These guys are a new discovery for me. I first heard them by downloading an MP3 off Century Media's site. (Uh, oh, did you hear that Metallica? Did you read that your greedy record companies? MP3 audio caused me to BUY your products.) I bought "Fireworks" first and immediately loved it. I had to search out the rest of their discs as well as Viper, who also had the wonderful Andre Matos singing for them. Unfortunately in '99 Andre left the band and the 'official' word from Century Media was that the band broke up. However in 2001 they showed back up with a new singer anda new disc.
Angra - Angels Cry (Century Media) 1994
Angels Cry," Angra's first full length album, is a specatcular progressive power metal album that features Andre Matos' heavenly voice. Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" is a spectacular song.
Angra - Evil Warning (LU) 2000
1. "Evil Warning"
('94 version) (6:40)
An import collectors EP. Not much to say though since the songs included are all alternative tracks from "Angel's Cry" and most are very similar to, if not exactly the same as the originals. Nice packaging complete with obi strip. Not exactly sure of the release year. The date on the back of the cd is 2000, but I have also seen this disc listed as 1999.
Angra - Holy Land (Century Media) 1996
Angra's second disc retains their classic progressive metal sound but adds in some Brazilian-style rhythms. The album as a whole is a bit slower than "Angel's Cry" but there are a few speedy metal tracks as well. This album is the perfect blend of power, intensity, emotion, and progressive metal beauty.
Angra - Holy Live (Century Media) 1998
Well, what can I say. Angra live are as good as Angra studio, plus the live renditions even add a bit of aggression that can't be captured in a studio. Really my only complaint about this disc is that it is too short, clocking in at just over 35 minutes.
Angra - Fireworks (SPV) digi-pack 1998
1."Wings of Reality"
Fireworks is heavy, ultra-melodic and features some catchy metal, sort of like a mix of Helloween, Blind Guardian and a bit of Fates Warning thrown in for good measure. Great production, killer chops and those heavenly vocals. The album starts out fast and furious with "Wings of Reality" and "Petrified Eyes" before slowing down for the softer, melodic "Lisbon." Picking out a favorite song would be a chore, but "Mystery Machine" would probably be on of my picks. "Wings of Reality" is an excellenct tune that sounds very much like Helloween's "Eagle Fly Free". Actually, this is one of those discs that are a great listen from start to finish. Any metal fan searching for some true metal should check these guys out! It will be worth your time! There is also a couple of re-issues of this disc, including a US release, with a bonus track ("Rainy Nights").
Angra - Lisbon (SPV) 1998
1. "Lisbon" (5:00)
Collector's CD single that contains two alternative versions of album tracks, as well as the single "Lisbon.". The acoustic version of "Make Believe" is quite nice. The demo version of "Angels Cry" is not terribly different from the final version that made it onto the album of the same name. Still a nice collector's disc that I assume is pretty rare.
Angra-Rebirth (Paradox Music) 2001
1. "In Excelsis"
I thought that Angra were done after I heard that Andrè Matos was gone. I think I even got an email from Century Media saying that the band had broke up, so I was surprised to hear that they had a new cd out with a new singer. With that in mind, the album becomes appropriately titled "Rebirth". However, despite having a new singer, the band's sound hasn't changed all that drastically. New vocalist Edu Falaschi does a fine job with his mid-to-high range smooth vocals. Musically the band sounds as majestic as ever. I'm not really sure how to describe it, but Angra are unlike many other melodic or progressive bands in that their sound is a bit happier, without losing the aggression. As bizarre as that sounds, it's the only way I can describe their music. Songs like the beautiful, yet powerful "Heroes of Sand" and the dynamic "Unholy Wars" and "Running Alone" can only be described as "emotional." Perhaps emotional is a good word to describe the whole experience. I think what gives the music this quality is the interplay between the keyboards and the guitars, each playing as important a role as the other. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the middle jam in the middle of "Running Alone".
Angra - Temple Of Shadows (Rakibitiou Music) 2004
1. "Deus Le Volt!"
My first thought after hearing this CD? WOW! This is a big improvement over "Rebirth". While I was happy with that CD, this one took me by the juggular on the first listen. After a short instrumental introduction, we are treated to three of the finest power metal songs to be recorded. I mean, this is classic stuff here. "Spread Your Fire," "Angles and Demons" and "Waiting Silence" all demonstrate what power metal is all about. Combining melody and aggression, with fast double bass, shredding guitars, biting riffs, blistering leads, and clean, soaring vocals. Guitarists Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro both sound great here. "Spread Your Fire" busts through the gates full throttle. This song is unlike anything I can recall from Angra at this moment. (Of course, I haven't really listened to Angra in a while for some reason.) However, this CD contains more than just three songs and and intro. Temple of Shadows is a conceptual album about "The Shadow Hunter". The story revolves around the Knights of the Cross and in particular, a crusader and his adventures. The concept is interesting, with some quotes from the Bible in Latin sparsed throughout. Musically, the entire CD continues in a similar mode to past Angra albums, walking a fine line between power metal and progressive metal with with traces of latin/flamenco and classical influences spattered throughout. (see Gate XIII or to The Shadow Hunter intro). The difference is, however, this CD seems to be a bit heavier and less "happy". Angra have always been on the lighter side of metal, but the band seems to have stepped it up a notch here. There are some lighter moments, "Wishing Well" for example is a ballad, but one that fits into the mood of the album nicely. Also there are some acoustic moments here and there, as in the song "The Shadow Winter." It is also worth mentioning that there are several guest artists on this CD as well. At one point I recall hearing a voice and thinking to myself, "Wow, he sounds a lot like Hansi Kürsch right there." Well, that is because it was Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian fame. Also on board is Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge) and Floor Jansen (After Forever). "Temple of Hate" is the track that features Hansen on vocals. This song is another blistering number with some very fast, precise guitar work. (Sabine Edelsbacher of Edenbridge adds her vocal stylings to "No Pain for the Dead" and Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian lends his vox to "Winds of Destination").