S H I N I N G.. S T A R

Fabio Rocah's Shining Star - Fatal Mistake (Megahard Records) 2000

1. "Opening the Skies" [instrumental] (1:23)
2. "Fatal Mistake" (3:42)
3. "Storm" (4:37)
4. "Master of the Skies" (4:15)
5. "Last Train" [instrumental] (:53)
6. "Last Train to Heaven" (4:13)
7. "I Wish..." (4:46)
8. "You're Not Alone" (3:46)
9. "Alive and Well" (4:58)
10. "Ivan's Drum Solo" [instrumental]
11. "1000 Years Ago" (4:39)

When I first heard about this cd, a few months before I finally got it, I thought to myself, "who the heck is Fabio Rocha?" Still have no clue who he is, but I do know that he is a proficient and highly skilled guitarist. It seems Brazil is currently exploding with power metal and classic heavy metal type bands powered by Brazil's Megahard Records. What is surprising is that many of these bands have Christian based lyrics. Shining Star is one of those bands and, comparing them to bands fellow Brazialian bands like Belica and Destra, they one of the top bands as well. Shining Star play melodic metal with touches of Yngwie Malmsteen's or Narnia's neo-classical metal sounds. The first time I heard this over a friends apartment I was impressed. When I finally secured my own copy in a trade from a Brazilian trader, I was even more impressed. I gave this disc plenty-o-spins just within the first few days of owning it. Fabio knows how to write a hook and along with gritty, yet melodic vocalist Nando Fernades, has turned in one hot metal platter. Apparently the reason for Fabio putting his name at the forefont is because non of the musicians on this disc are a permanent part of Shining Star and thus no band actually exists. From the rumors I have heard, Fabio is already at work on his next platter with a completely new band.

Enter Eternity Shining Star - Enter Eternity (Nightmare Records) 2005

1. "Nightmare" (4:38)
2. "Insanity" (4:06)
3. "From Now On" (4:24)
4. "Dangerous Game" (4:04)
5. "Insomnia" (5:12)
6. "Never Too Late" (5:28)
7. "Just a Man" (4:12)
8. "No More" (4:42)
9. "Lady of the Night" (5:19)
10. "Travel Through Time" (5:12)

Five years later and we finally get disc number two for Fabio Rocha's Shining Star. Wisely this time around he left off the "Fabio Racha" part and simply released the CD under the Shining Star name. What we have this time around is a tad different from the neo-classical power metal of "Fatal Mistake". Fabio's fantasic guitar licks and tricks are still in place, but the music is much more energtic and progressive. "Enter Eternity" walks a fine line between power metal and progressive metal, with a ton of melody to boot. Along for the ride this time is extraordinary vocalist Lance King, better known for his work with Balance of Power and more recently Pyramaze. With his signature vocals behind this Brazilian band, it's hard not to compare them to Balance of Power. No doubt there are some similarities due to Lance's vocal melodies. Also, since both bands pretty much balance that fine line between prog and melodic metal, the comparisons become even more apparent. Fortunately, they really don't sound exactly alike as Rocah retains some of the identity he buil with "Fatal Mistake". Fabio and Lance both know what a good hook is, and aren't afraid to use them throughout this CD. There are sweeping melodies, dynamic songs, upbeat moments, melancholy moments, furious guitar solos. It's all there. So was the five year wait worth it? Absolutely. "Enter Eternity" is top notch metal project and should please any fan of this style of music.

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