Shaman was a Brazilian Progressive and Power metal band assembled in 2000 by three musicians who left the band Angra – Andre Matos, Luis Mariutti and Ricardo Confessori. The band was completed with guitar player Hugo Mariutti (Luis' younger brother – both of them also play in another band called Henceforth). This formation lasted until 2006.
Shaman changed its name to Shaaman due to legal reasons, but the issue was solved and they renamed it back to Shaman. In October 2006, Andre Matos officially left the band along with the Mariutti brothers.
Ricardo Confessori reformed the band with a new line-up featuring Thiago Bianchi on vocals, Léo Mancini on guitars, Fernando Quesada on bass and Junior Carelli on keyboards. They recorded two albums as Shaman and did the touring cycles before Ricardo Confessori decided to leave the recordings of a third album in which the rest of the band decided to move on with Hangar and former Angra drummer Aquiles Priester and use the name Noturnall instead of Shaman.
On June 29, 2018, Shaman announced a reunion of their original lineup to tour in celebration of their 17th anniversary, which was interrupted with the unexpected death of the vocalist, Andre Matos, on June 8, 2019.
The band was formed in the second half of 2000, when musicians Andre Matos (vocals, and keyboards, ex-Viper), Luis Mariutti (bass, ex-Firebox) and Ricardo Confessori (drums, ex-Korzus) left the band Angra. At the same time, the three decided to set up a new project. This one still did not have a guitarist, so Hugo Mariutti (Henceforth), Luis' brother, was called by the newly formed group, initially only to assist in the compositions.
According to Paulo Baron (Shaman's first manager) Andre was very discouraged about continuing in Heavy metal, Paulo tells that he spent a week at Andre Matos' house around the end of 2000, and one day when he woke up, he saw Andre breaking the golden record from Angels Cry (which all of the band received in 1994) and others released by Viper, then sat in front of the piano and started to cry, telling Paulo Baron that he couldn't take it anymore and didn't have the strength to continue in the heavy medium.
A year earlier, he launched the Virgo project, more focused on Pop rock, in partnership with Sascha Paeth. Paulo then says that he managed to convince Andre not to give up and look for Luis and Ricardo to continue a new band together.
Paulo Baron also says that the band's first shows, more precisely in Balneário Camboriú/SC, didn't even have 100 people in the audience, what happened worried the band, and they were thinking about giving up right at the beginning, claiming that the band would not succeed. The businessman asked them to be persistent, and as the dates went by, the audience increased.
The group tried to bring the name Angra as the name of their group, but the name belonged to managers linked to the old band of Andre, Luis and Ricardo. So they had to choose another name for the group. The name chosen for the new band, Shaman (suggested by Luis Mariutti inspired by the title of the song "The Shaman", composed by Andre Matos for Holy Land, Angra's 1996 album), means "he who sees in the dark", and is represented generally by priests who heal through the elements of nature. Of Siberian origin, shamans conquered the world and spread to practically all cultures. In Brazil, shamans (also spelled as shamans) are mainly represented by indigenous shamans.
Shaman soon began working hard to make himself known and establish its name within the Heavy metal scene. It started with a debut tour in early 2001, which went through Europe and Latin America, obtaining great reception from critics and the public, the band's first show was held on February 10, 2001 in the city of Recife. The first international show took place at the NTS Records Festival in Columbes, France, on May 31, 2001. In all, there were 13 shows in 2001, passing through Mexico, Argentina, Chile and France; this year, in Brazil there were only 3 shows, São Paulo, Recife and Curitiba. Even the show in São Paulo was professionally recorded on video, a few years later it was posted on Youtube. At that time the band also played on the program Musikaos on TV Cultura, the presenter was Gastão Moreira.
The curious fact is that for this first mini world tour, as there was no album released until then, the set list consisted of a few new songs, many Angra songs, in addition to covers by Viper, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple , Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Judas Priest and Avantasia. It is worth noting that the song "Be Free" was played on the tour, but later did not make it to the album.
