"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Shaman - "Origins" (CD)

Shaman - "Origins" CD cover image

"Origins" track listing:

1. Origins (The Day I Died)
2. Lethal Awakening
3. Inferno Veil
4. Ego Pt. 1
5. Ego Pt. 2
6. Finally Home
7. Rising Up To Life
8. No Mind
9. Blind Messiah
10. S.S.D. (Signed, Sealed And Delivered)

Reviewed by on April 26, 2011

"Mixing the rhythms of world music with the virtuosity of power metal creates a potent witches' brew of sounds on Shaman's 'Origins.'"

Mixing the rhythms of world music with the virtuosity of power metal creates a potent witches' brew of sounds on Shaman's "Origins." Sure, you'll get plenty of speedy solos and soaring falsettos, but they're often accompanied by a sense of rhythm — sometimes bordering on outright funk — that sets this Brazilian band apart from other power metal acts.

Thiago Bianchi's Steve Perry-ish vocals power many of the songs, with an impressive upper range that's as at home on rockers like "Inferno Veil" as it is on the quieter, but no less potent "S.S.D. (Signed Sealed And Delivered)." He's definitely got pipes to spare — sometimes going a little too far on the falsetto ("No Mind").

A power metal band is often only as good as its guitarist. In Leo Mancini, Shaman has found an ax-man excelling both in the areas of shredding (the mind-blowing intro to "Lethal Awakening, for example) and melody (the acoustic intro to "Blind Messiah"). He also manages to create a near-thrash sense of heaviness in parts of "Ego Pt. 2."

Ex-Angra drummer Ricardo Confessori has a much more groove-oriented style than many power metal skin-pounders (though the double-bass setup gets a fair workout here, as well). Much of the world music influence comes through in his drumming, particularly on tracks like "Finally Home" and "Inferno Veil."

On the downside, there are a couple of tracks that feel like filler, including the piano ballad "Rising Up To Life" and the aforementioned exercise in vocal excess "No Mind."

Providing a more rhythm-oriented experience, Shaman's "Origins" serves up plenty of the soaring vocals and shredding solos that will thrill power metal fans. It's little wonder the band is one of the biggest in Brazil these days.

Highs: "Lethal Awakening," "Ego Pt. 2" and "S.S.D. (Signed, Sealed And Delivered)"

Lows: A couple filler tracks, including "Rising Up To Life" and "No Mind."

Bottom line: An excellent brew of power metal and world music rhythms.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)