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Shaman Ritual album cover
4.13 | 106 ratings | 6 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ancient Winds (3:16)
2. Here I Am (5:56)
3. Distant Thunder (6:22)
4. For Tomorrow (6:47)
5. Time Will Come (5:32)
6. Over Your Head (6:37)
7. Fairy Tale (6:56)
8. Blind Spell (4:34)
9. Ritual (6:37)
10. Pride (4:11)

Total Time 56:48

Line-up / Musicians

- André Matos / vocals, piano, keyboards, arrangements
- Hugo Mariutti / guitar, keyboards
- Luis Mariutti / bass
- Ricardo Confessori / drums, keyboards, congas & timbales (8)

- Tobias Sammet / co-lead (10) & backing vocals
- Rannveig Sif Sigurdardottir / vocals (2,7)
- Sascha Paeth / acoustic (4,7) & lead (10) guitars, co-producer
- Ademar Farinha / acoustic guitar & quena, sampona, charango & bombo (4)
- Claudia Lemos / acoustic guitar & quena, sampona, charango & bombo (4)
- Michael Rodenberg "Miro" / keyboards, programming, arrangements
- Axel Naschke / keyboards, backing vocals
- Fabio Ribeiro / keyboards solo (8)
- Derek Sherinian / keyboards solo (6)
- Marcus Vianna / 5-string electric violin & dilruba (1,4,6)
- Cristiano Bicudo / Scottish bagpipes (5)
- Vanessa Desiderio / Scottish bagpipes (5)
- George Mouzayek / djembe & daf (6)
- Anette Barryman / baroque flute (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Marc Klinnert

CD Mercury ‎- 04400645212 (2002, Brazil)
CD AFM Records ‎- AFM 078-2 (2004, Germany)
CD Self-released (2018, Brazil)

Thanks to A. F. Doyle for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SHAMAN Ritual ratings distribution

(106 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

SHAMAN Ritual reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Quite sometime ago - I think it was 2002 - I regularly hang out around CD stores in Jakarta just to check what is coming out new to the stores and see if I'm interested to buy. In one occasion of my journey of no destination I met someone - metalhead of course - at Aquarius Mahakam CD store. He worked for a boutique Hotel Grand Mahakam at walking distance to the CD store he regularly visit the store almost everyday. As a matter of fact I introduce myself knowing that he played an album (metal, in my opinion) that I never heard before. By that time I was in search of good power metal album like Helloween, Rhapsody, Nightwish, and the like. So I asked him what album he was playing at the store and he showed me the cassette version of SHAMAN "Ritual". It blew me away at first spin. He talked a lot about "the story of" the band where basically the band was the culmination of split-up ANGRA (Brazil band) and the vocalist Andre Matos (who is he? I never heard his name before!) formed SHAMAN. I was interested with his story, really. He even talked quite a lot about metal music horizon where I was not familiar before. (Yeah, I remember his name now: Dedy! Hello, Dedy .. how are you? Hope that someday you read this write-up.) He even talked about bands like Vision Divine, Blind Guardian, Angra, Edguy, etc. What a new knowledge for me in the forest of metal world!

So, finally I purchased this CD. First impression, I do like the ambient opening of "Ancient Winds" which basically is an introduction of the band's music in orchestral arrangement. It's basically I feel like watching a movie. As an introduction, this opening track sounds too long, actually, but I do enjoy it anyway. What follows is a blast of power metal music in style through "Here I Am" where the vocal of Andre Matos is very powerful. He can easily handle high register notes brilliantly. Structurally, this is actually not a straight power metal music as it has many variations and styles. Yes, the foundation is power metal but the band has expanded the structure as well as style, combining beautiful high and low points.

The third track "Distant Thunder" is for me much more captivating in a sense that the music is composed on metal music style but the structure has some curved lines that make the song very dynamic, and so is "proggy" - I think. The poser of this song, in addition to dynamic style / structure, is the memorable basic melody delivered through the unique voice of Matos. I also enjoy the heavy guitar riffs that truly represent the power metal sub-genre. Excellent track!

"For Tomorrow" gives another flavor and texture of music through inventive opening using traditional music (percussion and mandolin? - not quite sure). The music then flows naturally with clear and transparent voice of Andre Matos backed with powerful guitar riffs. Another excellent track from the album. For those of you who claim as metalheads, I'm pretty damn sure that this song would make your nerves vibrate significantly.