To play the keyboards live, the band can count on the friend and ex-partner of Angra, Fábio Ribeiro.
Mixing Heavy metal, Classical music and World music, the band started recording their first album, entitled Ritual, in January 2002. The album was entirely recorded in Germany, with the exception of the percussions and ethnic instruments, totally captured and produced in Brazil. The production was in charge of renowned producer Sascha Paeth (Angra, Edguy, Avantasia, Rhapsody, Virgo, Epica).
Ritual was well received in Brazil and around the world, being released in more than 15 countries. The Ritual World Tour lasted two and a half years, passing through several places in Brazil, Asia, Latin America and Europe. There were more than 130 shows in this period, some repeating.
The tour started in Recife in April 2002 and ended in Belo Horizonte in December 2004.
In August 2002, the song "Fairy Tale", the seventh track of the album, was included in the soundtrack of the soap opera "O Beijo do Vampiro" and became a success and made Shaman the first Brazilian heavy metal band to have a song in a Rede Globo soap opera.
During 2003, Shaman was in the first places in the specialized media, and the big surprise was having its only album released until then elected as the best album of 2002 and 2004 by the readers of Folha de Sao Paulo, the vehicle which covers a wide range of readers of different profiles. Also in 2004, the band opened the Iron Maiden show at Pacaembu stadium in São Paulo for approximately 45,000 people.
Highlight for the show held at Espaço das Américas (São Paulo) at the Rock The Planet Festival, on October 2, 2004, on that occasion also played the bands: Viper, Kotipelto and Edguy, who was the headliner.
The band then took the opportunity to launch the show recorded live in 2003 at Credicard Hall in São Paulo with the participation of several special guests (Tobias Sammet, Marcus Viana, Andi Deris, Sascha Paeth, George Mouzayek and Michael Weikath). The new work, out on CD and DVD, entitled RituAlive, received great reviews and sold very well. Unfortunately, many songs were cut, some due to audio capture problems and others because they were from Angra.
In 2005, with the second studio album almost finished and ready for release, a change in its brand was announced. The change was due to the fact that another group with the name "Shaman" already exists. As the laws governing copyright are different and follow international treaties, the group preferred to avoid future complications. The band (or at least the majority within it) decides to add an A to its name, changing its name to Shaaman, but this adjustment would not affect the pronunciation of the name.
In 2008, Ricardo Confessori would say that there had never been any legal problems and that the change took place after a consultation with a numerologist, who guided the addition of an "A" so that the band's career took off for good. In the following months, Reason hits the stores. With a "more direct footprint", the new album showed a more mature and confident band, without fear of breaking labels and innovating. The result of Reason, which this time was recorded in Brazil by the same producer of the first album,
Sascha Paeth, is the rescue of all the weight, feeling and spirit of 80's heavy metal, including the presence of electronic elements. While Ritual privileged the undeniable virtuoso of the musicians. The music became more organic, which helped to highlight the contrast between heavy guitars, new age-style keyboards and tribal world music beats. This change, however, displeased a large majority of fans, leading the band, once again, to rethink their career.
Even so, the band was still strong on the scene and the single from the album, “Innocence”, reaches the radio and soon divides the ranking among the most requested in the country. The success is repeated on TV with the premiere of a music video. Despite the good publicity, logistical problems would affect the distribution of the disc. The same can be said of the internet factor and even a high level of rejection of the “new phase” of the band's sound, had contributed to a low sales of records. Added to the band's entry into a smaller label, the overall results would not be up to what the band had already achieved. The second single and video would be "More", a cover track by the English band "Sisters of Mercy".
Highlight for the show held at Estádio Canindé, at the Live N' Louder Festival, on October 12, 2005. On that occasion, the bands Tuatha de Danann, The 69 Eyes, Dr. Sin, Rage, Destruction, Nightwish and Scorpions.
