Four years since their last release, Aurora Consurgens, Brazilian power metalers ANGRA are back with their seventh release, and their most creative body of work yet. The adventurous concept album, Aqua, offers ten songs with combinations of progressive, ethnic, neoclassical and Brazilian music bursting at the seam.
The element of water is the main character of the story, and the theme of the album is based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, his last play written.
As usual, the musicianship from ANGRA is top shelf. The bandmembers are all accomplished musicians and composers. You can sense the members’ love for writing and creating music for the band. An added enthusiasm and passion is shared by the bandmembers as they welcome their drummer Ricard Confessori back into the fold.
ANGRA’s sound is somewhere in the range of Kiske-era HELLOWEEN or a keyboardless SYMPHONY X. It has that familiar power metal sound, but without being too “flowery.”
The Andre Matos era is well behind them. Vocalist Edu Falaschi has been in the band since 2001 and fits in quite nicely. The harmonies and melodies really shine on this album. The production pushes guitarists Raphael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro’s sound to the front with a heavy, progressive edge. Their melodic-yet-aggressive power metal is very slick and polished, but that’s what makes Angra such a great band and Aqua such a great album.
“The Rage of the Waters” and “Awake From Darkness” really display Angra’s Brazilian roots with their innovative percussion and syncopated beats, which accentuates their ethnic influences. Neoclassical guitar wizardry is well executed on “Arising Thunder.” There are also several piano/keyboard compositions and interludes on the album that gives a variation to the songwriting.
Aqua is a well-executed record from one of the most creative power metal bands in the game today.
By Kelley Simms