Kiko Shred’s Rebellion – Rebellion
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 30/07/2021
Running Time: 49:16
Review by Simon Black
It’s not quite clear whether this is a slightly new brand and project (the release is distinctly named ‘Kiko Shred’s Rebellion’), or the fourth album extension of the existing Kiko Shred band incarnation (i.e., ‘Kiko Shred – Rebellion’). Either way this record is pure Brazilian Power Metal cum Guitar Hero hybrid at its technical best, as the aptly named guitarist does exactly that. It’s always tricky when an act is named for and built around someone with a reputation for, errr, shredding, as the risk that the virtuosity of one instrument dominates the project cannot be ignored. In this instance we need not worry, as this four piece are razor tight and proficient in all areas, including that most important one of all – the song-writing department.
Musically this kicks off in super high tempo, with the pile-driving ‘Mirror’ and straight away I am struck by the cohesive musical interplay between all the players. This is technically really proficient stuff and even though Shred’s guitar virtuosity is clearly front and centre throughout, there’s some really tight time structures and reciprocity between drums, bass and guitar. ‘Rainbow After The Storm’ has a more accessible and catchier riff-based structure, but when the shredding starts, it’s done by all the instruments working as a seamless whole. And let’s not forget the vocal performance here either, as Ed Gadlin certainly has a set of powerful lungs on him, with a high clean range, but enough guts and gravel to keep it edgy. Central to the record is the title track, which does actually verge into shredder territory more than most, with a few Neo-Classical moments of relentless fret-hammering guitar work, but in general by keeping a Metal edge to it and balancing the musical tones and styles, this works by showing the sheer proficiency of the players at work. ‘Thorn Across My Heart’ is the mid-point of the record and the one point where it seems to lose focus, but the instrumental ‘Mors Non Separabit’ brings it right back – opening with acoustic/electric guitar interplay, we get some really complex technical foot and fretwork when the song opens up the pace a bit. It’s heavy, subtle and dizzying in its virtuosity, without feeling like there’s any showing off going on.
Fundamentally, although a project named after its dexterous guitarist, the cohesion between the players makes this feel like a full-on band, rather than just a vehicle for one whizz player. It’s tight, it’s well-crafted and it’s lovingly executed.
‘Mirror’ (Official Video)
03. Rainbow After The Storm
05. Thorn Across My Heart (Feat. Doogie White)
06. Mors Non Separabit
07. Honour To The Fallen Brothers
08. The Hierophant
09. Voodoo Queen
10. Information War
Ed Gadlin – Vocals
Kiko Shred – Guitars
Will Costa – Bass
Lucas Tagliari – Drums
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