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ICON OF SIN - Icon Of Sin (2021) Frontiers


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Icon Of Sin: Icon Of Sin

Traditional Heavy Metal

Frontiers Music
Words: Craig Hartranft
Added: 07.04.2021 | Released: 09.04.2021



Icon Of Sin is a new musical project from the Frontiers Music label which features the Brazilian singer Raphael Mendes, and a band which includes notable Brazilian musicians Sergio Mazul (Semblant) and Marcelo Gelbcke (Landfall). Some readers may know Mr Mendes for his vocal covers of metal songs, especially those of Iron Maiden as some say he has a Dickinsonian timbre to his voice. Mendes is also behind the YouTube video series What If Bruce Dickinson Sang In Other Bands, wherein he sings covers songs by Megadeth, Ozzy, and Journey, among others. Whether Mendes "sounds" like Bruce Dickinson with be in the ear of the listener.

Icon Of Sin - Click For Larger Image

Icon Of Sin


So, essentially then, Icon Of Sin is an avenue, or platform, for Mendes' significant vocal skills (whether you think he sounds like Bruce Dickinson or not). But since constant readers expect my honest opinion, here's my take on all this. Just follow me now.

Simply, Mendes can sound much like Dickinson when he's singing an Iron Maiden song. Mostly, this is for two reasons. One, his voice follows the song melody. Two, the song is written in English, he sings it in English, and we, the listeners, know the song, its music, lyrics, and voice, as an Iron Maiden song (sung in English). Psychologically then, our mind and musical memory adjust to the nuances that don't quite match the original voice. For some Dickinson-Maiden fans this produces cognitive dissonance and a poor reaction. It simply doesn't fit, occuring as poor imitation.

But this same theory does not apply to other bands and artists, simply because Dickinson didn't originally sing those song. Those songs just turn out to be songs sung by Brazilian singer Mendes, wherein, at the very least, some listeners will scratch their heads and say, "Who does this fellow sound like?" But he has already told you, in the YouTube series, that he sounds like Dickinson. Oh, such a conundrum we weave.

But moving on to Icon Of Son. Here's my thoughts on the band and album. First, the heavy metal music is terrific. For classic melodic heavy metal ala Iron Maiden (and others of that earlier era), Icon Of Sin nails it. From the pacing to the rhythm and groove, the strong song melody to guitar harmony, the catchy refrains to the brilliant guitar solos, this is indeed Maiden-esque heavy metal. Excepting a few odd songs, musically speaking, I liked nearly every song. Night Breed, Virtual Empire, Shadow Dancer, and Clouds Over Gotham are fine examples. Second, while Mendes may sound like Dickinson, but because he's not singing in his native language, the lack of clarity in his enunciation and our unfamiliarity with songs, makes understanding him difficult and perhaps his interpretation dubious. Having lyrics would have been a great help. Perhaps, instead of riding the coattails of Bruce, maybe Mr Mendes should try sounding more like Raphael.

This then, for me, begs the question. Since the music is so much Maiden-inspired, instead of having Mendes singing the Icon Of Sin songs, why not invite Bruce Dickinson to sing them. I wonder (if he would even do it) what that might sound like. Probably pretty fandamntastic. But that's just my opinion. All in all, for this listener, the strength of Icon Of Sin and their debut album is the exceptional, contemporary expression of classic, Maiden-inspired, melodic heavy metal (with a notable and favorable Dickinson-style vocalist in tow). Other listeners may feel differently. Recommended.

















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