Surprise of June


      For those who are not aware of that, Shaman is the new band of the x-Angra members who left the band a few years ago. So we have Andre Matos on vocals, Luis Mariutti on Bass, Ricardo Confessori on the drums, while the new member is Hugo Mariutti (Luis' brother) on the guitars. To be honest when angra released the album "Holy Land" in 1996 I received a strong cultural shock by their magnificent music, which took quite a long time to overcome. I still remember the webmaster (then he just a master) telling me that I should form a band with the name M-Angra and release an CD called "Holy Band"!!!!!

      So as you might imagine I was quite shocked when I found out that they split some years ago over some personal contradictions. Having seen them live twice I have to say that if they continued they had all the qualities to become a super-mega band! But life is strange. Now the good news. Judging from the previous Angra album and the new Shaman one I can say that we might be lucky as now our music has two incredible bands! Don’t ask me if one of the two will reach the limits that the original Angra could, as I don’t know, but I wish for it!!!

      So what would we expect from them in music terms? A mixture of power metal, classical music and folk Latin America rhythms. Do they manage to deliver it to us? Yes, my friends, in the best possible way!!!! The trio metal-classical-folk music is here for good in a way only such talented musicians can produce. The most amazing thing is that they indeed manage to marriage all those different sounds and influences into a solid music style, that honestly proves that music is meant to be ONE! For those who are familiar with the Angra sound, I should say that the album is one step ahead of Holy Land, yet in the same direction. The difference here is that the sound is heavier, and I believe that Hugo has contributed the maximum towards that. Even Andre sings in a more aggressive way.

      It is quite difficult to describe Shaman's music to those who haven't heard anything from Angra.... Just imagine the perfect mixture of classical music with power metal, heavy guitars, and strong evidence of Latin rhythms with traditional percussions and various stringed instruments. We are talking about a musical orgy here!!! 10 songs/diamonds for our music, which makes our life difficult when trying to distinguish some of them. However I already found my psychoses in "For Tomorrow", "Over your Head" and "Blind Spell", but this is strongly unfair for the rest of the songs!

      I am sure that this record will become a beacon for the genre (and not only). And we truly need such releases to get us going. It is when you realize that things you've listened to recently were good, but so below the standards that the pioneers and the talented ones can set!

by Alex Savatianos 9/10