Shah Mat
Gig Seeker Pro

Shah Mat


Band Rock Metal


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music




12 tracks - playing time: 43:09 min.
Rating: 8.5/10

In 2003 the Belgian band Shah-Mat was founded. Members JP Devox
(guitar), Steph Vondenhoff (lead vocals), Gaby Fratelli (drums), and
Fax Lo Cascio (bass guitar), wanted to write music with a unique
identity. Last month they released their debut album Upstream. I
have to admit the album is indeed quite unique.
Shah-mat is a Persian word for Checkmate and I am quite impressed by
Upstream, even though Shah-mat didn’t mate me totally.
The vocals of Stephanie especially are overwhelming; whether she
sings mean, powerful, sweet or jazzy, the sound is absolutely great
and full of emotions. What a voice and charisma this woman has. It
is the male vocals, which are the weakest part of this album.
The album has only one solo on it. Not a guitar solo, but a
saxophone solo. Normally the lack of solos makes an album somewhat
boring after a while, because the songs all sound alike, but
Upstream is different. The songs vary a lot; the female vocals are
great and the guitar sounds sometimes heavy, then again spacey or

Therefore you don’t miss the solos, this is a strong point of the
Most songs have rather dark and sad titles, like; ‘Sad Song’, ‘Hit
My Soul’, ‘Creed’, and ‘Woman in Chains’. Stephanie’s emotional
voice fits very well with the sad lyrics, but the male vocals on the
songs don’t make them any better. No male vocals on ‘Sad Song’ and
`Don’t You Forget’ especially would have been much better. The
guitar play of Devox is great, it gives each song a sound of its
own. The vocals and guitar play are rather unique.
The heavy parts have some Lacuna Coil influences. My favourite
tracks are ‘Don’t Spite your hate on me’ (heavy), ‘Resurgence’
(psychedelic), ‘Creed’ (semi ballad), and ‘Shadow Puppet’ (Jazzy).
Actually, all songs are great.
Upstream is an impressive debut album with a lot of varied songs. I
definitely recommend this album. It takes a couple of times before
the album hits you properly, but it’s absolutely worth buying
Upstream. With better male voices the rating would be even higher.

© Rockezine Apr 15, 2007, viewed 54 times since 666

- rockezine

"angel fire .com"


SHAH MAT is a Belgium female fronted rockband, which is playing a mix of classic melodic rock with modern influences and sadly also some Nu-Metal/Nu-Rock can be heard, although mainly SHAH MAT is a modern day sounding melodic rockband. Most notable fact of their debut CD 'Upstream' is the producer, because none-other than ERWIN MUSPER (DEF LEPPARD, SLEEZE BEEZ, ZINATRA...) worked with the band's first record. The first 2 songs are very good melodic rockers, but then the style changes into a more nu-rock/metal approach. However, it goes this way for the rest of the CD, with then again melodic rock orientated material and on the other hand also some very modern sounding (read: American) nu-rock/metal. The female singer has a good voice and all together this is a nice record, not earthshaking, but SHAH MAT shows they are a good Belgian Rockband. More info at: and

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)

- angel fire


2003: demo
2007: upstream (debut album)


Feeling a bit camera shy


SHAH MAT saw its first ray of light in 2003 when Jp Devox combined the diverse and eclectic visions of Stéphanie, Fax and Gaby with his own grand ideas for a new rock powerhouse.

SHAH MAT -a persian word for Checkmate- quickly finds their unique identity while recording their first demo's with Andre Gielen (Channel Zero, Mass Hysteria) in their native Belgium.
These songs land them on many stages in Belgium and France; notorious events like La fiesta du rock, Le festival de Nandrin, Le festival de Dour, and La boule noire in Paris among them...

In 2005, we see SHAH MAT working in the studio with JOHN ROO (Wishbone Ash, Hollywood Porn Star). Together they create the first the first draft of the album that is about to make waves pretty soon...

Producer Erwin Musper (whose impressive biography reads names like David Bowie, Def Leppard, Metallica, Van Halen, Anouk) is absolutly smitten by those recordings and Stéphanie's voice and charisma.
He decides to sign the band to his label and he gives the recording the superb finishing touch by mixing it in stereo and 5.1 surround sound at the Bamboo room Studio in Cincinnati, USA.

SHAH MAT even records an extra song plus a live concert while in the USA.
You will marvel at SHAH MAT's powerful show of force when you watch the DVD that is included with their debut CD.
Their first album will be launched in Europe on March 28th, 2007.