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FENRIR’S SCAR — THE BEAST HAS BEEN UNLEASHED

“Before anything, let’s explain: Fenrir is a wolf monster that, according to Norse mythology, was chained by the gods, freed itself and devoured Odin. That’s all. Thus, it is not difficult to conclude that a band named Fenrir’s Scar is not making a calm, soulless sound.

Yes, the name is correct. All you have to do is listen to the septet’s debut album to conclude there is a beast in there. The references the band mentions — Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Moonspell, etc. — are just that: references. Because Desireé Rezende (vocals), André Baida (vocals), Vinícius Prado (guitar), Paulo “Khronny” Victor (guitar), Gabriel Rezende (bass), Graziely Maria (keyboards) and Ildécio Santos (drums) managed to convey their own identity to each of the album “Fenrir’s Scar” ten tracks, which makes its listening a unique experience.

Because there are two voices, a masculine and a feminine one, one might soon conclude the band bets on the “beauty and the beast” structure. They do not. OK, André Baida does grunt, but Desireé’s voice is not operatic at all. It is a feminine voice singing — extremely well, by the way — heavy rock. So, there are two real singers sharing a microphone. In case of doubt, check the themes each of them sings on their own, “Keep You Close to My Heart” (Desireé) and “Fenrir’s Last Howl” (André).

Another highlight are Graziely Maria’s keyboard, which does not limit itself to be a “bed” for the other instruments, but rather becomes a fundamental part in Fenrir’s Scar’s sound; and Vinícius Prado’s and Paulo “Khronny” Victor’s guitars, which abound in tasteful and refined riffs, basis, and solos.

The compositions, all signed by André Baida (one of them, the aforementioned “Fenrir’s Last Howl,” written in partnership with Rafael Borges), are the limelight of their work. Creative, diverse and captivating, they make the experience of listening to the album pleasing and always exciting, since we are surprised in each new track.

As for the lyrics, in their totality the female vocalist’s responsibility (the only exception being the same “Fenrir’s Last Howl”), prove that, yes, there are people who have something to say in Brazilian heavy rock.

Tracks like “Beneath the Skin,” which include a beautiful duet between André and Desireé, “Caliban,” footed on hard rock, “Dark Eyes,” which sets an interesting counterpoint between the heavy DnB kitchen and the keyboard swiftness, and “Downfall,” guided by a heavy, catchy riff, are amongst the most inspirational tracks in this piece — but “Fenrir’s Scar” is a work to be admired in its entirety. Recorded in the Minster studio, in Campinas, the album features the sharp production of Fabiano Negri, who made it all sound clear, pronounced, heavy, and with that ever welcome dosage of dirt which the subgenres of metal always need to work well. Mixing and mastering were Ricardo Palma’s responsibility.

Maybe there is no greater cliché than to recommend that a rock album is played as loud as possible. But, in this case, it is still a great idea. After all, the beast has been unleashed. And it will roar in your ear. So you’d better be prepared.”

Antonio Carlos Monteiro

Road Crew journalist, musician and music critic