Ex-Angra vocalist Andre Matos (also Viper and Shaaman) has released his first solo work ‘Time To Be Free.’ Without doubt, Mr. Matos is in fine form. On the album, Matos has been helped by heavy weights Roy Z and Sascha Paeth, along with some members of Shaaman. This classic power metal with trends towards the classic and progressive fields. As a first work, ‘Time To Be Free’ is a significant accomplishment for a first solo performance.
The single thing that attracted me to this album and the desire to review it was the bonus track ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).’ Is this the famous Journey song? Indeed, it is. It’s hard to beat the original recording, yet I was quite impressed by Matos’s version: a little harder, faster, and a little more unassured on his part. This is a classic melodic hard rock song that is hard to duplicate. But Matos and company does it well. Mr. Matos has the vocal skills to accomplish such a work.
As for the rest of ‘Time To Be Free,’ there are some great melodic metal songs on this work. ‘Letting Go’ is both atmospheric and powerful. ‘Rio’ has some astonishing guitar work mixed with rhythmic power and great vocals. It’s like Tobi Sammet and Edguy on speed. ‘How Long’ defines power metal: great vocals, guitar and pace. The title track combines symphony and melody to produce a sweeping metal work. My favorite cut on the whole work has to be ‘Remember Why:’ it rampages along with great speed, the guitar simply kills, and Matos is, well frankly, brilliant.
If you love power metal and the great voice of Andre Matos, then ‘Time To Be Free’ is a definite buy. This has everything you want: a powerful and enthusiastic vocal performance, stunning guitar, a substantial rhythm section and excellent production. Highly recommended!
– Craig Hartranft