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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


RITUAL (2002)
320 KBPS

Yes this one is as good as advertised.I hesitated in getting this one for a long time mainly because i'm not the biggest ANGRA fan and SHAMAN features ANGRA's former vocalist,drummer and bass player who all left to form this band.By the way they added the bass players brother to play lead guitar. "Ritual" is their debut album and by far their best.Many guests including Derek Sherinian offering up a solo on one track.I have to say that Andre's vocals never sounded so good.And the album cover and liner notes are all done so well.A very impressive package all around. "Ancient Winds" opens with a haunting atmosphere as heavy drums and orchestral movements also fill out the sound. "Here I Am" is where they let their hair down and let their intensions be known.An all out assault ! Vocals a minute in.I like the section after 3 1/2 minutes as vocal melodies come in followed by a ripping guitar solo.Big finish. "Distant Thunder" opens with thunder and the sound of a horse then a wolf's howl.Enter the music. Great beat followed by vocals and a crunchy sound. Love the passion of his vocals on the chorus. The guitar lights it up after 3 minutes then it settles with piano.It kicks back in late. "For Tomorrow" opens with what sounds like acoustic guitar,percussion and flute.Strummed guitar takes over as reserved guest vocals come in.It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes.Hell ya! Andre comes in vocally with passion as the guitar makes some noise.Great vocal display 4 minutes in as drums pound relentlessly.Guitar then follows with a cool solo. It ends in a heavenly manner. "Time Will Come" opens with atmosphere and piano.It kicks in before a minute.Nice.Vocals follow.This song sounds so good.Blistering guitar 4 minutes in. "Over Your Head" opens with children's voice samples before it kicks in heavily.It settles quickly as vocals arrive.It kicks back in as contrasts continue.An ethnic flavour before 3 1/2 minutes.Check out the keyboard solo that follows from Sherinian! Great track! "Fairy Tale" is my favourite. It opens with female soprano vocals as piano comes in beautifully.Reserved male vocals follow.Such a moving section. It kicks in before 2 minutes with female backing vocals.Themes are repeated.Simply a breath-taking tune. "Blind Spell" opens IRON MAIDEN-like before settling in with vocals.A nice heavy section before 2 1/2 minutes as guitar and synths follow. "Ritual" sounds so good to open with those synths.Drums and vocals follow.This is a blast! Synths are back before 2 1/2 minutes then the guitar lights it up.Blistering guitar after 4 minutes. "Pride" hits us with a stampede of drums quickly with vocals.Killer sound.Nice bass before 3 minutes then the guitar torches the soundscape. If your into Power-Metal with a twist you need to check this out. This will go down as Andre Matos' legacy.

1. Ancient Winds
2. Here I Am
3. Distant Thunder
4. For Tomorrow
5. Time Will Come
6. Over Your Head
7. Fairy Tale
8. Blind Spell
9. Ritual
10. Pride

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