This past summer, I was treated to what only could be described as my favorite album of 2015. Yes super strong words — I get it — but if you are hankering for that perfect mix of hard rock, AOR, sleaze and hair metal, than look no further than Brazil’s Purpura Ink and their insanely impressive debut Breakin’ Chains.
Before I even got as far as getting the disc out of the case and into the old player, the cover made me quite pleased. I mean look at these guys. If this doesn’t scream 1989, I don’t know what does. I mean 90% of all the discs I buy (old and new) are based around that picture.
Anyway, from the opening riff of the Dokken-esque “Breakin’ Chains” laid down oh so eloquently by the dual guitar proficiency of Marcio and Chris, I was smitten, hooked, enamoured — you get the point. But wait, hello Mr. keyboard… and then EJ chimes in in his best morphed Joey Tempest/Don Dokken vocal completing a very powerful opening track and the boys from Brazil don’t slow up from here — oh no. Up next, the track “Lifestyle” which starts off akin to Motley Crue’s “Live Wire” and then melodically marches on with an abundance of tasty licks and harmonies. “Higher Ground” is next with its pleasant keyboard opening and then a subsequent “Hunter” (Dokken) inspired main riff that will not escape your conscience anytime soon. Purpura Ink plows ahead without any signs of slowing up and I am quite thankful for their ’80s metal tenacity. Influences abound throughout the remainder of the disc, as mentioned — Dokken, Europe, Van Halen, Night Ranger, Ratt and a smattering of NWBHM stuff too. But alas at the end of the day, it’s all amazing and it’s all Purpura Ink.
“Kate” is next which is every bit as funky as anything Extreme threw out on Pornograffitti without losing any of the signature heavy harmonies that is a Purpura Ink staple as I am fast learning. “Let Me Stay (Go Away)” has a solid rockin’ Journey vibe to it and “Enemy” is a hard rockin’, double timin’ number that not only continues to showcase EJ’s vocal prowess, Chris and Marcio’s guitar stylings and competencies, but this one is also a showcase for drummer Derick with a plethora of fills and syncopated rhythms that has Tommy Aldridge‘s stamped seal of approval all over them. “Flying Away” has an oh so heavy main riff, but there’s those keys again which keeps the band firmly seated in that arena rock realm, but offers up some heaviness for the metal heads. “Rose With Thorns” is an amazing example of a song that Dokken should be writing and performing today — heck they should have/could have added this one as a “Tooth And Nail” “B” side. “Bitter Wishes” is anything but bitter. It is a perfect slice of arena rock with a groovy cherry on top. Please don’t skimp on the guitar squeals, as Purpura Ink didn’t on this number. Last up on the disc is the cow bell slathered rocker “Something To Believe.” Holy moly! This one is destined to be my summer time, windows down, cruisin’ the boulevard, good times anthem. Simply perfect.
In conclusion, get this disc ASAP. Get it into your player or onto your MP3 device and you’ll enjoy it immensely. It’s not like you will have a choice. The disc and the band won’t let you. They are that good all around — not a bad song on the disc — and the band as a whole and individually are some of the best musicians you will ever lay ears on, I guarantee. So if you are a sucker for hook laden choruses, massive guitars and a rhythm section that is second to few that crafts a song structure that you just want to tattoo on your soul, then Purpura Ink is your new favorite band. I know they are mine!
01. Breakin’ Chains
03. Higher Ground
05. Let Me Stay (Go Away)
07. Flying Away
08. Rose With Thorns
09. Bitter Wishes
10. Something To Believe
EJ – vocals
Márcio Glam – guitar, keyboards
Chris Wiesen – guitar
Seth Bass – bass
Derick – drums
Reviewed by Terry Martinson for Sleaze Roxx, October 2015