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Matraz - Gritaré CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.19 | 84 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
5 stars More than progressive metal

Matraz is a relatively obscure progressive metal band hailing from Chile. They have existed for some time, formed in the late 90s. However, after their first album Tiempo in 2001, their lead singer left the band, and the band spent 3 years finding a new singer, the talented female singer Loreta Chaparro, and recording their second studio album Gritare, which was released in 2004. Now the presence of a female singer in a progressive metal band may seem odd and out of place to the common listener - and it is one of the many quirks and interesting aspects of this Chilean quintet that makes the band truly special. As a progressive metal band, a Dream Theater influence can also be expected, and is present. However, the band has a distinct and signature flavor that they have effortlessly weaved into their music - jazz. And before the jazz purists spit out their coffee and scream that jazz metal doesn't exist, you must listen to this album. The seven track album is a beautiful display of the harmony between the two contradictory genres of metal and jazz, and the band has truly made a gem of an album with this effort. Mending melody and intensity without effort, virtuosity and emotion without pause, and metal and jazz with delight, this album truly is more than progressive metal.

The album's opener, the title track, is a fantastic summary of what the listener will find on the album. The song opens with a very typical progressive metal passage - guitar riffs, synth backgrounds, and a steady, mechanical drum and bass line. However, the song soon breaks into a melodious harmony of jazzy piano chords, clean guitar soloing, and the characteristic female vocals that give this album such a wonderful charm. The song has a fantastic dynamic permeating it, switching frequently between metallic sections and jazz sections, all coming together in a beautiful blur of genius progressive metal. This format is much the same for the rest of the album, with beautiful guitar and piano lines complementing bass lines, both of the fretted and fretless kind, and a fantastic dynamic between progressive metal and jazz rock.

But of course the entire album is not one monotonous style or theme repeated over and over. The album's varying feels and emotions send the listener on a joyous ride of well- crafted compositions and diverse styles. The instrumentation is crisp and well-practiced, taking from the technicality of progressive metal, but it is also gentle, meticulously placed, and free-flowing, taking from the fluidity of jazz. The music is calming and soothing as well as exciting and exhilarating. But the album isn't just a nice jazz record. It has its kick ass metal songs, with some pretty great riffs and epic instrumental sections to boot.

In a lot of today's cut and dry "progressive metal," it's hard to find a true masterpiece. Either the band is simply trying to copy Dream Theater, are fantastic musicians but terrible composers, or just don't know what they're doing in the music business. However, every once in a while I'm able to find a truly exemplary group of musicians. Either they really know what they're doing in all aspects of the music they play, they have an uncanny knack for writing good songs, or they have a really fantastic sound that's unique and well unutilized. Matraz have done it all. The five musicians are all wonderful instrumentalists (or a wonderful singer), their songs have a catchy and well-composed edge, and their sound is unique in much of today's progressive metal. The album is well produced, composed, arranged, and presented. Matraz have truly blown me away with this effort. I've become much more conservative of my 5 star ratings over the past few months, but I can easily say this album is a definite masterpiece of progressive metal. 5 stars.

Andy Webb | 5/5 |


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