It’s difficult to say if it improved the song or not, but I’m just floored that the band managed to input a creepy speech from a theoretical politician asking for the vote into a song and not crash the whole thing. Still, the song maintains rhythm and melody, the section is short, and I suppose effective for what it was going for.
On the flip side of stuff I typically have a problem with, is the ballad “Memories”. Daniel Felipe is a great vocalist when he’s being boisterous, and maybe it’s just the accent here, but he seems to struggle a bit more on subtler material. During the chorus of the song, when he gets to be a bit more dramatic, he sounds more natural, but overall it’s not really a worthwhile ballad. That all being said, the album is definitely one to add to your collection of Brazilian power metal if it’s not there. If you don’t have a collection of Brazilian power metal? Well, start with Angra, but then work your way to Rygel, because Imminent rocks.
3.5 // 5