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Scarsick - 'How Cold Is The Sun' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/db/73/df/scarsick-how-cold-is-the-sun-41-1522181820.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 27, 2018    
 
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What may well have been an artistically satisfying experience for Ribeiro, is something that ends up less aesthetically pleasing for the rest of us.

'How Cold Is The Sun' – an intriguingly phrased question that is indicative of the thoughtful and philosophical nature of this debut solo album from Brazilian song-writer, engineer, producer and musician Bruno Leo Ribeiro.

For those who follow the Brazilian music scene closely (and I confess, I'm not one of them), it hasn't come entirely out of the blue. Ribeiro has some pedigree, graduating from Metallica, Dream Theater and Stratovarius covers bands and honing his song-writing skills with the likes of Fuzzies and Bandarra. He now lives and works in Helsinki.

Despite the "Alternative Metal/Dark Rock" tag, Scarsick have more in common with modern Progressive and so-called Post Rock bands than the influences cited above. Expect soundscapes and brooding, at times beautifully bleak, compositions rather than complex breakneck riffage. Inspired by Ribeiro's deepest relationships – with his wife and children – and a conviction that emotional expression can be used to heal the mind and the heart, it's an album of well-intentioned and sincere earnestness. Considerable thought appears to have gone into the flow and structure of the album, with alternating instrumental and vocally-driven tracks, eight of them in total, clocking in at a very listenable thirty-eight minutes.

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Ribeiro is clearly a talented chap. This truly is a solo album as he provides vocals, drums, guitar, bass, synth and piano as well as the song-writing and arrangements. The only other person involved is from Caroline Ribeiro who contributes occasional backing vocals. However, it's the vocals – Bruno's not Caroline's – that are the problem. One can appreciate the desire of a solo artist to express his feelings and sing his own lyrics, but unfortunately the vocals drag the material down. It's reminiscent of those Prog and Folk bands (naming no names) who give vocal duties to the least worst singer rather than seeing the voice as an essential instrument in its own right. Consequently, what may well have been an artistically satisfying experience for Ribeiro, is something that ends up less aesthetically pleasing for the rest of us.

It's a shame, as there is some gorgeous instrumental music here, with 'Breaking Spring', 'Summer Light', 'The Fall' and 'Winter Sun' all hitting the mark and helping to create both an appropriate sense of journey and space for reflection.

Michael Anthony

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