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MATRAZ

Progressive Metal • Chile


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Here is an interesting prog metal band from Santiago, Chile. Actually, the term "prog metal" is a bit restrictive as MATRAZ's music blends the heaviness and technical sophistication of the better prog metal bands (DREAM THEATER, FATES WARNING) with fusion as well as symphonic prog. They started out as a foursome in the late 90's, released an album in 2001 and then hired an impressive female vocalist for a second album in 2004 (her Spanish vocals are somewhat reminiscent of NEXUS's Mariela Gonzalez). Both MATRAZ albums, however, are primarily instrumental.

There is more than prog metal at work here: there is sophistication, a dazzling array of moods that carry the listener from symphonic rock to fusion to DREAM THEATER-like metal frenzy, often within the same track. And above all, there is solid musicianship: the keyboards provide the symphonic and jazzy flavours while the cutting guitar riffs alongwith the muscular metal bass grooves supply the heavier element. Their second cd is the longer and more refined of the two but both are certainly worth exploring.

If you're a hard-core prog metal fan, MATRAZ's excursions into fusion may be a little disorienting. Give this multi-faceted, provocative band half a chance, however, and you won't regret it.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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GritareGritare
Musea/Mylodon 2004
Audio CD$11.43 (used)
TiempoTiempo
Import
Musea 1999
Audio CD$12.83
$87.14 (used)
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MATRAZ discography


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MATRAZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 23 ratings
Tiempo
2001
4.21 | 63 ratings
Gritaré
2004

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MATRAZ Reviews


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 Gritaré by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.21 | 63 ratings

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Gritaré
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by RBlak054

4 stars Shortly after augmenting their lineup with female vocalist Loreto Chaparro, the Chilean outfit Matraz released their sophomore album, Gritaré. While the band maintain the unique melange of symphonic progressive metal and jazz established on their debut album, the music is even better constructed and delivered this time around. Gritaré is an album that has a lot to offer and proves itself more than capable of surpassing its predecessor.

All of the compositions are well-written, and for the most part even the longer tracks remain cohesive and inspired throughout. There are the occasional generic and uninspired-sounding metal riffs thrown in, but these are few and far between. And while the music at times seems to have taken great influence from other bands (Dream Theater, in particular, come to mind during many sections) it is still distinctly original and captivating material.

One of the most striking things about the music on this release is the vocal work; Chaparro's delivery is extremely powerful and her soaring, melodic voice compliments the music perfectly. Chaparro's addition to Matraz's lineup for this release was a smart move and really brings the compositions to life.

The instrumentalists do not let down either. While they certainly have many moments on the record to show off their technical prowess, they refrain from too much self-indulgence and mindless shredding - something that many of their progressive metal contemporaries could learn from them. Keyboardist Diego Aburto really shines on this album, particularly with his impeccable piano work that plays a large role in shaping the sound of this album.

While the band still have some room to refine their compositions even further, they have done a tremendous job on creating this album. Gritaré is an extremely strong release and offers a great experience for any open-minded listener, even if metal is not your favourite genre.

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 Gritaré by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.21 | 63 ratings

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Gritaré
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars again 3.5 really

Second album from this discret band, releases in 2004 named Gritare is another worthy affair. Even the instrumental passages are quite similar in manner of composing, some parts are more experimental then on their first album. A change in voice here, a female singer Loreto Chaparro who done a good job, but I prefere their first album, was little more eleastic in arrangements. Anyway gain long complicated prog metal parts with jazz fsuin interplay very much in vein of LTE or bands with this type of sound. Nice symphonic jazz metal with solid musicianship. A very strong band who manage to release only 2 albums and then gone into oblivion, I've never heared osme news about them for quite long time. Anyway both albums are recommended for sure.

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 Tiempo by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.83 | 23 ratings

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Tiempo
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Gritaré by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.21 | 63 ratings

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Gritaré
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum 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.

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 Gritaré by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.21 | 63 ratings

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Gritaré
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars With the entry of a powerful female vocalist and the enhancement of the instrumental input, Matraz was ready to move forward with their sophomore release "Gritaré". Considering that the band's sound has now begun to flirt with prog-metal and has leaned toward a more bombastic framework, similarities could be found with Entrance and Toccata. Still, there is also some preservation of the jazz-inspired colors that had made the best of the previous abum's fusion-oriented passages. All in all, the band's nuclear sound has been enriched and empowered. The opener and 'Redención' both create a proper mood to set an adequate ambience for the whole listening experience: 'Gritaré' most certainly rocks convincingly throught each and every pore of its architectonic complexity; 'Redencion' build on that track's force and gives it a moderate jazzy spin to the basic cadence. 'REM' is the first instrumental, set on a piano-led scheme that ultimately indulges in a dynamic mixture of jazz-rock and heavy chops, with all these elements fused in a solid progressive framework. The other instrumental is 'Cóndor', which is overall more relaxed, set on a dreamy melodic sense where the jazz-rock element is dominant, ultimately leading to a fusion-infused coda that brings colorful atmospheres to the fold. Between these two pieces are 'Sangre Derramada' and 'Trazma'. The former is an absollute highlight, a solid, delightful 11 ¾ minute excursion that starts as a vocal-piano duet, then graudaly building up to a central jam where the bass and piano flourishes install a safe environment for the outstanding spectral display of vocal deliveries and guitar phrases, all of it wisely sustained by the drummer. Near the end, we come to enjoy what is arguably the best guitar lead in the abum, and then, the song is wrapped up by a brief reprise of the first section. Brilliant! 'Trazma', on the other hand, brings back the moods already stated by the first 2 pieces, with an emphasis on the rock factor - good but not that great, which can be felt especially after being treated with 'Sangre Derramada'. 'Sobreviviente' occupies the album's last 18 ½ minutes, and by doing it so robustly, it brings a perfect climax. The meditative mood of the first section (with lyrics narrating the mysteries of the human soul) may remind us a bit of 'Sangre Derramada', but after the 4-minute mark, things shift to a more intesn motif, built on a confluence of standardized prog metal and Yes-like old school symphnic prog. The subsequent melodic and rhythmic variations are cleverly linked, going all the way to the ceremonious coda that reprises a portion of the opening section. This is how the album ends, and let me tell you that this is the album that defines the type of progressive trend that Matraz was aiming at. Very good album, recommended to all symphonic prog lovers everywhere.

