Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Amos - A Matter Of Time
   
Musical Style: Gothic Progressive Metal Produced By: Evandro Vaz & Amos
Record Label: Bombworks Country Of Origin: Brazil
Year Released: 2005 Artist Website:
Tracks: 9 Rating: 75%
Running Time: 46:41
Amos - A Matter Of Time

Brazil’s Amos can trace its roots back to 1994 where it got its start as a heavy doom influenced project.  The bands first release, a demo entitled Comfort In Trouble, hit the shelves in 1998 while a year later it put out the goth-like progressive melodic metal of its aptly titled sophomore effort Gothic Soul.  After re-issuing Gothic Soul in 2001 with new artwork and three bonus tracks, Amos returned to the studio and recorded A Matter Of Time, a 2005 outing which also saw the band move in a progressive melodic metal direction with gothic leanings.  The key word here is melodic in that Amos continues to display a penchant for writing a song with a catchy hook, a trend best showcased on progressive metal masterpieces “Pentecost” and “The Gathering” in addition to the straightforward hard rock sounds of “Ark Of The Covenant” and “Time To Die”.  Amos can even compose a slower composition that reflects the doom-ish tendencies of its past.  "For Me”, for example, comes across in the form of slow and driving hard rock while the progressive rock semi-ballad "Alone" and the majestic “Shadows Of Thy Cross” both plod along as well.

I might describe the mid-octave ranged vocal style of bassist Rodrigo Shimabukuro as competent but unremarkable.  Yes, his low key delivery helps lend to the bands signature goth influenced sound and he is better than some; on the other hand, as a result of some shaky elements in his performance, I am forced to rank him below fellow countrymen such as Jeff Winner (Adiastasia) and Leandro Cacoilo (Eterna).  My overall feeling is that a Jimmy P. Brown II (Deliverance) type is needed here.  It is worth pointing out, however, the confidence Amos displays in its instrumental sound in that the likes of “Pentecost”, “The Gathering”, “Alone” and others allow guitarist Evandro Leite to display his abilities in no uncertain terms.  Ricardo Thibau rounds out the mix on drums, while Denis Subtil adds just the right amount of touch on keyboards.

Production values, coming across crisp and clean, are adequate but would improve with a touch of big budget polish.  Nothing detracting but the overall feeling I get here is that things could have been done just a shade better.

The album opens with “Entering To Flames”, a spoken word piece featuring narration from Acts 2:17.

Getting underway to a sweeping instrumental section, “Pentecost” maintains an abundance of mid-tempo impetus during its verse portions prior to picking up in pace for an energetic chorus with a hook of the refuse to go away variety.  Amos displays the strength of its instrumental sound throughout the songs two subsequent instrumental sections.  Quite the creative number that ranks with the albums best.  “Pentecost” is aptly named:

Like a violent wind
Filling the whole place with power
Prophecies and visions
In these last days

Raise your voices
And receive the Spirit of Fire
And celebrate
The Kingdom of Light

“Shadows Of Thy Cross” also begins to a lengthy instrumental section.  The song proceeds to advance through its verse portions to a forward wall of rhythm guitar, briefly pausing for a punchy bass line before moving on to an extensive chorus giving rise to a heavy and driving feel.  I enjoy how “Shadows Of Thy Cross” closes out its final minute to an instrumental passage carried by an even blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards.

“Ark Of The Covenant” moves the album in a straightforward hard rock direction.  Advancing through its first verse in determined fashion, the song gains further momentum for a catchy chorus highlighted by a symphonic touch of keyboards.  Leite takes the opportunity to really show off his skills on lead guitar on this one.  “Ark Of The Covenant” deals with exactly that: 

God renews His alliance
A tabernacle where He would live between the people
The ark of the covenant
Covered by wings of two angels
His presence in all the place

God had mercy
I believe in His love
I believe in His forgiveness
I believe in His way… I know

The progressive metal epic “The Gathering” is carried forward from the start by a piano, not picking up in pace until the rhythm guitar steps forward and shores up its first verse with just the right amount of edge.  Amos makes a statement of faith during the plodding but gripping chorus that follows:

In the blue sky
I see the signs of the gathering
A force divine
From the heaven He calls me and draws me to His Light

This is another piece in which the band displays a great deal of confidence in its instrumental sound.  “The Gathering” ultimately focuses on end time themes:

A new order for all the people
One mark, a code in their hands
Nation unifying, the union of religions
A world leader, war rumors
Famine and pestilence
Persecution of the Christians
Blasphemies against God

“Alone” is a very well done semi-ballad that comes in at just under eight minutes.  A graceful blend of piano and acoustic guitar gently holds sway over the songs first and second verse, a full and heavy rhythm guitar stepping forward in time to bolster a blues flavored chorus delivered in a low key manner.  Leite helps close things out with a blazing guitar solo.  Beautiful song.

“Time To Die” takes off to a quickly moving combination of rhythm guitar and piano.  After the piano drops from the mix upon reaching the songs first verse, it returns in time to lace a flowing and resonating hook filled chorus.  Keyboard and guitar solos lead the way through a minute long instrumental section.  This one should have you singing along in no time.  As its title implies, “Time To Die” talks about dying to self:

That I live no longer
But You live in me
Free me from myself
Your dreams be my dreams
Your desires be mine, too
Die, flesh O’ mine

The mix of acoustic and bass guitar introducing “For Me” soon gives way to a wall of chugging rhythm guitar.  Slowly grinding through its first verse, a touch of piano underscores the song during the second before an acoustic based passage is obtained.  A melodic flavored chorus supports the songs theme of Christ’s sacrifice:

Perfect martyr for me
Rescuing me from darkness
Perfect love for me
Bringing to Your light

The point is further reinforced during its second verse:

The nails had pierced Your hands
And the crown of thorns Your head
Father, You gave Your Son in sacrifice for me

While a case can be made that “For Me” is the albums heaviest track, “Depression” stands out as the most upbeat.  The song launches into a swirling blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards, decelerating at the start of its first verse only to regain the initiative for a chorus proceeding at a catchy, upbeat tempo.  A rollicking instrumental section held up by a bluesy guitar solo slows to the sound of a piano.

My overall feeling is that the music of Amos has more staying power than that of fellow Brazilian bands Belica, Stauros and Sunroad but does not quite reach the heights set by Destra, Eterna and Shining Star.  That being said, I like the music on A Matter Of Time – it is, for the most part, well constructed and quite catchy – and the musicianship is of a high caliber.  On the other hand, the production deserves a bit of polish and the vocals, while competent, could be improved upon as well.  Still, this one comes with a recommendation for any fans of progressive metal, doom and goth.

Review: Andrew Rockwell

Track Listing: “Entering To Flames” (:38), “Pentecost” (6:51), “Shadows Of Thy Cross” (6:27), “Ark Of The Covenant” (4:38), “The Gathering” (7:09), “Alone” (7:43), “Time To Die” (4:02), “For Me” (4:06), “Depression” (5:03)

Musicians
Lead Vocals & Bass - Rodrigo Shimabukuro
Guitars – Evandro Leite

Guest Musicians
Guitars - Helder Domingues & Evandro Vaz
Keyboards – Denis Subtil
Drums – Ricardo Thibau

 

Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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