LABEL: Scarlet Records/Audioglobe
After the good response of the previous album Immortal, Ricardo Confessori‘s Shaman come back to double the success with this new Origins. I have to admit I was really curious to listen to this new album since I really loved “Immortal” and the new course of the brazilian band. One of the few bad things about the last “Immortal” was its lenght, because in my opinion it last not so much and I recognized a lot of good ideas and atmospheres so I wanted more songs and more music. Seriously I got this new album with a big big smile and after a lot of listening I’m here to write something.
First of all the new Shaman line up confirms to be absolutely good and very well skilled so in this album you will find a perfect musical performance and the writing path is the same of the previous Immortal.
Thiago Bianchi, the new singer, confirms to be an incredible screamer able to change easily from incredibly high pitched clean vocals to medium and angry ones while there are not so many words to spend for the powerful and precise drumming of Ricardo Confessori. In this album, as the previous one, Confessori choses a more direct and power metal oriented style, differently from what he plays in Angra…yes, Angra his other band…but we will tell something about this further…
This album was released on 15th of May 2009 so this review won’t tell you anything you don’t know about it yet… in case you are a supporter of Strato!
After Tolkki‘s departure from the band, its future was uncertain for many reasons and after a period of press releases, the band decided to go on, hiring a new guitar player, Matias Kupiainen.
So, what about Polaris? Well, it’s always difficult to separate reason from heart and if you love Stratovarius like me, it’s more difficult… maybe it’s an impossible task, so for sure my words will be influenced by this.
First of all I found Polaris a well produced album, a very nice come back for the Finnish band starting from the very interesting cover artwork to reach the audio production. Sounds are clear, powerful as the band used to be in its history and the technical skills of the musicians are out of the question.
The album starts with the first single Deep Unknown, where we can notice the virtuoso duo Johansson-Kupiainen and the very catchy vocal melodies. This song is somehow surprising but we will talk about it in a little while. The second track called Falling Star is a mid tempo which reminded me of their other song A Million Light Years Away for its mood and for some of the arrangements. After this one it’s time for a more slow, King of Nothing, song that combine the old Strato’s elements from albums like Fourth Dimension or Dreamspace to their new musical direction. Also the lyrical themes seem to be quite darker while Kotipelto‘s vocal lines are less extreme high pitched than before. A classical harpsichord introduces the next song and Strato geso back to a very fast song called Blind.
The rhythmic section made by the bassist Lauri Porra and by a German drummer Jorg Michael is fast, powerful and very very precise without to insist on useless technicism.
01. Viderunt Te Aquæ
02. Arising Thunder
03. Awake From Darkness
04. Lease Of Life
05. The Rage Of The Waters
06. Spirit Of The Air
08. Monster In Her Eyes
09. Weakness Of A Man
I listened many times to the new Angra‘s album Aqua, but since the very first notes I knew, it was the special CD, they need to open a new chapter in their careers. Well, truly I can’t say that the three “new lineup” album were bad and this could sound obvious due to the exceptional skills of the five brazilian musicians but something was missing.
I can remember well the first time I listened to their Angel Cry and Holy Land albums and more than the great music there was something magic! Something quite exotic that made me stuck listening those songs in a special mood. Something that, in my opinion, was lacking in the last three albums. Maybe it’s the coming back of Ricardo Confessori at the drums or the time spent to recharge their “batteries” but AQUA it’s for sure a very, very good album!
This new chapter starts with a short intro (to be honest this is probably the only thing I didn’t like too much) called “VIDERUNT TE AQUAE” and then it’s time to rock with the first song released by Angra to promote AQUA, “ARISING THUNDER”: a very fast double bass song with an amazing guitarwork and a killer chorus. Something at the very beginning of the song reminded me the masterpiece “CARRY ON”. Let’s say that I liked a lot the drumming of Aquiles Priester but it was sometimes too “cold”, while the amazing job of Confessori gives an higher latin “touch” to the songs of AQUA.