CD REVIEW: Universo (featuring Loe Bor) - Self Titled
by: Cyrus Rhodes
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST -
Universo (featuring Loe Bor)
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Melodic Rock
Sounds Like: Joe Satrianai, Dokken, Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Technical Grade: 10/10
Weakness: lopsided catalogue of music, marketability, dated sound
Brazilian based Leo Bor is a musician, producer, composer and multi-talented musician who just released his latest CD entitled Universo .in 2013. Band includes Jack (Male Vocals), Leo Bor (Guitars, keyboard, percussion, synths, Lyrics, Bass, Drums), Meika (Female Vocals), Rafael (Drums). Musical styles featured: Industrial Rock, Alternative Rock, Epic Instrumental Rock, Pop Rock and Melodic Rock.
The CD blasts off with ‘Super Nova” a hard rocking intro piece that serves up hard rocking guitars, epic feel painted against a colorful canvass of music and sound that comes at you from every which direction. Also present are sizzling solo guitar pyrotechnics and power chords that hit you right between the eyes. Track 2 “Com Voice” presents a kaleidoscope of sound featuring dynamic rhythms, and vivid walls of melody, and compelling vocals that that flow and ebb its way through emotional fruition. Track 3 “Improssivel” shifts gears a bit with methodical piano driven intro, pulsating rock vibe, against heartfelt vocals and impressive vocal harmonies. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear multi-dimensional elements of Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, and Melodic Pop-Rock. The sound of Universo is hard to pigeonhole. Influences I suspect are Joe Satrianai, Dokken, Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I see Leo Bor as a hard rock version of Yanni. You will also notice lush layers musical instrumentation layered everywhere from low end beats and rhythms, to nice acoustics, pulsating bass segments, to soaring solo guitars, power chords, synthesizer, Piano and keyboard accents, to a few juicy low end bass grooves layered along the way. Vocally – very passionate delivery from both Jack and Meika. The music itself is extremely unique combining hard rock with Passion Pop, and Epic classical rock guitar instrumentals that are borderline brilliant. The soundscapes are interesting, infectious, impassioned and hypnotic. Some of the guitar work will cause your jaw to hit the floor. The vocals and harmonies are well placed and flow and ebb extremely well given the dynamic scope of the music. The CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing an impressive set of songs all showcasing a brilliant producers touch and impressive songwriting craft. From heartfelt “Me Beije Agora’ to melodic “Linda Aos Meus Olhos” to melodic “Voce Pode Tentar” to hard hitting Sinfonia de Beethoven-Versao Rock” to my personal favorite “Em Seus Olhos” to powerful Altar” there’s something on this CD for just about everyone. It’s definitely a dynamic and progressive musical statement that offers a lot of musical variety and vivid sound imagery. Did I mention there are 29 tracks? The CD ends with Track 29 “Bach – Jesus Joy of Men”” a perfect finale statement for a CD like this. Bravo to the guitar work on 9 Sinfonata de Beethoven-Versao Rock, Bach-Toccata and Fugue, and full tilt Pulsares.
As epic and amazing this CD is it is not the most marketable CD especially to US markets and listeners. The language sung on all pieces is Spanish and the musical style though impressive was popular about 20 years ago. I would humbly recommend to Bor - if he wants to penetrate the US markets with his music he should give it another go with these songs, and be more marketable with his guitar playing, overall sound and musical approach. Another angle is to simply release music without vocals. This would give his sound a Trans-Siberian Orchestra feel people love. Bor needs to narrow the fairway with respect to his overall sound. At the end of the day covers to much ground musically and almost sounds like 3 separate bands rolled up into on. Many listeners will fail to focus with this wide musical approach.
Overall Universo from Leo Bor has some truly impressive moments on it. Overall it’s a very dynamic, passionate, and entertaining and fully loaded catalogue of music. The music is highly original with amazing musical depth, and rich musical layering. My hats off to the amazing amazing production/ songwriting virtuoso and musicianship from Leo Bor. Track 6 through 10 are amazing! Make no bones about it Bor is a very talented artist from Brazil. He is one hell of a musician, guitarist, solist and composer. All musical textures are compelling, and full of variety. I see Bor as a budding and surging artist who has yet to reach proper recognition worldwide. I give him high marks for taking all this on as he is clearly a musical visionary for trying to merge some amazing genres together via an Epic CD.