Sleepwalker Sun – Stranger in the Mirror – 2009

The starting point for the Sleepwalker Sun project was the break-up of Revealing Web, a band Luiz Gustavo Alvim was part of. A few years ago Sleepwalker Sun presented their self-titled debut album. A good album full of Symphonic Rock with a Metal bite. An album with fantastic contributions of Marcus Vianna (Sagrado Coração da Terra ) and Andre Mello (Tempus Fugit). Those contributions gave the album some extra highlights. The successor of that album is entitled “Stranger in the Mirror”.

Giana Araújo – vocals; Luiz Gustavo Alvim – keys, additional guitars; Francisco Falcon – bass, bowed bass; Rodrigo Martinho – drums; Ricardo Marins – guitars; Jorge Mathias – vocals, bass, e-bow on “Waste Land”; Marcos Eichler – lyrics

The album opens with the long (20:29) title track “Stranger in the Mirror”. The delicate first vocal lines of Giana Araújo shows that her singing has developed in a positive way. The track is diverse, has several rhythm changes and has a lot of great instrumental parts with beautiful guitar and keyboard solo’s. Heavy and complex up-tempo parts next to the slower and more melodic parts. I love the part where the singing of Giana is combined with delicate guitars and Mellotron sounds. And as sympho addict I enjoy the keyboard solo’s and the more melodic parts.

“Revealing Web” must be a composition out of the period that Luiz Gustavo Alvim was member of the band Revealing Web. After a hectic opening Giana get room for a delicate vocal part. But in overall the track is up-tempo and hectic with some tempo breaks and slow vocal parts. The track has some great synth solo’s. “Play of Light” is a ballad beautifully sung by Giana. Personally I find that the vocal lines in the slow parts are more interesting. The track has a beautiful melody. Next track is entitled “The Waste Land”. Some of the vocal parts are sung by Jorge Mathias. And the interaction between both singers gives an extra dimension to the track. This is again a hectic piece of music. The next song “An Obvious Guest” opens mysteriously with some nice Mellotron sounds before a melodic guitar solo takes over. A ballad with some great keyboard stuff and a nice guitar solo in the end. “A Lonely Land (Without a Trace)” (12:17) is my favorite track of this album. A beautiful slow first part with nice vocal lines and intriguing keyboard sounds. The second part is more up-tempo and heavier. The last track is entitled “Into the Twilight”. Acoustic guitars and beautiful keyboard strings accompany the voice of Giana Araújo. A beautiful ending of this intriguing album.

The music Sleepwalker Sun makes is not metal or symphonic rock. It is more a mix of both. The band shows with their music that they can be attractive to lovers of symphonic rock. Luiz Gustavo Alvim is responsible for that because he uses a lot of Mellotron and nice fat synth sounds. Sometimes the up-tempo parts are a little bit hectic for me. The beauty of Giana Araújo’s voice is revealing more in the ballads. You can hear some nice melodic guitar and bass parts on this album. And if a keyboard player uses a lot of Mellotron sounds … well … he has my attention!