Shaman - Reason 3/5

Reviewed: 6-17-05





Tracklist:

1. Turn away
2. Reason
3. More
4. Innocence
5. Scarred forever
6. In the night
7. Rough stone
8. Iron soul
9. Trail of tears
10. Born to be


Shaman has continued down the path of their previous (debut) CD. 'Reason' is similar in style to its predecessor being closer to straight rock than the more metallic Angra sound from where the band was started. The songs and the vocals are in the forefront of this band with the rest of the band being mostly accompaniment. While this band is very much worthy of Matos' voice and his efforts, the sound does miss having creative band members like he used to with Angra.

The songwriting on this CD is good but certainly no more than that. There is one fantastic track, the power ballad “Innocence”, which is as good a track as you’ll ever hear; melodic, emotional, powerful, this track has it all. The opening track, “Turn away” is very good and “Trail of tears” is good, recalling the Angra ‘Fireworks’ sound somewhat. Unfortunately most of the rest of the songs are just average. They’re enjoyable to listen to, but not memorable in any way. There is something about this CD which rescues it, though, and that is Matos’ voice. As with the previous Shaman CD, Matos never goes for the very high notes anymore. Maybe this is his choice or maybe he simply can’t hit those notes anymore. Regardless, he stays in the lower registers of his previous range and sounds terrific. Meaty, powerful, restrained and emotional are words that come to mind when listening to his singing. His technique is excellent and he brings the listener into every track with his voice that is filled with personality.

Overall, it is difficult to give this CD a rating above good, although it would be nice to be able to. The CD is filled with style and grace; it features excellent singing, worthy playing and restrained, but noticeable, orchestration. However the songwriting is mostly just average to a little above average. This is surprising given the quality of the songwriting in his days with Angra and the contributions I thought he made to that songwriting. 'Reason' is still very much a recommended CD for its general feeling, solid songwriting and exceptional singing. Unfortunately, the songwriting quality needs to be moved up a notch for Shaman to make the great CD of which I am convinced they are capable.



DAVID




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