Published on July 8th, 2019 | by Justin G.
Viper: Soldiers of Sunrise (No Remorse, 1987/2019)
Originally released in 1987, Soldiers of Sunrise was the debut album from Brazilian heavy metal band Viper. The band is probably most noteworthy for being the starting point of future Angra/Shaman vocalist Andre Matos (RIP), but they made their own mark on the developing power metal scene in Brazil.
Most of the band members, including Andre Matos, were teenagers when they recorded this album, and it shows in the music. Soldiers of Sunrise is essentially the work of some talented kids in a garage with shabby equipment and a stack of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Helloween albums. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Their DIY attitude and obvious love for heavy metal comes through in these songs. “Soldiers of Sunrise,” “Wings Of The Evil” and “Killera (Princess of Hell)” are all great examples of this album’s charms.
Soldiers of Sunrise is a fairly basic early European-style power metal album. There is some flashy guitar work, and even at a young age Matos’s voice is uniquely memorable, but by and large the album is pretty standard heavy metal fare. As the starting point for Matos’ career though, Soldiers of Sunrise is worthwhile. It’s mainly going to be of interest to die-hard ’80s metal fans or serious Angra/Shaman/Matos followers.
Reissue Notes: Soldiers Of Sunrise got the deluxe reissue treatment this year thanks to the No Remorse label. We get the full album of course, but also the band’s full 1985 demo The Killera Sword added as bonus tracks. It’s the same track listing as the Wikimetal reissue from 2015, but this version features a new remastering by Bart Gabriel. It also comes in a jewel case instead of a digipack, so that’s an instant improvement. The album sounds great (though the demo tracks are understandably quite rough), and while the booklet doesn’t have a lot of extras (that’s something No Remorse never really does well) it’s still a very worthwhile reissue. It puts this classic album back in print, and it gives fans a good reason to revisit the earliest performances from Andre Matos. It’s a bittersweet look back, given his recent untimely passing though.
Summary: Birth of a legend