"Time Will Come" rejects any opinion that metal music must start with heavy guitar riffs. It's not the case with this song as soft piano touch kicks-off the song followed with full music in metal vein augmented wonderfully with orchestration. Musical interlude of this song gives a traditional taste followed with great guitar solo. It's a stunning composition.

"Over Your Head" also starts mellow followed with heavy rhythm music and then low register notes of Andre Matos vocal line - augmented with nice acoustic guitar fills. Structurally, this song offers many styles with excellent melody. Again, Andre matos delivers his high register notes singing line. There is a musical interlude with a kind of traditional music (in my case, I associate this music with our traditional Reog Ponorogo). Excellent. This is definitely a prog tune to the bone!

"Fairy Tale" is a ballad that has become my all time favorite since I heard it the first time. Structurally the music was composed in "circle" i.e. the song ends the same as it starts. What I mean here is that the melody of the song starts with low register notes of Andre Matos under : " Fairy lady, who stands on the walls ."and it finishes with the same opening melody. The ballad flows brilliantly from elegant women choir to melodic piano touch and Matos' voice. So melodic, my friend! Not just the melody that is so powerful, I can also enjoy the great orchestral arrangement that follows the music. Wow! What a great ballad I have ever heard! Oh darling, hear my soul and heed my cry. Cause all my crying may flood an ocean and in my heart ..

The album title track "Ritual" sounds initially like any metal music in medium tempo. There are some interesting segments in the song that sound memorable to my ears. The use of keyboard and orchestra has made this song enjoyable. The interlude part produces stunning guitar solo and orchestra. It's an excellent song.

Overall, this is a perfect album you would expect from a power metal band with many prog touches during the stream of the music it produces. Yes, my rating is devoted to the fact that this is a power metal band with powerful composition. No wonder this album is perfect because Sascha Paeth is the producer. Highly recommended for those who are hungry for power metal or progressive metal. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by CCVP
5 stars One of the best progressive metal albums from this decade!

Shaman is a metal band formed in the early 2000's after the crack in Angra, when 3 out of 5 members left the band due to artistic incompatibilities, what, in lay terms, means that the band had two distinct and separate groups and that they hated each other!

So, when singer André Mattos, bassist Luis Mariutti and drummer Ricardo Confessori left Angra and decided to start Shaman, they recruited Luis's brother, Hugo Mariutti, to play the guitar for the album recordings until they found a proper guitar player, but Hugo turned out to be the guitarist the band needed, so he was asked to join the band. With a band assembled, they had a clear objective: to be bigger and better than Angra in every aspect, starting with what is now know as their album, Ritual.

Ritual was everything that they hoped and more. The album was, stylistically, similar to the music these guys did in Angra: complex power metal, filled with feeling and emotion. However, Shaman's debut had THE twist that Angra still needs and that Shaman was never able to achieve again: they took the power metal that they did (as Angra) to the next level, meaning that they embraced diversity and experimentation. Here, the band blends their music with arabian folk music, brazilian folk music, classical music and, of course, progressive rock and progressive metal. The result is incredible because they put out a progressive metal piece that do not sound like any other band, not even Angra (except for some minor similarities in a limited number of parts)! This is truly a standalone album, a landmark of progressive metal.

The album is good as a whole, from songwriting to lyrics, from the instrumental parts to the vocals, from beginning to end. The album is very likable and the only downside of it may be André Mattos's vocals, if you are not used to the way he sings. As for the songs, the only song that is not as remarkable as the rest of the album is the last one, called Pride, because, unlike the rest of the album, Pride is just a straightforward (power metal) song, but even so, that is a very good song, despite not bringing anything that is really new to the table.

Ritual only has good songs, but even so there are songs some that just stand out more than the others, being those Here I Am, For Tomorrow, Over Your Head, Fairy Tale and Ritual.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Great songs + good lyrics + great execution = 5 stars

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Yes this one is as good as advertised. I hesitated in getting this one for a long time mainly because i'm not the biggest ANGRA fan, and SHAMAN features ANGRA's former vocalist, drummer and bass player who all left to form this band. By the way they added the bass players brother to play lead guitar. "Ritual" is their debut album and by far their best. Many guests including Derek Sherinian offering up a solo on one track. I have to say that Andre's vocals never sounded so good. And the album cover and liner notes are all done so well. A very impressive package all around.