The tour started in Rio de Janeiro in March 2005 and ended in May 2006; the last show with the original lineup was at Bar Opinião, in Porto Alegre. On this tour, there were only two performances outside Brazil, which took place in Argentina.
The band had a good tour with Reason, but problems between the members started to occur, and the band decided to take a vacation from the stage. After a six-months break, drummer Ricardo Confessori announced a break in Shaman's activities on October 10, 2006 through a statement to the official For Tomorrow fan club. The others spoke in a letter to the fans, alleging “loss of unity within the band” and finally, said they were outside Shaman.
Ricardo Confessori in an interview with the specialized magazine about drums and percussion ("Batera" - December/2006) confirms that the band would return to activities with a new lineup. After many rumors, the band finally returns with its original name (Shaman, with this spelling), with a strong team of renowned musicians and new national metal talents. Shaman would return with, Thiago Bianchi taking over the vocals, Fernando Quesada on bass and Léo Mancini, former member of Tempestt, on guitar. With this restructuring, the next step was the release of the album "Immortal".
Paulo Baron (Shaman's first manager) in an interview with Heavy Talk in July 2019, says that he ended up leaving the business part for his personal reasons. Paulo Baron says that only he could deal with each member of Shaman, making them all get along, since the members were very different when it came to taking action. He also claimed that if he had continued to manage the band, perhaps the band would not have broken up.
In 2009, Paulo Baron hosted a 20th anniversary celebration of his company, TopLink, revealed that all the members of the original band were at the party, but no members met during the party.
The choice of name for the album that would mark the return, was "Immortal", which according to Ricardo Confessori, well represented the moment the band was experiencing. With atmospheric and ethnic elements that reminds us of Shaman's first album, Ritual (2002). The album came out in September 2007. It remained for a few months among the best-selling albums in the Japanese market in the Rock category, a position never reached by the group before.
The first single from the cd was “In the Dark”, a song that would also be recorded in a music video, directed by “Marcel Marluco”. The ballad had its debut on music channels such as MTV and VH1. The “Immortour” tour featured dates in Latin America and Europe.
The tour started in Belo Horizonte, in September 2007 and went through the capitals São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Manaus, Belém, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Recife,
Caxias; Guatemala, Venezuela, Czech Republic, as well as cities in the interior of Brazil. The tour ended in July 2009. The last two dates were in Slovakia.
Highlight for the opening show for Deep Purple in February 2008, unfortunately this concert was hampered because the band had to reduce their set list because of the time, the English band wanted to start their show punctually at 10pm.
Also noteworthy was the show at the Festival Roça n 'Roll in Varginha in BH, held in June 2008, also played at the festival: Ars Tenebrae, Mr. Zé, Hyksos, Tormenta, Apokalyptic Raids, Vanquish, Liar Symphony, Deventer, Voodoo Shyne, King Bird, Direct Action, Korzus, Old Virgins, Baranga, Martin Walkyier and Tuatha de Danann.
After the release of the album "Immortal", the band recorded, in August 2008, at Anime Friends, a famous anime event in the city of São Paulo, their second DVD (the first with the new lineup), "Anime Alive 2008". The show had an audience of approximately 20,000 people. The DVD shows soundchecks, clips and information about the group, as well as unexpected scenes that reveal even other facets of Shaman's musicians, such as the scene of guitarist Léo Mancini handling a Nunchaku during Ricardo Confessori's drum solo.
In the same year, a double version of the album "Immortal" would be released with 5 bonus tracks, plus the audio of "Anime Alive 2008".
The band would also play at Anime Friends in 2009, but due to negotiation failures, they only had autographs late.
In September 2010, the studio album Origins was released. A concept album that tells the story of Amagat, a warrior born into a tribe in faraway Siberia, home to the first Shamans. The CD was mastered in New York at Universal Mastering Studios by Mark Santangelo.
Along with the CD was included the DVD "Shaman & Orchestra Live At Masters Of Rock Of Prague", in which, accompanied by the "Bouslav Prague Orchestra" and conducted by the Turkish conductor "Musa Goçman", the band presents a concert held in the Czech Republic in 2009 during the Masters of Rock Festival, to an audience of over 35,000 people.
