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Review: Shaman - Immortal

Label: Scarlet Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 49:01
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: December 30, 2008
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (9 Votes)

When Andre Matos left and took half of Angra with him in 2000 the band Shaman came to being, quickly hiring guitarist Hugo Mariutti they had their line up and released the stellar Ritual in 2002. After 2005's Reason Shaman went on a break, during which all but sticks-man Ricardo Confessori left Shaman and it was believed the band was no more. Lucky for us however that wasn't so, as Ricardo managed to secure a new line up consisting of singer Thiago Bianchi, axe-slinger Léo Mancini, and bass player Fernando Quesada.

History lesson aside, let's get to the all important point here, the music. Let me be the first to tell you that this album is fantastic. We all know Andre Matos is an incredible vocalist and certainly a big pair of boots to fill, but Thiago Bianchi more than fills those boots. This guy is incredible, boasting such a diverse range with power and conviction to spare. A good track to check out this guy's pipes has to be "Trial by Blood" and "Immortal"- incredible stuff. After the throw away intro track, the awesome "Inside Chains" rages out and this track slays, fast, wild, and heavy; veterans of the scene take note of this because Shaman take no prisoners on "Immortal". Best of all however, is that starting on such a high you'd expect this album to dip in quality towards the middle/end end. Not a chance here the best "Immortal" has to offer is from this point on. "One Life" is awesome Angra worship - very impressive, "Strength" flies into your speaker with some of the best fret-work I've heard in a long while and continues to own throughout. "Never Yield"is probably the best track this album has to offer with some quality riffage and some of the finest drumming you will hear in Power Metal, Ricardo Confessori really takes names on this record.

Sadly, album closer "The Yellow Brick Road" is the weakest track here. Seeing its 8 minute run time I was expecting an epic but we just got a prolonged ballad which between 3.44 and 5.49 dips into almost silence and when the sound comes back into the fore we have some nice forest sounding music, but I feel this track could easily have been trimmed down to around five minutes. Minor gripe aside, this is as good a Power Metal album as you could hope for, which I can gladly recommend to fans of acts such as Angra, Labyrinth, Alkemyst or Vision Divine.

Stand Out Tracks: "Trial by Blood", "Strength", "Freedom", and "Never Yield!"

Other related information on the site
Review: Immortal (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Origins (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Reason (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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