|Review: Andre Matos - Mentalize|
Year released: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: October 15, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
It's been a jam-packed year for Angra fans, what with the new Shaman, the new one from Angra themselves, and now this, the sophomore solo record from the band's legendary ex-singer, Andre Matos. But don't be fooled by the ghastly artwork, my friends. This is a top-notch collection of soothing melodic gems that will appeal to absolutely any Power Metal aficionado.
Being familiar with Angra and the projects they have spawned, you should know what to expect from Mentalize. Matos has always had one of the best voices in the genre, and here he pushes himself to new emotional plateaus. There ain't a lot of testicle-squeezing falsetto like on Angra's early albums; no, this is more along the lines of Fireworks and even the first Shaman album. Things here are catchy, sweet, and pleasurable, with plenty of riffs and solos to keep the metal tag, but also a whole jumble of hooks, provided by Matos and his backing choirs. At times, Mentalize sounds exactly like modern Edguy, and the Sascha Paeth production job lends to this comparison; but there are more double-kicked tracks and generally, more nineties Power Metal here than with new Edguy (or Angra, come to think of it).
Despite being a touch long (and having one more ballad than I'd liked), this has some great tunes to be heard. Sweeping opener "Leading On" is one of the best songs Matos has ever written, and the catchy "Shift The Night Away" will be bouncing about your skull for weeks. Elsewhere, the title track is heavier and more vicious, and closer "Powerstream" wraps up everything Matos has to offer, with his back-up band turning in a performance that would even wipe the grin from Almah's faces. To sum up, if you were disappointed by the latest Angra, I can guarantee you'll find solace in Mentalize. All other Power Metallers should get in line anyway; this is one of the year's better releases.
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