Shaman - Ritual

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Lucretia Records
Catalog Number: LU20022-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:37:00

Andre Matos, Lu?s Mariutti and Ricardo Confessori, formerly of Angra, are back together once again, and the end product is Ritual. There is no doubt that there is a strong Angra influence, and why not, I guess. With the addition of guitar player Hugo Mariutti, Shaman became a reality, and this album is a reality that many Matos-era fans have been waiting for an extremely long time. No matter how popular these guys are because of their resume, this is a debut album, and a very good one at that.

Hearing Andre sing again is a good thing in my book, though I know others would complain. Yet, it's especially amazing to hear him on the keyboards once again. His compositions on the keys are really something I miss on Rebirth-era Angra. As far as comparisons go, think of Ritual as a mix between the power metal/metal edgings of Angel's Cry and the symphonic, groove-written Holy Land. Though I don't think it's as good as Holy Land, which has always been my favourite Angra album. Sometimes the music falls too much towards the driving double bass style, but I guess that comes with the territory. Andre's vocals are good, though slightly raspier than before, but he has been singing for awhile now. And, the originality factor is not at a new bar. Yet, with all these criticisms, what I can see is that this CD is truly for the fans, and it succeeds brilliantly for that fact.

For one thing, Shaman knows how to write catchy songs, listen to the choruses. Still, what makes them stand above any other catchy band is that most of the verse lines are very well done. Some bands just sneak through the verse lines to hit the chorus, but not Shaman, and more importantly, not Matos. Again, I've always loved his keyboard melodies, and I'm not disappointed here, particularly on some of the slow parts. Of course, there are the attention structured symphonic created sections that go together well with the heavy guitar riffs and the tight rhythm section, but there are some terrific idle parts, like the one at the beginning of "Time Will Come," that truly create a certain diversification when they appear.

I first thought that I would break out Holy Land and try to do an in-depth comparison, but Ritual can stand without that. I also was thinking of comparing it with Rebirth, but there is no really no purpose in doing that. With highlighting tracks like the powerful "Time Will Come," the slow yet caressing "Fairy Tale," the capturing "Distant Thunder," the uplifting "Blind Spell," and the well derived "Ritual," this album is worth more than just a look, especially if you are a fan of Angra, both eras. The only song I didn't care for much is the final one, "Pride," and that is probably because it's the most straight ahead power metal one of them all. Whatever the case, this CD does its job for the fans and more, but will this group stay more than a project? Hopefully, they will. I'm most likely stuck to giving this CD an eight for now, which is pretty darn high for me, but that is mostly to keep unbiased in any way. Fans of Angra, especially the Matos era, would probably look at this as a 9 or 10, or even go as far as giving it an 11; so, the rating is really yours. I just know that many of you out there will enjoy this piece of work.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Ancient Winds (3:16) / Here I Am (5:56) / Distant Thunder (6:22) / For Tomorrow (6:47) / Time Will Come (5:32) / Over Your Head (6:37) / Fairy Tale (6:56) / Blind Spell (4:34) / Ritual (6:37) / Pride (4:11)

Andre Matos - vocals, keyboards
Hugo Mariutti - guitars
Luis Mariutti - bass
Ricardo Confessori - drums


Fabio Ribeiro - keyboards Tobias Sammet - vocals (10)
Derek Sherinian - keyboards
Sascha Paeth - guitars (10)
Miro - keyboards
Marcus Vianna - violin (6)

The Ritual (2002)
RituAlive (2003)
Reason (2005)
Immortal (2007)

RituAlive (DVD) (2003)
Anime Alive 2008 (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin BR

Added: January 23rd 2005
Reviewer: Shawn "Zero Hour" Lakhani
Artist website:
Hits: 439
Language: english


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