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Scelerata: Skeletons Domination
Melodic/Power Metal
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Reviewing a melodic metal band with traditional power metal tendencies can be a real pain in the arse. As soon as you hear the opening moments of an album, you want to throw up your hands and say, as King Solomon did, 'there is nothing new under the sun.' This was my first reaction when spinning Brazilian metal band Scelerata's latest disc 'Skeletons Domination.' The first two songs of this work are simply ordinary and unimpressive power metal. You have to get past this to really enjoy this album. I did, and then encountered another curiosity. Carl Casagrande sounds like a Tobias Sammet clone, and Sceletara sounds like yesterday's Edguy. Surely, flattery is the highest praise.

With these observations and after 'Spiritual Path' and 'Leave Me Alone,' I can still say I enjoyed much of 'Skeletons Domination' with only a few exceptions. The best work is found when Scelerata abandons the power metal path and pursues melodic metal. After this, the band survives on Casagrande's vocals and better than average shredding. Most notable are 'Surrender,' 'The Turn,' and 'Cancer.' The first simply gets you past the redundant power metal at the beginning. The latter two offer the fast tempo found in power metal but the arrangements are more interesting, even progish, and the shredding is more than novel. Both power metal and shredding get a bye on the pleasing 'Phoenix Tales,' which is straight melodic metal with a traditional, yet stylish, guitar solo. You can pass over the ballad-like 'Bad Dreams;' it's nothing special even with the female accompaniment. Then Scelerata redeems themselves with the unexpected instrumental 'Regret' which features an accordian(?) with guitar and leads into 'Forever And Ever.' This is a song that avoids the excess of power metal for the excess of an Iron Maiden or Edguy epic with its shifts and turns in style and arrangement: it's pretty good.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about Scelerata's 'Skeletons Domination.' On one hand, I found it deriviative and ordinary. On the other, I was listening with interest and enthusiasm. I guess I'm still a sucker for the whole melodic/power metal thing even if others have done the same before. I liked it. Recommended.
- Craig Hartranft

In Short

Scelerata attempts the whole power metal thing with enthusiasm, but they are better when they pursue melodic metal with dashes of progressive metal. When you get to this, I think you might be pleased. Then again, you my find it simply ordinary or deriviative.

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