02. Letting Go
04. Remember Why
05. How Long (Unleashed Away)
06. Looking Back
07. Face The End
08. Time To Be Free
10. A New Moonlight
12. Separate Ways (Words Apart) [Japanese bonus][Journey cover]
In October 2006, the Brazilian combo known as Shaman split on musical differences. Leaving longtime drummer Ricardo Confessori to his Progressive Metal ways, the remainder of the band formed the Andre Matos band to continue their epic Power Metal journey that started with the band Angra in the early 1990s.
First off, despite the band name it would be unfair to refer to this band as a solo career for charismatic singer/pianist/composer Andre Matos. Seconded by the two Mariutti brothers (Luis on bass & Hugo on guitars) as was the case in Shaman, and enrolling the help of the first Angra guitar player Andres "Zaza" Hernandes to provide thrust, Andre Matos also included longtime friend Fabio Ribeiro as full-time keyboard player. To complete the lineup, the band made a surprising move in announcing Eloy Casagrande as their drummer. Indeed, this prodigy was 16 years old when joining the band!
Musically, Time To Be Free is in pure Andre’ style. A little bit of classical inspiration here and there, a little bit of folk elements at times and a whole lot of Power Metal. Produced by his renowned friends Sascha Paeth and Roy Z, the album has this standard German Power production that makes Time To Be Free very close to anything that a band like Edguy put out recently, not to mention the similarities between Andre’s and Tobias’ voices. And just to confuse us even more, guess who is helping out with the vocals? If I am not mistaken, it is indeed Mr. Tobias Sammet himself. Those two are always a fantastic duo; check out ‘How Long (Unleashed Away)’ and tell me it is not close to magic.
One nice surprise on this record is the Journey cover ‘Separate Ways’, of which they made a cool different version without killing the vibe of it all. Of course, this is the Japanese bonus track, so if you do buy this album, be sure to go for the high-end product.
The other nice feature is the very classical composition called ‘A New Moonlight’, which is – as you already guessed – a variation of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’. It is not the first time Andre uses this theme in his work. Go back and listen to olden Angra albums and you’ll know what I mean.
So, by now you’ve figured out that this record is all about Power Metal at its best and lots of it. Correct, epic and well done it is but unfortunately rather expected most of the time. And that is the major drawback of this album; everything seems so calculated, so formulated. You already know that you will get the somewhat sappy ballad in there somewhere, the classical intro, the punch-out opener along with the standard vocals and the killer guitar riffs. So, if you really love Power Metal, do not falter to grab this record blindly as it is a very good album for the style. Now, if Edguy, Gamma Ray and the likes turn you off, avoid this album and maybe take a listen at what Angra and Shaman are doing with a more Progressive Metal sound.
|Band profile:||Andre Matos|
|Album:||Time To Be Free|
written by Demonic Tutor | published 08.03.2008