Soaring solo debut – Time to be Free review

October 24, 2008

**** out of *****
Inevitably, during the breakup process, someone will bring out that tired cliché "it’s not you, it’s me". After high profile separations from both Angra and Shaman, bands he helped found, you have to think that cliché might be true of vocalist Andre Matos. Whatever the reasons for the splits, the results have largely been positive. Angra continued stronger than ever, Shaman regrouped and should do well, and Matos is able to launch a solo career with the appropriately-titled Time to Be Free.

Beyond a great vocal performance (seriously, nobody sounds quite like Andre Matos), I wasn’t sure what to expect from Time to Be Free. Would it be a return to Angra-style progressive power metal or closer to Shaman’s later, less-metallic rock sound? Fortunately (at least for this fan), Matos went with a very familiar melodic metal sound that incorporates elements of Holy Land as well as Ritual. Matos proves once again that he is as good a songwriter as he is a singer, offering some very memorable melodic metal songs with next to no filler (obligatory instrumental intro notwithstanding). The musicianship is perhaos not at the same level as Angra or Shaman, but it is still pretty impressive. I particularly enjoyed the atmospheric keyboards and blazing guitar solos. Top it off with that signature Sascha Paeth production and you’ve got an album that should please fans of Matos’s previous work.

If you’re already an Andre Matos fan, you probably already know this album is worth buying. If you enjoyed Matos’s work in Angra and Shaman, and are wondering if his solo material is up to par, I highly encourage you to give Time to Be Free a try. If you’re a fan of bands like Gamma Ray, Edguy, and Sonata Arctica but are unfamiliar with Andre Matos, then this album is a great way to remedy that situation.

NOTE: The Japanese import version of Time to Be Free includes a cover of the Journey hit Worlds Apart (Separate Ways) as a bonus track. It’s an impressive song, but is probably not worth the ridiculous cost of the imported disc. Hopefully the song will later be issued as a b-side to a single or otherwise made available to the general public.


About Janus

Janus Aureus is my recently-inaugurated personal blog (written in portuguese, but with some texts in english as well). Fiore Rouge is my old (but still very active - in fact, more than Janus :P) blog (I started it back in 2005). Mentalize is a fan-made website (since 2005). if you wish to contact me for any reason, visit my blog and leave a comment OR see email above (top left) - no, my name's not Andre - actually, I'm not even a guy! LOL Long story... O Janus Aureus é meu blog pessoal - escrito em português - ainda sem muito conteúdo, pois foi começado no final de dezembro de 2011. Já o Mentalize foi aberto em 2005 e está escrito em várias línguas *rs* Privilegio o uso do inglês ali porque o pessoal estrangeiro não tem muitas informações sobre o AM. Quem quiser entrar em contato comigo por qualquer motivo, deixe um comentário nos meus blogs ou use o email que está aí em cima à esquerda (e não, eu não sou o Andre - aliás, sou mulher!).

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