The album was released in Japan with the bonus track "Kurenai" a cover by the band X Japan. Video clips for the songs "Finally Home" and "Ego" were released in March 2011 and October 2011, respectively. Both videos were directed by Alex Batista.
The Origins tour started in Guarulhos, in June 2010 and ended in June 2012, the last show was at the Roça N' Roll Festival. in Varginha, MG, Dr Sin, Samael, Carro Bomba, Maestrick, Nervosa, Dominus Praelli, among others, played at the festival. This was the last show with this lineup.
The highlights are the acoustic show at Livraria Cultura, the opening for Grave Digger and Blind Guardian, and the Festival Dia do Metal Nacional, where the bands: Hangar, Almah, Hibria, Nando Fernandes Forward, Illustria and Wizards played.
The band also performed at Metal Open Air, in São Luis, Maranhão, the festival was marked by having been a fiasco and having had many structural and security problems, having been canceled on the last day, only a few bands performed, 80 % of the planned shows did not happen.
Keyboardist Fabrizio Di Sarno, who had been in the band since 2007, left in 2012, giving way to Junior Carelli.
In mid-2013, the band was getting ready to release a new studio album. This album was scheduled to be released in the second half of that year. Even videos with recording sessions for the album, the title and even the cover of the album had already been released. A music video with the production and participation of Russell Allen, lead singer of the American progressive metal band Symphony X, had been recorded in Los Angeles.
However, on September 18, 2013, websites specialized in heavy metal reported the emergence of a new project called Noturnall, which then had all the members of Shaman (except Ricardo Confessori) plus drummer Aquiles Priester, from Hangar and ex-Angra. Noturnall opened a YouTube channel and posted some videos explaining the emergence of the project and how it will take place, where they promised to release an album in early 2014. These videos contain excerpts from sessions of the recording of a song and the music video produced by Russell Allen and which were originally going to be released by Shaman. Even the name of the band, Noturnall, was inspired by the title of what would be the new Shaman album, Nocturnal.
In an interview with journalist Ronnald Casemiro, from the blog Ceará & Rock, Fernando Quesada confirmed the end of the band's second formation: "Shaman was an important moment in our history, we experienced many good things together, but it is already a page turn in our lives. We will not go back to Shaman", said the bassist.
On May 25, 2018, Shaman announces their return for a special show with the classic lineup in São Paulo, at the Audio show house. This turn came after thousands of requests and even a campaign with the hashtag #voltashaman. After an arduous battle of the fans against the rigidity that the original lineup showed in returning with the band's activities,
the members answered the call of the fans who were surprised by the unexpected news. After a few weeks, concerts were announced for Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Rio Janeiro, Manaus, Fortaleza and Recife, along with Arch Enemy and Kreator. In February 2019, it was announced that the Shaman would play alongside Avantasia as a special guest on their tour in Brazil.
On June 8, 2019, singer Andre Matos died, a victim of a heart attack. Months later, the entry of vocalist Alírio Netto (Queen Extravaganza, ex-Age of Artemis) into Shaman was announced, in order to complement the band and start the new phase of Shaman.
The band then started the "Nagual Fly Tour", a tour that toured Brazil, honoring Andre Matos and promoting the return of Shaman with the new singer, Alírio Netto.
On February 22, 2020, the band announced on their social media the launch of a contest in which fans could submit their own artwork for the cover of Shaman's new single, "Brand New Me". The art was chosen by the band members themselves.
On March 13, the band released the single "Brand New Me", Shaman's first work with Alírio Netto on vocals. The single was released in digital format and is available on major audio streaming platforms. In the same period, a music video of the song was made available on the band's official YouTube channel.
On May 1, Shaman released on their official YouTube channel a music video of the band performing the song "Turn Away" (from their 2005 album Reason) live, with Alírio on vocals. The recording was taken from the first concert of the "Nagual Fly Tour", which took place in São Paulo.
