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March 2002
Released: 2001, SPV
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Andre Matos (Ex-Angra, now Shaman) and Sascha Paeth (Ex-Heaven’s Gate) have collaborated to produce a very, fine disc. Understated and elegant, this CD is a real treat for fans of rock music. You will notice I did not say “Metal”. Be warned this CD is not metal, but it is classical melodic rock of the highest caliber.

Virgo, named after the two founding members zodiac signs, provides 11cuts (and a bonus CD-R live track) of pure rock heaven. This thing oozes class and style. There are so many diverse elements and style that are all drawn seamlessly together. On the songs you will hear rock, pop, soul, jazz, acoustic guitar, classical and rare bursts of speed, and some electronic dabbling on so on. I know many of us would normally recoil in horror at the thought of Paeth dabbling with electronics but somehow it works. Some mixed bag CD’s have one song that sounds one way, another that sounds another way giving the CD a disjointed feel. Not so with Virgo, each tunes has the stamp of Matos and Paeth all over it from vocals to composition to production. The “band” is rounded out by three studio dudes, including Miro on keyboards.

This CD will appeal to fans of the two aforementioned founders will delight in this laidback exercise in artistic expression. Others who like Angra and Heaven’s Gate for the metal experience but don’t enjoy Queen like harmonies or piano laced balladry, would be well advised to avoid this CD. In fact really only two tunes can be defined as hard rock, Baby Doll and Blowing Away.

I am a metal-head and proud of it but I can recognize talent and quality when I see it, even it does fall outside the realm of my commonly preferred listening. What I am trying to say without sounding condescending or pretentious, if you are a more sophisticated fan who likes music, for music’s sake, namely composition, arrangements, harmony, melody and unique sounds then grab this CD. Die-hard metallions beware, music fans delight!
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