Underground power metal dream team – review of Stratosphere Project’s “Dimensional Convergence”

Author Daniel Agapito - 16.2.2024

Brainchild of Rio de Janeiro-born guitarist Flavio Brandão, power metal supergroup Stratosphere Project aims to find musicians to collaborate and enrich a project, injecting diversity with each and every member’s personality. Their objective, always power metal-focused, is to “rescue” the 90’s and 2000’s sound of bands such as Helloween, Stratovarius and Primal Fear, without trying to reinvent what they have already established. In the project’s 5 album discography, they have already collaborated with musicians from Spain, Australia, Germany, Netherlands and of course, Brazil.

A dizzying drum fill, keys and a fast riff. Power metal cliché? True. Great way to thrust the listener into a power metal record? Also true. That is how “Entangled Minds”, the first track in “Dimensional Convergence”, starts. Even though some may say tropes such as these are overdone in the subgenre, it is undeniable that the band executes them flawlessly. They are not in the game to reinvent the wheel, but to continue evolving power metal. Songs like the blisteringly fast single “Tesseract Dreams” encapsulate the project’s afformentioned purpose perfectly.

From the blazing guitar riffs from Brandão himself and great names such as Paulinho Bahiense (solo artist), Caio Kehyayan (FireWing), Claudio Mendes (Lifestealing), Bruno Sena (Dagor Sorhdeam) and many others to the powerful percussion from Alessandro Kelvin (Percption) to the soaring vocal lines by Kaka Campolongo (Projeto Tupã), Raphael Dantas (Ego Absence), Ariel Coelho, Mario Kohn (solo artist) and many other names, the 20+ musician team manages to coordinate one hell of an effort. Not only are the instrumentals and vocals incredible, but so is the production. Handled by Raphael Dantas and the Modus Operandi Studio staff, it is not hard to see all the time and care that went into it. Every single instrument sounds like it fits perfectly into each track, but each member’s personality and playing style still shines through.

“Dimensional Convergence” surely has something for every type of fan. Faster tracks such as the already mentioned first two, slower, more lilting songs such as “The Spacetime Continuum”, more modern endeavours such as “Quantum Flux”, more inherently dark efforts like “Waves of Creation”. It would be very surprising if a power metal fan found nothing to like in this LP.

All in all, “Dimensional Convergence” by Brazilian supergroup Stratosphere Project is a great modern power metal effort; nothing revolutionary, but they set out to improve, not revolutionize. Not only does it stand as a great album, it also serves to show the depth and talent pool in the Brazilian power metal underground, and how it isn’t only limited to the “Angraverse” (Angra, Shaman, Viper, Edu Falaschi, Hangar and whatnot). It would not surprise me at all if in a few years, the group is hailed as one of the major supergroups in the subgenre. Go take a listen.