Artist: Auras
   Title: New Generation
   Label:
Frontiers Records  

South American AOR bands are a rare commodity indeed, with both Power Metal and Heavy Metal being the more recognized genres, and to have a South American band signed to an Italian Record label is an even rarer occurrence.  However both have come to pass as the genre's leading label Frontiers Records have signed newcomers Auras.

Hailing from Curitiba in Brazil the band bring back the sounds that make the AOR scene one we all love.  However, the band haven’t just taken that 80’s sound and copied it, they’ve brought it kicking and screaming into the now.  With obvious influences from the likes of Journey, Kansas, Toto and others, Auras aren’t trying to rewrite the past but bring the best of then and combine it with the best of today.

This isn’t a complicated album it is what it is, good old fashioned AOR and with the vocals of frontman Gui Oliver resembling a certain Mr Perry, he will certainly be labeled as the next Hugo or Chalfant.  Together with fellow band members Ferpa Lacerda – guitars and background vocals, Edu Sallum – drums and percussion, and with guest musicians Matheus Brandon – guitars and background vocals and Hemerson Vieira – bass,  together they have put together an album is just a joy to listen to.

From the opener ‘Beauty Of Dreams' you're lifted into that world of AOR that made the world sit up and take notice of such bands like Journey and Kansas.  Great guitars mixed with great keyboards and with a vocalist that will melt  the hardest of hearts in Oliver, the band get things off to a great start.

Things continue in a similar vein with ‘Forgive And Forget’, again it’s Oliver’s vocals that really hit the mark once more with keyboards and guitars ahoy.  This is 4.19 minutes of pure AOR candy.  Like I said before nothing complicated, just a great tune wrapped in a superb vocal and I just love the funky keyboards mid song.

One of my favourite tracks off the album has to be ‘Never Give Up’, this is where the old meets new.  There's great back beat on this one that reminds me of Ted Poley’s solo material, before bringing the tempo down with the first of the ballads ‘In My Arms’.  A great track that just warms you through and washes all your troubles away.  Cuddle up to the one you love and put this one on and I bet you, you’ll grow even closer.

The tempo is picked up a touch with the gentle harmonies of ‘Reach Out’ before another modern twist on the genre with the title track ‘New Generation’, with the additional orchestrations bringing a depth to the song that is unparalleled on the album.

Lacerda is let off the lease a little on ‘Forever In Your Eyes’ as he lays down probably the finest guitars on the album.  One of the many stand out tracks has to be 'Hungry Hearts', which happens to be the first song the band wrote.  This is what the genre is all about.

If you like a little groove mixed in with your AOR then ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’ is the one more you.  There's a touch of the Latino around the percussion section on this one, perhaps a soundtrack for summer.

Two of the more moderns styled rockers has to be ‘Keep On Loving You’ which features a touch of Survivor on this song and the excellent ‘Out Of Love’, before the album closes off with another AOR gem in ‘Love To Survive’.

Like I said at the beginning, Auras aren’t intending to reinvent the wheel with this album, they just want to pay homage to their favourite bands and if sounding like Journey or Kansas gets them a foot in the AOR door, then so be it.  Take this album as it is, don’t scrutinize it, just enjoy it and pray for sunny days when you can blast this out on your cars CD player with the top down.  The New Generation is here and it comes from Brazil so just embrace it, don’t fight it!

 Tracklisting:

1. Beauty Of Dreams
2. Forgive And Forget
3. Never Give Up
4. In My Arms
5. Reach Out
6. New Generation
7. Forever In Your Eyes
8. Hungry Hearts
9. That's The Way Love Goes
10. Keep On Loving You
11. Out Of Love
12. Love To Survive

                  

 

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