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Matraz - Tiempo CD (album) cover



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erik neuteboom
4 stars This is the debut CD from the Chilean five piece band Matraz, released in 2001. The title and cover picture refers to the four tracks that represent parts of the day between night and day.

1. Amanecer (10:41) : After a spacey keyboard-intro, the music continues with beautiful, often sparkling piano play and strong Spanish vocals. Then a slow rhythm and howling guitar developes into a bombastic progmetal climate featuring powerful metal- riffs, propulsive drums and blistering electric guitar soli. This progmetal inspired sound is blended with exciting piano and synthesizer runs, very exciting music!

2. Mañana (11:43) : The first part is build upon compelling interplay between marimba and piano, then a mid-tempo, heavy guitar and sparkling piano. The climates alternate from mellow with marimba and Spanish vocals to bombastic delivering exciting spectacular soli on synthesizer and guitar and splendid interplay between classical inspired piano and propulsive metal- riffs, GREAT!

3. Atardecer (4:33) : This is a dreamy piece with melancholical vocals, guitar and strings, a very pleasant atmosphere to relax after all that bombastic stuff.

4. Noche (13:11) : The final track is very alternating, from spacey with soaring keyboards and mellow with tender piano and acoustic guitar to heavy and bombastic featuring powerful and dynamic drums and again great interplay between guitar and piano.


Report this review (#55082)
Posted Monday, November 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Before achieving recognition with their impressive sophomore album "Gritaré", Chilean band Matraz were already making good almost completely instrumental music as a quartet. Their debut album "Tiempo" had been originally released in 1999, but only a few years later would it resurface as a Mylodon item. "Tiempo" is a sort of concept album based on the periods of the day: the few lyrics ar eexcerpted from Gabriela Mistral's poems that describe the emotions inherent to the dawn ('Aamancer'), the morning ('Mañana'), the portion from afternoon to evening ('Atardecer') and the night ('Noche'). Yes and ELP are featured classic prog references, but this band also included many hints to prog metal standards as well as to jazz-fusion and gracious neo-prog nuances. The constant interaction between Diego Burto's keyboards and Claudio Cordero's guitars elegantly enhance the intense dexterity of the more bombastic passages and the eerie magic of the clamer ones. The rhythm duo is more than capable to keep up with the various tones and shifts that come all the way through. Tracks 1, 2 & 4 are all well ensembled progressive suites in which the band clearly states their multifaceted vision: in this way, 'Aamancer' opens up the album in a very characteristic manner. The versatility and pomposity demanded by the compositional ideas are handled by al lfour musicians with skill and taste, comprising the diverse musical sources in 10 to 13 minutes spans with confidence. Arguably, things are not always as cohesive as they should, and sometimes th eband seems to be happy indulging itself into roads of sonic excess, but most of the times the flow of ideas turns out to be set in a fluid amalgam. My favourite suite is the second one, 'Mañana', which kick off with a gentle duo of piano and tuned percussion until the train of progressive thought incarnated in sonic diversity is solidly delivered by the full ensemble. The harder side of Matraz is always present in places, but it is in the last suite 'Noche' that this side is more robustly exploited. The epilogue to 'Noche' is a reprise of the first tracks's initial motif: obviously, an allusion to the cyclical nature of the day. The only short track is the ballas 'Atardecer', based on dreamy chord progressions on electric-acoustic guitar, while bassits Inti Oyarzún sings his lines as exorcising the ghosts of nostalgia. This piece is an oasis of surreal beauty among cathedrals of ambitious music. Despite not being as cohesive in terms of composition and sound as the acclaimed follow-up album "Gritaré", "Tiempo" is a testimony of a band that was born wit han already mature musical vision: a vision of vintage progressive dreams within a renewed and refreshening format.
Report this review (#101554)
Posted Monday, December 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I agree with Hibou that this band is far more than just a Metal band. In fact the bass and drums often lead the way and there is probably more piano and synth work than lead guitar.There are good male Spanish vocals, but they are few and far between.

"Amanecer" opens with waves of synths rolling in before the vocals arrive a minute in followed by some beautiful piano melodies. 3 minutes in the song changes as drums and guitar come in with riffs and synths to follow. We're really cooking 5 1/2 minutes in as we are hit hard, fast and heavily. The song does lighten as piano comes back with light drums. Vocals return before the song ends. That was 8 minutes of instrumental work between vocals.

"Manana" opens with an airy soundscape of vibes, piano and percussion. It changes 3 minutes in with some good bass and drums with vocals and piano joining in a minute later. This has a heavy beat before the song calms down 8 minutes in as vocals come back. A fantastic sound 9 minutes in as drums are pounded with fury. "Atardecer" is the shortest tune with gentle guitar to open. The tempo speeds up and the vocals sound great. "Noche" opens with bass and drums that turn nice and heavy as the tempo shifts. Vocals 2 minutes in as bass,drums and synths fill out the sound 3 1/2 minutes in. It calms right down a minute later before it blasts off again with a great heavy sound. It settles back down before it ends.

Another excellent record from Chile with lots of tempo changes and heaviness. My kind of music.

Report this review (#134368)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is another excellent example of the ever-growing prog/fusion metal secene in Chile with bands like MATRAZ or OCTOPUS delivering some great musicianship full of great personal ideas.And this is also a very good proof that a prog metal band can also be influenced by ethnic music and early progressive rock and not only by prog metal giants like DREAM THEATER or FATES WARNING or I don't know which band.MATRAZ is band consisting of four great musicians and their debut ''Tiempo'' lasts just over 40 minutes with three over 10 min. tracks and one shorter...

The beginning of the album belongs to ''Amanecer''.Amazing electronic keyboard intro does the start followed by some vocals and music built up on piano and then the music takes off with prog metal musicianship very close to DREAM THEATER's ''Train of thought'' but more balanced between the instruments.Nice start...Almost the same concept is what we meet on ''Manana''.Amazing start with marimba/piano interplay,a sound that reminds me of the cleverness in GENTLE GIANT's works,followed by somevocals again and the the track begins to get heavier.This time the sound is closer to SYMPHONY X's works or DREAM THEATER's awake,a more proressive/epic sound and a nice atmospheric closing with piano and vocals...''Atardecer'' is the shortest track of all,a very atmospheric track dominated by smooth spacey guitar play and background vocalization,creating an almost avant-garde atmosphere.The track seems to function as an intro to the heavier ''Noche''...Fricking complex bass lines and heavy guitar work is the starting point here followed by almost folkish/ethnic vocals and an avant-garde atmosphere in CABEZAS DE CERA style.Before the middle of the track the familiar ultra heavy fusion style of the band returns followed again by a sort of break with church bells and vocalization.The track closes exactly how the whole story begun,with spacey electronic keyboards...

I think this work by MATRAZ will leave everyone satisfied,from the 70's early progressive rock fan to the demanding tech/extreme metal lover due to the great mixing of music styles ans sounds...MATRAZ are a band to watch and deserve your attention undoubtfully...4 solid marimbas!

Report this review (#187813)
Posted Monday, November 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 really

Matraz was one of the most intresting prog jazz metal bands ever coming from Chile. From the beggining on their first album released in 2001 named Tiempo they manage to combin in a good manner prog metal elements with jazzy interplays, the result is quite great most of the time. Quirky , complex arrangements meets more melodic lines, makes from this first album a real keeper for sure. Very nice instrumental passahes, where the keyboards goes very well with the rest, very much in vein of LTE or bands similar from this filed. very nice the voice here of Inti Oyarzun . So, definetly a band and album to be checked in same level with their next and final one.

Report this review (#897256)
Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013 | Review Permalink

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