Released: 2010, AFM
Along with Angra and Viper, Shaman is one of Brazil’s most popular Power Metal bands, with Soulspell and Hibria not far behind. Considering the nature of this site and the scale of popularity of the band, I’m a bit surprised this is the first Shaman review for Metal-Rules. It’s my pleasure to be the first to speak about this band on behalf of the site.
ORIGINS is album # 4 for the guys and it’s fantastic. The band has a bit of a convoluted history, evolving out of Angra 10 years ago and many members coming and going (Including Andre Matos) until the one mainstay Ricardo Confessori, the drummer, is the only original member left. At least they have had the stability of AFM Records backing them over the decade.
The bands 2002 debut RITUAL was fantastic. The next two studio albums (REASON, ’05 and IMMORTAL, ’07) I didn’t feel they were as quite up to par, but ORIGINS to my ears is a raging comeback. Many of the features I find most enjoyable in Metal are all present here in quantity and quality.
It is a bit of a concept album loosely about the history of Shamanism and a young mans experiences in Mother Russia. Musically it is a full-on pure Euro-Brazilian Power Metal album with hints of prog as well. The lead off track, ‘Lethal Awakening’ is just that, likely the fastest and heaviest song Shaman has done. Vocalist Thiago is as every bit as talented as Matos, hitting the high notes with clarity and ease. Some might be turned off by his lack of range or bottom end but he blends well with the classic sound. There is lots of guitar, acoustic and electric playing off of each other. Synthesizers bring lots of depth to the songs like at the beginning of ‘Inferno Veil’ but never overpowering the guitars which blaze and shine. The songs are interesting and well-composed, not just verse- chorus-verse-chorus formats. The whole albums clips along at a fast pace, lots of great drumming (double-kick and otherwise) as to be expected in a band run by a drummer. The final track is a haunting and beautiful piece with acoustic guitar work, synthesizers and some tubular bells all laced with some sound effects.
ORIGINS is the bands heaviest, most mature, dynamic and in-depth album to date. Although Confessori is back in Angra after a decade hiatus, I hope he doesn’t let this fantastic band, that is just hitting their stride, fall by the wayside.