The Bittencourt Project – Brainworms I

The Bittencourt Project – Brainworms I – 3.5/5

Ok, so this is a recent prog rock release by the guitarist from Angra. Whilst not a huge fan of Angra, I respected them as musicians and was intrigued as to what he could come up with. What I found was something of a mixed bag.

Hes taken the other guitarist with him, and managed to get a band together, though it must be noted this really is all about bittencourt himself. He’s taken over the vocal duties as well as the soloing and some guitar riff work.

Now, when there is only one songwriter in a band, there are two things that tend to happen; the diversity within the album flags and some songs begin to sound similar, but the song becomes more coherent, being the vision of a single person determining whether the sound and tone is as he wants it to be. This is certainly true here.

The album opens with ‘dedicate my soul’ which is a fairly good song, showcasing his ability to write a solo which is done very well here. However, much of the song feels a bit bland. Its not until the second track we really hear what he has to offer vocally. Technically, he’s not as strong a singer as from Angra, but emotionally he’s far superior, and its this ability that would make or break a track. Largely the riffs are standard backing, and largely uninteresting, with the notable exception of ‘torment of fate’ and ‘comendo malancia,’ the latter being an instrumental track.

Unfortunately, there are a number of tracks where the emotion behind his voice seems to have disappeared, and quickly the track descends into mediocrity. This inconsistency is his major downfall. But nonetheless, if you’re a fan of prog rock, and/or a fan of Angra this may be worth a spin.

Highlights: Holding Back the Fire, The Dark side of Love, O Pastor

By T. Bawden

EDIT: Yes, I still listen to all the albums I've posted, (unless really dire) and I felt I'd been too harsh on this album. All my previous points still hold, but he manages to create catchy riffs, and a number of the songs are consistently addictive, and cause you to be unable to stop yourself from singing along. Its still nothing unique, but the emotion drives it above most bands in this genre. The mark has been changed to 3/5 to 3.5/5.