On January 10, 2023, on his official Instagram, Luis Mariutti announced his departure from the band, after the political positions of drummer Ricardo Confessori on his social networks, and some political differences with him. Soon after, on his official Instagram, Hugo Mariutti announces the end of the band.
"Today's episode of Ricardo served to alert me to a lot of things. There were very serious things there, spoken about, things that nowadays don't fit anymore, right? We, with our family, with our children, are things that people don't preach, on the contrary, we're always there checking to see if things really change. So, this episode made me see that nowadays I'm feeling very out of Shaman".
Although the bassist did not mention what the episode was, it is worth remembering that Ricardo Confessori made posts and comments about the terrorist acts committed by followers of the former president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro last Sunday (January 8) and was involved in heated discussions with followers on social media.
In an interview with KazaGastão, the YouTube channel of journalist Gastão Moreira, Luis Mariurtti broke the silence about the end of the band, which had nothing to do with the political positions of drummer Ricardo Confessori, but because of his prejudiced lines.
On January 9, in addition to having published criticisms on his social networks related to the current president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, after he condemned the coup acts in the Federal Capital, he also made homophobic offenses to the veterinarian and musician Mateus Ferreira, who even promised to sue the drummer.
Commenting on the subject, Mariutti revealed that, while living with Ricardo, he had already heard other prejudiced statements, including those directed at his wife:
It wasn't for politics. It was out of prejudice, out of prejudiced statements. There is a sentence there, for example, about feminism. My wife is a feminist and passes on these concepts of equality to our daughter. And it is she who produces our events, it is my wife who hires Ricardo. Then sometimes, because she was with me, [I've heard] 'does the guy want to give a tip?', or 'ah, that Yoko Ono'.
For those who don't know, Yoko Ono Lennon is a Japanese activist, singer, songwriter, filmmaker and avant-garde visual artist, and is also the ex-wife of the late singer and vocalist John Lennon, murdered by an obsessed fan.
The group's lead singer, Alirio Netto, lamented the end of the band but made it clear that he also does not agree with Confessori's attitudes.
Drummer Ricardo Confessori also broke the silence and spoke about the end of Shaman, which occurred after the musician's statements in support of the Bolsonarist movements that destroyed Brasília. Ricardo Confessori spoke about his next steps in rock in a live stream on his YouTube channel, which he began to like the members of Black Sabbath who made a heavy sound, also saying that the members of Sabbath "were alpha guys, they were not there for anyone , stuck their foot in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, that the crowd went crazy for the lifestyle that the guys had and that they are what we call red pills today."
He also said that he was interested in Brazilian rock and wants to make it grow, that he saw other musicians from Brazil wanting to rock abroad, in Japan, the USA and Europe and that he didn't want to "do an Edu Falaschi".
He also mentioned returning with his band, the Confessori Band.
"I'm interested in rock from here. I want to make it grow. I see other musicians from Brazil wanting to rock abroad, in Japan, the USA and Europe. I don't want to act like an Edu Falaschi.
No one is a gringo sucker.
The public wants to see the real rocker. I always got into music not because of the technique. I was never an extremely technical guy. I could be, but I always preferred feeling and attitude.
I have my Confessori Band back. We're back in action. We'll be coming out with new material soon. It's my solo job and the people who will play with me fit that profile. No more blue pill musicians, who are afraid to say anything. Who put their tail between their legs for anything. We rock!".
At the end of April of the same year, the band also participated with some of its musicians in the tribute to Andre Matos at the Summer Breeze 2023 festival, along with the other bands Angra and Viper.
Andre Matos - vocals (2000-2006, 2018-2019; died 2019)
Thiago Bianchi - vocals (2007–2013)
Léo Mancini - guitars (2007–2013)
Fernando Quesada - bass (2007–2013)
Junior Carelli - keyboards (2012–2013)
Source: Wikipedia translated from Portuguese