"Ancient Winds" opens with a haunting atmosphere as heavy drums and orchestral movements also fill out the sound. "Here I Am" is where they let their hair down and let their intensions be known. An all out assault ! Vocals a minute in. I like the section after 3 1/2 minutes as vocal melodies come in followed by a ripping guitar solo. Big finish. "Distant Thunder" opens with thunder and the sound of a horse then a wolf's howl. Enter the music. Great beat followed by vocals and a crunchy sound. Love the passion of his vocals on the chorus. The guitar lights it up after 3 minutes then it settles with piano. It kicks back in late. "For Tomorrow" opens with what sounds like acoustic guitar, percussion and flute. Strummed guitar takes over as reserved guest vocals come in. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Hell ya ! Andre comes in vocally with passion as the guitar makes some noise. Great vocal display 4 minutes in as drums pound relentlessly. Guitar then follows with a cool solo. It ends in a heavenly manner. "Time Will Come" opens with atmosphere and piano. It kicks in before a minute. Nice. Vocals follow. This song sounds so good. Blistering guitar 4 minutes in.

"Over Your Head" opens with children's voice samples before it kicks in heavily. It settles quickly as vocals arrive. It kicks back in as contrasts continue. An ethnic flavour before 3 1/2 minutes.Check out the keyboard solo that follows from Sherinian ! Great track ! "Fairy Tale" is my favourite. It opens with female soprano vocals as piano comes in beautifully. Reserved male vocals follow. Such a moving section. It kicks in before 2 minutes with female backing vocals.Themes are repeated. Simply a breath-taking tune. "Blind Spell" opens IRON MAIDEN-like before settling in with vocals. A nice heavy section before 2 1/2 minutes as guitar and synths follow. "Ritual" sounds so good to open with those synths. Drums and vocals follow. This is a blast ! Synths are back before 2 1/2 minutes then the guitar lights it up. Blistering guitar after 4 minutes. "Pride" hits us with a stampede of drums quickly with vocals. Killer sound. Nice bass before 3 minutes then the guitar torches the soundscape.

If your into Power-Metal with a twist you need to check this out. This will go down as Andre Matos' legacy.

Review by jampa17
5 stars A wizard, a beholder of the knowledge of the ancient, who can heal the soul and knows how to read the signs of time. That's what Shaman means and André Matos is what we can call a "Musical Shaman" without a doubt.

After the disband of the power symphonic metal band Angra, André Matos gather up some of the partial members of Angra and continue the musical journey under the accurate name of Shaman. More mature, still fresh, original and dynamic, Matos and company brings out the best of their repertory, managing to bring great metal riffing with melodic lead vocals, touching piano parts and great impressive symphonic ensemble with a few more Brazilian folk music. The result is a great progressive metal album, one of the best productions of the century, without doubt.

The songs are very accessible and somewhat charming. The mystical approach of lyrics and the epic "taste" of some of the songs contrast with the easy going of the melodies and the appealing of the concept, which is very accessible to any new fan used to less busy stuff than prog. Some shadows of power metal remains there, but the spirit in the overall is improved. In the technical side, sure they are good musicians and they quite show it in this album but their capacity never overshadow nor the concept nor the beauty of the songs. This is a great place to start digging into Prog Metal.

There's no weak song, every theme gives something original and fresh to the mix. Matos voice is better than ever and his trademark of music with soul and emotionally heavy is all there. Some could find some of the melodies a little cheesy but for me there's nothing wrong with it. Sure you won't find the Stratovarious "I can defeat all the demons in the sky" kind of over cheesiness here. This is music with soul and purpose, so, you won't regret to try it and enjoy it.

For those who think Prog Metal don't have soul, sense or wise musical meaning, I invite you all to try this particular album of Shaman, which is something that really lift my spirit high. 5 stars is the correct rate, sure it is.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Formed by former Angra frontman Andre Matos, Shaman is another one of those typical power/progressive metal bands that are pretty unknown and only have small, cult followings to go by. I'd seen 'Ritual', their 2002 debut album, pop up on a number of websites such as Amazon and eBay, where it was ... (read more)

Report this review (#2044912) | Posted by martindavey87 | Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Shaman (now Shaaman), is the band born from the ashes of the former Angra formation. When the band split-up André Matos, Ricardo Confessori and Luis Mariutti formed Shaman with Hugo Mariutti on the guitars while Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt found new members and continued with Angra. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#89382) | Posted by Benjamin_Breeg | Sunday, September 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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