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Andre Matos - 'The Turn Of The Lights' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ec/48/d5/3294_andrematostheturnofthelights_1360891824.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 15, 2013    
 
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Certainly his best solo set to date.

Without doubt one of the defining voices responsible for keeping the flamboyant power metal scene alive in the harshly inhospitable environment that prevailed through much of the first half of the 90’s, Andre Matos will forever be owed a debt of gratitude by those of us who still cared enough to raise a middle digit to the checked shirt brigade. Primarily known as the voice behind Brazilian symphonic power metal demigods Angra (although he’s been out of the band for more than a decade now), his kerosene fuelled, sky skimming vocal gymnastics have been an inspiration to a whole new generation of power metal screamers, although in reality very few of those that followed have ever gotten close (much like Michael Kiske).

After a parting of the ways with his post Angra outfit Shaman back in 2005, Matos has pursued a solo career which has thus far produced a brace of rather eclectic albums. Now, after an all too brief dalliance with the brilliant but fatally flawed Symfonia, Matos hits the solo trail once again with his third offering ‘The Turn Of The Lights’. Now, even back in the Angra days you got the unerring impression that Matos was as much inspired by theatrical melodrama as he was by Helloweenesque power metal – check out their much admired ‘Holy Land’ effort from ’96 and you’ll see exactly what I mean – and since he’s become master of his own destiny, that side of his character has been allowed the full creative freedom to lead him were it will.

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Consequently, anyone just checking in hoping to hear that ‘The Turn Of The Lights’ is an identikit Angra by numbers is going to be shocked/disappointed to hear that it’s anything but. Sure there are elements that can be traced back to Angra – after all, Matos was an integral part of shaping their sound in the early days – but the sophisticated, broiling assortment of moods and sounds (some metal, others more in keeping with his own cultural background) employed on this release is by design far removed from his former employers.

Moody, electric, melodramatic, contradictory, questioning … all valid adjectives that apply in equal measure to the corpus of work herein, yet all hardly denting the surface when beginning to describe the kaleidoscopic maelstrom of sounds conveyed by the likes of ‘Course Of Life’, ‘On Your Own’ or ‘Oversoul’. With its progressive time changes and dynamically charged emotions it’s not the easiest of listens, but stick with it because it’ll soon become readily apparent that it’s certainly his best solo set to date.

Dave Cockett

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