Icon of Sin- Icon of Sin (2021) Review

Reviewed by Chris Hammond (Digital Download)

Icon of Sin- Icon of Sin (2021)
Label: Frontier Records
Style: 80’s Heavy Metal

Band Members:
Raphael Mendes (Vocals)
Sol Perez (Guitarists)
Mateus Cantaleãno (Bassist)
Caio Vidal (Guitarist)
CJ Dubiella (Drummer)

1 Icon Of Sin 5:47
2 Road Rage 4:46
3 Shadow Dancer 4:08
4 Unholy Battleground 5:21
5 Nightbreed 5:10
6 Virtual Empire 5:52
7 Pandemic Euphoria 4:22
8 Clouds Over Gotham 8:00
9 Arcade Generation 5:21
10 Hagakure (Intro) 0:25
11 The Last Samurai 5:34
12 The Howling 4:38
13 Survival Instinct 5:32
Runtime 1hr 4 mins

Brazilian Youtube star Raphael Mendes fronts this new band that is dedicated to the love of 80’s Heavy Metal. Mendes’s vocals on this album sound uncannily like a young Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) roar hard and heavy through 13 songs that incorporate 80’s metal with a modern edge.

The album not only deals with Mendes love of metal but also mixes in other things he holds dear Asian culture, Martial Arts, video games, and movies as seen by the song titles. Not only filled with cutting good guitar riffs but chock-full of engaging lyrics and an abundance of passion and musicianship. This isn’t a gimmick album it is a heavy metal album made by and for heavy metal lovers all around the world.

Fast and furious songs like “Road Rage” speed ahead for the 4 plus minute duration and even the biggest Iron Maiden fan may be left asking “Is this a new Maiden song”. The lyrics and fuel for the nitro style drumming and bass bonanza. Usually, songs based on movies are more of a one-trick pony, but that is forgotten when the tracks “The Last Samurai, The Howling, “Clouds over Gotham” and Night Breed” hit one’s ears. These songs just make the hairs stand up on one’s neck with giddy enthusiasm. I dare say they will want listeners to revisit these films and garner an appreciation for the lyrics and music that are within each song.

There are also songs that are very timely like the song “Pademic Euphoria” which of course is a different take on the somber times we”re all in right now. These lyrics really stood out “The new must destroy the old”. Then in stark contrast to this song is “Arcade Generation” which starts with brooding drumming and a blistering guitar riff. The song deal with the fun and excitement of choosing between one’s favorite video games and the feelings that playing these games can excite you. It really is the best homage to the arcade generation young and old.

Icon of Sin is not necessarily a concept album but rather a well-planned-out dedication to genres of film, music, and video games that go hand in hand so fully and completely. This album bridges the gap between young and old and brings lovers of Heavy Metal together in a celebration. Raphael Mendes no doubt has the metal pipes to be a big player in the metal genre for many decades to come. If this album is any indication of where he is headed, there are only big things in his future. This isn’t a one-play and deletes the album, this is one many listeners can enjoy for months or years to come.
Remember the name Raphael Mendes and the band Icon of Sin as there is a good chance they will be household names very soon. Also not to be outdone, the instrumental, riff, and chorus arrangements are spectacular, everything is working at full steam to bring pleasure to the listener’s ears and then some.

Rating: 6 out of 5 stars (it’s just that good)
Album is out now on Digital Download and CD here

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