Pentral – What Lies Ahead of Us
A pandemic wouldn’t appear to be the best time to start a new band. But three guys from Brazil did just that. Going under the name Pentral, they worked on their debut album throughout 2020. They introduced themselves to the world by posting videos on YouTube of them playing classic rock tracks. They’re worth checking out and you can watch them at: https://www.youtube.com/c/Pentral/videos. These are song covers of Queen, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin. They were sending a clear message – pay attention, we are coming. They finally arrived in May 2021 with the release of that first album “What Lies Ahead of Us”.
This is a concept album with an unusual tale running through it. It’s fictional but portrays something that happens both in Brazil and the world over. The story begins in a forest with an indigenous couple who live among the trees. They are depicted on the album cover in the artwork by Heidi Taillefer. The woman gives birth to a child and the trees “talk” to her, telling her to escape the forest. Their home is being slowly destroyed by the beast of greed, in the form of deforestation.
The opening track ‘Silent Trees’ begins with a haunting choral intro featuring singer Isabella Trindade and keyboard player Ivan Teixeira. Then comes what sounds like the felling of a tree. The band then treat us to the first taste of their own music. Almost immediately the first impression is a big thumbs up. It’s a solid prog rock number with some acoustic guitar parts, and long enough to pack in plenty of time changes.
Pentral – Silent Trees (click here if the video does not play)
Pentral, which is Latin for spirit, is made up of brothers Victor and Vagner Lima on guitar/vocals and drums, respectively. The power trio is completed by bass player Joe Ferry. Victor is responsible for all the music and lyrics and the band mixes hard rock and progressive metal. There is also an element of Brazilian groove and its diverse harmony. Influences are drawn not only from the three afore-mentioned British bands, but also Rush and Metallica.
‘All My Wounds’ is more of a progressive metal track. In the middle there’s a short drum and bass solo from Vagner and Joe. Shortly after Victor delivers the same on guitar. Each of the videos released by the band tell the story on the album one chapter at a time.
Pentral – All my Wounds (click here if the video does not play)
‘Disconnected’ has a different feel altogether. For the most part it drives along at a relentless pace. The chorus, which appears twice in the song, is backed with a Rush style chord sequence.
‘Letters from Nowhere’ slows things down with an acoustic guitar intro which Victor vocalises soulfully over. The first half of the song could perhaps be likened to Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. From there on there’s some Led Zeppelin influence and variety in abundance.
Some heavier Metallica influence is evident in ‘Aiming for the Sun’. The chorus is interwoven with an infectious little riff and bridge that will have you tapping that imaginary fretboard.
Pentral – Aiming for the Sun (click here if the video does not play)
Slowing things down again we come to the only song on the album that could be described as a ballad. The full band injects some power for the last 70 seconds, but the earlier section is just Victor on acoustic guitar and vocals with Yaniel Matos accompanying on cello.
The story continues and the family are finally forced to move from their forest home. Reluctantly they relocate to the city. Here their problems continue as they find themselves dealing with racism, selfishness, prejudice, and indifference. The video of ‘No Real Colour in Souls’ is the fourth to be released and adds another chapter.
Pentral – No Real Colour in Souls (click here if the video does not play)
In addition to the ten tracks on the album, there are two extra tracks. They are radio edits of ‘Silent Trees’ and ‘Aiming for the Sun’. The last track of the ten is also the longest. ‘The Law’ is heavy, busy, complex, and full of different moods. What an epic finish to a great debut.
This album clocks in at 64 minutes not counting the radio edits. I hope they’ve saved some ideas for their next project. These guys are more than the sum of their influences and I believe they can go on to greater things.
- Silent Trees
- All My Wounds
- Letters from Nowhere
- Aiming for The Sun
- A Gift from God
- No Real Colour In Souls
- The Shell I’m Living In
- Are You Satisfied?
- The Law