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 Tiempo by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.83 | 23 ratings

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Tiempo
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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!

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 Gritaré by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.21 | 63 ratings

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Gritaré
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I have had the pleasure of late in talking with Alfredo (the vocalist on ANGULART's first album) about the amazing music that has come out of his country of Chile. He has mentioned more than once that I need to hear this record from MATRAZ. I had already reviewed MATRAZ previous album called "Tiempo" and really liked it, but he said this one is better. And he is right ! The biggest change between the two albums is the former bass player and vocalist leaving and being replaced by two people. A new bass player (Jorje), as well as a female singer named Loreto Chaparro. She apparently was (is?) a vocal instructor, and it's easy to tell she would be perfect for that job. We are blessed to be able to hear her sing on this record. There is something about this music that makes me feel good. And I know what it is, it's Loreto's vocals whenever she is singing normally that makes me feel like i'm home. That is the best way I can describe it, and it's a huge compliment to her. She can also really let it rip vocally, but it's her calm, natural voice that is so satisfying. All the vocals and liner notes are in Spanish so I can't give much more information than I have.

"Gritare" opens with riffs and prominant synth runs.The drumming is outstanding as the sound is quite heavy. When Loreto sings the song slows down as if to listen. Piano arrives 4 minutes in and this album has a boat load of beautiful piano melodies. She gets aggressive vocally with a heavy soundscape before 5 minutes. This contrast of mellow and heavy continues. Some great guitar 7 minutes in. "Redencion" opens with a pleasant melody as Loeto vocals go from edgy to beautiful. The guitar is on fire and a synth solo follows.The climate and tempo continues to change. Some killer guitar 5 minutes in with her angry vocals.The contrast between her vocal styles is cool. It just makes her natural voice seem even warmer and more beautiful after I have heard her sing with an edge. "REM" is an instrumental of mostly piano as heaviness and guitar come and go.

"Sangre Derramada" opens with a mellow soundscape of piano, drums and vocals. A change arrives 3 1/2 minutes in as the drums sort of rumble in. A nice vocal melody a minute later with piano and drums. Guitar 7 1/2 minutes in as drums and piano carry on. The guitar gets quite aggressive followed by vocals. The last minute of the song is mellow like the beginning of the track with piano and vocals. "Trazma" is apparently an anagram of the band's name. It opens heavily with some great sounding synths. The sound softens as vocals and piano come in. Passionate vocals take over as heaviness comes and goes. She's great ! Nice synth and drum work as well. "Condor" opens with a pastoral mood that continues for 3 minutes. Then a jazzy atmosphere comes in with some gorgeous piano and light drums. Guitar takes the lead 5 minutes in. Nice. Emotional too. "Sobreviviente" is an 18 minute epic to close out the album. This song has so many twists and turns. Heavy and mellow. Vocals, guitar, piano and drums all get a chance to shine. Outstanding track ! It ends with marching style drums and vocals.

4.5 stars. Apparently the title of this album means "I will shout". Appropriate as far as i'm concerned, because I want to shout for all to hear "Get this album !". And not only this album but the many great bands of Chile. SARAX, EXSIMIO, LA DESOOORDEN, ANGULART, FLOTANTE and TRYO and that's just off the top of my head. There is more !

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 Tiempo by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.83 | 23 ratings

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Tiempo
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Gritaré by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.21 | 63 ratings

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Gritaré
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by Progtrucci

5 stars This is an excellent album, the seven tracks are great. And as you can read from kidofthecentury's review (maybe), this record has everything that the other record doesn't have. I'm not a big fan of Loreto Chaparro's voice, but her performance is very good anyway. The performances of the rest of the memebers are just perfect.

I think this album deserves a 4.5... A Masterpiece!

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 Gritaré by MATRAZ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.21 | 63 ratings

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Gritaré
Matraz Progressive Metal

Review by kidofthecentury

5 stars Gritaré made me realize there is good Chilean music. I'm from Chile and I've always looked for foreign bands to fulfill my musical hunger, but this time the answer was nearer than what I imagined: Matraz.

Gritaré is awesome, it has everything Tiempo missed: a professional singer, recording quality, performing cohesion and all the experience of having done a previous album.

This might be tagged as progressive metal, but it's not that simple. There are jazzy parts led by keyboardist Diego Aburto, some neo-prog reminiscences and Marcelo Stuardo, the drumer, even leads to cueca (Chilean national dance) in 'Sangre Derramada' and 'Cóndor'. If you're Chilean, you could even cry. Besides the flawlessness of the musicians, the Spanish lyrics are also magnificent.

They're not the usual cheesy stories of long past love or tales of knights and dragons, they come from the inside of Matraz, explore feelings, emotions, tell about painful passages of Chile's history ('Sangre Derramada') and aren't easy to comprehend. Smart words for smarter music.

This album is an excellent addition to any prog music collection, but if you are a Spanish talking person, it is essential: a masterpiece of progressive music. Love it.

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