Shaman - Ritualive
AFM Records
Progressive Power Metal
12 songs ()
Release year: 2004
Shaman, AFM Records
Reviewed by Ben

Ritualive has to be one of the weakest live albums that has come my way in quite some time. I mean, I’ve seen rush jobs, and I’ve seen really weak efforts before but this is right up there in terms of pointlessness. Now, when I heard about the gig in Sao Paolo that was recorded for this album and DVD I was really excited. You have Shaman, which is three fifths ex – Angra and they had themselves a great debut album with Ritual, the entire back catalog of Angra to select prime cuts from, Pit Passarell (I think it was him, or Felipe Machado) from Viper coming onstage and doing Living For the Night, and finally there was Tobias Sammet and Andi Deris singing Sign of the Cross and Eagle Fly Free onstage with the band. With such a huge show I was expecting a monster of a live album but instead what we get is a rehash of Ritual in every sense of the word. The tracklisting is exactly like the studio album from last year, even in the same order! The purpose of a live album is to transport the listener to the show and make him or her feel the raw energy and excitement that comes from the live experience. Personally, I say that a live album should begin with the crowd chanting, the intro click track, and then the entire night played straight through culminating with the band taking their bows and walking off the stage. Ritualive is so far off base of that it’s not even funny. For one, we all know that what is here on the cd is not the way the concert went down that night. Secondly, there is hardly any crowd interaction whatsoever and lastly every song is played identically to its studio counterpart. Now, I know some people get off on purchasing a live album that is no different than the studio songs, but I on the other hand, I want to hear those subtle differences. I want to hear fuck ups, I want to hear what that complex quadruple layered guitar passage sounds like with only two (or one) guitarists. Can the singer pull off the intricate vocal phrasings or will he cheap out? Will they add some extra measures to the songs? What about special surprises such as cover tracks or whole new middle sections? These are the questions I always have spinning about my head whenever I pop in a live cd.

I’m not really going to comment on the tracks culled from Ritual. What I have to say about them is already written in Chris’ review of the album years ago. The two (count em, only two) non Ritual songs are Sign of the Cross, albeit an edited version off of Avantasia pt I and Eagle Fly Free. Tobias gives an astounding performance on his song and it’s great to hear this somewhat sort of live. Too bad it is in a horribly truncated state. One of my other personal vocal gods, Andi Deris comes out to kick some ass on Eagle Fly Free and just as with Tobi, he delivers his role flawlessly. Andre however, seems content to butt in and sing along / over Andi throughout most of the track and ruins it for me. Don’t get me wrong, Andre Matos is a great vocalist but he doesn’t bother to try and harmonize or complement Andi, he just plows through the song without any thought at all.

Ritualive had so much potential and should have been great. There are still many Andre purists who feel that Shaman is the “true” Angra and with over half the band consisting of ex – members, that isn’t too hard to believe. While I loved Angra’s recent live record, there were quite a lot of others who thought it to be nothing more than a high quality bootleg and were looking forward to hearing the classics performed by Shaman. Maybe the reason that the classic Matos era tracks were not released here is because of label difficulties, and if that’s the case then someone should have decided to can this cd in its infancy rather than let this rushed and half assed product reach the public.

Killing Songs :
when I heard these songs two years ago on Ritual
Ben quoted no quote
Other albums by Shaman that we have reviewed:
Shaman - Origins reviewed by Kyle and quoted 90 / 100
Shaman - The Ritual reviewed by Chris and quoted 93 / 100
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