SHAMAN - REASON - AFM
When Angra split into two different units, Shaman (or Shaaman now apparently) seemed destined to be the lesser of the two. Although not really a surprise given the rubbish that was the latest Angra album, Shaman's new album is by far better than anything the mother-band is doing, more straightforward and a qualified good album in its own right.
Reason weighs in with a sound that can best be described as Iron Maiden-meets-Savatage. Way less ethnic and pretentious than Angra, the band still manages to leave one in an ambivalent mood given that solid moments are sadly back filled with the usual lame keyboards. The band has a good vocalist in Andre Matos. He can belt it out when he wants to while the guitarist delivers some decent solos, but the band's main staple is melody. Song after song delivers melodious and adventurous songs that are remarkably poppy at times and almost orchestral at others. The guitarist squeals and screeches on alternate songs, yet Shaman is not afraid to go the slow song route as early as the second song, Reason. The band is recommended for fans of melodic hard and heavy, but the qualifications need to be taken into consideration for the band is far from exemplary. - Ali "The Metallian"
SHAMAN - IMMORTAL - SCARLET
Shaman is a Brazilian band. Immortal features a new line-up, according to the band’s biography, which includes a new singer Thiago Bianchi. The band is classified as 'power metal' or 'progressive metal’ everywhere, but the CD’s cover art indicated something heavier and more brooding. In short, this girl had no idea what to expect from this band combination.
Shaman’s fourth album is pretty impressive. To start, the sound is so loud and powerful that every instrument is given maximum force and presence. Immortal demands to be heard on the max. The vocals of Bianchi are expressive and have a broad range. He can channel both pitch and rage into his delivery. It does not hurt that he has rich hair around him of course. The music does rock back and forth between metal and progressive with the heavy riffs adding a real whiff of metal and the keyboards and organs bringing it all down. The ethnic touches and Classical pieces detract to some extent, but this might be a trademark of Shaman’s. The band is not shy about mixing styles. My favourite part though are the solos which, take this, sound like George Lynch in his heydays. Leo Mancini is exciting to hear at work. More of these and less of the Dream Theater pieces would make this band even better, although whether that is the band’s overall sound needs better context than just one album. - Sheila Wes Det