Published on July 30th, 2019 | by Justin G.
Viper: Theatre of Fate (No Remorse, 1989/2019)
Originally released in 1989, Theatre of Fate is the second album from Viper, one of the pioneers of the progressive/power metal sound in Brazil. It’s also the second (and final) Viper album to feature vocalist Andre Matos (RIP), who would go on to fame with Angra and Shaman (as well as a solo career) before his untimely passing earlier this year.
Even though Matos was the only member of Viper to later join Angra, it’s hard to listen to this album and not think of Angra’s early sound. Viper’s sound was very much influenced by Helloween, and between that and Matos’s unique vocals you can definitely hear the roots of that signature progressive/power sound. There are also traces of Crimson Glory and Fates Warning, which is never a bad thing. Theatre of Fate is a much more polished and original album than the Viper debut (Soldiers of Sunrise), and boasts some very impressive songs, such as the powerful “A Cry From The Edge” and “Theatre Of Fate.” Matos shines here, as expected, and the musicianship makes a big leap forward as well.
If you’re really into Angra, Shaman, Andre Matos or Brazilian heavy metal in general, Theatre of Fate is a must-have album. Even if Viper wasn’t as influential on the early progressive/power metal sound as Angra would be, they still played a key role, and Theatre of Fate can be compared to early works by Stratovarius and Conception. It’s an important album, and is even more worthy of a second listen these days.
Reissue Notes: Theatre of Fate 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 1989 demo Viper 1989 added as bonus tracks. It’s the same track listing as the Wikimetal reissue from 2013, 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: Great reissue of this classic Viper album