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Angra: Aqua

Angra, the Brazilian metal band, have been quiet for some time but no more, as 2010 sees the launch of new material with the conceptual release Aqua. Angra is a group I have followed for years, they are a fantastic progressive/power metal band, with quite a distinctive sound and a wealth of talent. There is heaviness to this release and rapid tracks like "Arising Thunder", but Angra have many influences in their compositions so other lighter styles do come through, a combination that serves to create some truly wonderful, vibrant and diverse music.

Former Angra drummer Ricardo Confessori is now back in the band after the departure of Aquiles Priester. Ricardo is also an impressive drummer which he shows on Aqua, not troubled by those complex patterns during the CDs many technical passages. Angra have no other line-up changes as vocalist Edu Falaschi, guitarists Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt, along with bass player Felipe Andreoli, all return.

Aqua is simply a stellar album, full of quality tracks and those exciting traits that make Angra so good. This is a concept release as I mentioned above, Aqua is Latin for water, and it's that which plays a large part in this tale involving the sea and a shipwreck, the inspiration coming from William Shakespeare's play "The Tempest". Angra kick off with two splendid speedsters with a dual kick frenzy on "Arising Thunder" and then "Awake From Darkness", next they ease proceedings back for "Lease Of Life". Getting heavy again for "The Rage Of The Waters" which has more wonderful music. "Spirit Of The Air", "Hollow" and "Monster In Her Eyes" are all very likeable as is "Ashes" which showcases vocalist Edu Falaschi's wonderful voice and displays what a capable talent he is, a fitting closer to a fine album. But it's "The Weakness Of Man" that has me hooked it is so very infectious and has it all, many light with some heavier moments, great music and vocals and then Angra topped it off with a charming chorus that is just spellbinding.

Aqua is one of 2010's prime releases, so yes Angra are back and they haven't lost any of that musical magic.

Track list:
1. Viderunt Te Aquć
2. Arising Thunder
3. Awake From Darkness
4. Lease Of Life
5. The Rage Of The Waters
6. Spirit Of The Air
7. Hollow
8. Monster In Her Eyes
9. Weakness Of A Man
10. Ashes

Added: September 27th 2010
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 7311
Language: english

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Angra: Aqua
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-09-27 15:12:39
My Score:

I'll be quite honest-I've been sort of hit or miss with the output of Brazil's Angra for what seems like more than a decade. Holy Land, their breakthrough album from 1996, was one of the 90's most exciting power metal albums, and since former lead singer Andre Matos left the band, their albums have been spotty, though Aurora Consurgens and Temple of Shadows, their two most recent, showed definite signs of life. Well, after a break of four years, the band are back with Aqua, which in my view is easily the bands best since the glorious Holy Land.

Vocalist Eduardo Falaschi now fully sounds at home as the voice of Angra, and he's one of the main reasons that Aqua is so powerful and convincing. His snarling attack on "Awake From Darkness" grabs you by the balls and never lets go, and his poignant delivery on "Lease of Life" shows the variety that he brings to the table. The band is sizzling on all fronts throughout, so you can expect speedy power metal thumpers as well as more symphonic & progressive styled fare. Other highlights include the intricate "The Rage of the Waters", the crushing "Arising Thunder", and the ethnic sounding & highly progressive track "Hollow". Those who love the Brazilian flavors this brand bring to the table will love this tune!

In a year that has seen triumphant releases from power metal acts such as Kamelot, Blind Guardian, Mob Rules, Brainstorm, Gamma Ray, Masterplan, Wuthering Heights, Freedom Call, Heavenly, and Rhapsody of Fire, Angra has a lot of stiff competition, but Aqua is easily up to the challenge and deserves to be mentioned in the same conversations as those gems.

Angra: Aqua
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-09-13 18:09:04
My Score:

It has been four long years since Angra's last album Aurora Consurgens and in that time Ricardo Confessori has replaced Aquiles Priester on drums, for what is his second stint with the Brazilian power metal quintet. After such a lengthy lay off there is always the slight worry that a band may have lost their edge, or decided to try and "update" their sound. However I'm glad to say that with their new album Aqua, Angra have avoided both pitfalls. One listen to the galloping "Awake From Darkness", or the progressively tinged "The Rage Of The Waters" confirms that the full tilt ferocious power metal that made the band's name is still in evidence and a mighty force to be reckoned with.

What has always set Angra apart though, is their ability to blend that hundred miles an hour riff-fest, with songs that are varied in pace and approach, without losing the intensity built up by the faster songs. "Weakness Of Man" is a perfect example of how a power metal band can happily sit on a mid tempo beat and allow the instrumentation to spread out over some sharp time changes. The guitar pairing of Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro are as effective a duo as you will come across, with the mixture of blazing riffs and blinding solos carrying just the right blend of dextrous flash and emotional passion. There are however many power metal bands who can lay claim to those traits, so it is left for Eduardo Falaschi's vocal power to really set Angra apart from the pack and it is a task he relishes. The control in his full bodied roar is mightily impressive, as he never comes close to sounding ragged or rough, whether he is keeping things low key as he does on "Lease Of Life", or belting it out from his boots as he competes with the frantic guitar work on "Arising Thunder".

Four years may be a long time for a band to be absent, but with Aqua, Angra have come back right at the top of their game and proved that when it comes to power metal there are few better.

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