André Matos, former lead singer of the Brazilian metal bands ANGRA and VIPER, has died at the age of 47. His death was confirmed by ex-ANGRA drummer Ricardo Confessori, who also played with Matos in SHAMAN (a.k.a. SHAAMAN). Ricardo wrote on his Facebook page: "It is with deep pain in our hearts that we say goodbye to André once again, this time definitively."
André performed last Sunday (June 2) at the Espaço das Américas in São Paulo with SHAMAN and also made a guest appearance with the show's headliners, AVANTASIA.
AVANTASIA leader Tobias Sammet wrote on his Facebook page: "I am devastated by the tragic news about the passing of my friend André Matos whom I shared the stage with only five days ago. I am in shock. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in peace, André Matos."
Veteran German producer Sascha Paeth, who plays guitar in AVANTASIA, said: "I just heard the incredible, devastating news that my longtime friend and companion André Matos passed away today. We had such good and intense times together that I will never forget. We happily met again after a lot of years last Sunday and now he's gone. I am so sad. Thanks for everything, André, and my deepest condolences to his family."
German metallers RAGE wrote on social media: "We are in shock about the news of the passing of our good old friend André Matos! A big loss to the metal community. You'll never be forgotten, brother... REST IN PEACE!"
Out of respect for their former bandmate, the current members of ANGRA have decided to postpone tonight's concert at Templo Music in São Paulo. The gig will now take place on July 28. The group said in a statement: "It wouldn't make sense to go on stage to play while we cry for the loss of our journey companion, who was such a big part of our history. On this day, our instruments are quiet in mourning."
Matos's longtime friend and former bandmate, founding VIPER guitarist Felipe Machado, told Veja São Paulo: "I'm shocked, very sad. I still do not know the details, but I know he did a great show last week, and he was fine. I do not know what might have happened. I only know that Brazil has lost our greatest rock singer, the most incredible voice, a talented pianist. I do not know what to say."
In addition to recording the vocals and keyboards on ANGRA's 1993 debut album, "Angels Cry", André was the composer and arranger of nine of the ten tracks on the LP, including "Carry On", which is still considered to be one of ANGRA's most popular songs. Matos also handled lead vocals on ANGRA's "Holy Land" (1996) and "Fireworks" (1998) albums.
Matos left ANGRA in 2000 and was replaced by Eduardo "Edu" Falaschi. Falaschi quit ANGRA in May 2012. For the past few years, ANGRA has been fronted by Italian vocalist Fabio Lione (VISION DIVINE, RHAPSODY OF FIRE, KAMELOT).
Photo courtesy of André Matos's official Facebook page