Named after a mythological Brazilian goddess of fire, Angra blazed a path across South America, Europe and Japan with its brand of heavy metal proving that there is life in Brazil beyond death and thrash metal. The band was formed following the frustrations Andre Matos felt in Viper. While Matos was leaning more and more towards melodic and classical arrangements, the other Vipers had other ideas. With one demo under their belts, the band has a deal in Europe and recording in Germany. Angra always has a touring keyboardist in tow and the members are all recognized experts and instructors in their field. Three albums, two EPS and several sampler and tribute albums later, the fans are shocked with news of a strife within the band and the parting of ways. Both parties work hard pushing forward with their new line-ups and ideas. In 2001 Angra recruited new members and came back with a fourth album closer to the first two records than Fireworks.
The Brazilians released a live album and a DVD in 2002. The band began work on a new studio album in 2004 with Dennis Ward producing. Temple Of Shadows was issued in September, 2004. Aurora Consurgens was issued in late 2006 and was named after a book by Saint Thomas Of Aquin. The band entered a period of turmoil and conflict involving its manager who claimed ownership of the name Angra in 2007 and ceased its activities. Falaschi started Almah. Former drummer Ricardo Confessori replaced Aquiles Priester reportedly for a resumption of activity in 2009. Angra released its seventh studio album, Aqua, on September 29th, 2010 through SPV. Aqua was a concept album. Singer Eduardo "Edu" Falaschi left the Brazilian metal band in the spring of 2012. Angra would release a compilation, Best Reached Horizons, in October, 2012 through SPV/Steamhammer. The band publicly announced its wish to have Andre Matos back in the fold. Kiko Loureiro joined Megadeth in 2015 replacing Chris Broderick.
ANGRA - REBIRTH - SPV
Admittedly I was never a fan of Angra. The latest incarnation of the Brazilian melodic rockers is nowhere near changing my opinion. In general, with a wholesale line up change, which saw the departure of 3 members to form Shaman since the band's last outing, expectations were inclined to the negative. Angra, though, has surprised the fans and come back if not better then no worse than previously. Despite that, the band's approach is too melodic for the average heavy metal fan and further impaired by the glut of harmonization in the vocals and the abundance of keyboards. The presence of the so-called Brazilian passages is not abetting the band's cause either. It's not all bad, admittedly, and the guitarists have their moments; yet in the grand scheme of things Angra is bound to remain more popular with Rhapsody and Dream Theater fans than heavy or power metal followers. - Ali "The Metallian"
ANGRA - TEMPLE OF SHADOWS - STEAMHAMMER
Angra's fifth full-length album, Temple Of Shadows, is a concept album which narrates the story of an eleventh century crusader soldier called The Shadow Hunter. He questions the motive behind the crusades and the ideals of his church.
Be it the familiar restrictions of a concept album or the band's intended direction Temple Of Shadows is a diverse and jumbled effort. The album begins hard enough, but soon falls prey to the band's grandiose aspirations. The album is unfocused musically and ends up being tiresome. There are several notable guest musicians on the album. They fail to redeem the temple. There is some power metal here, some Spanish guitars, some ethnic percussions, some programmed parts, prog moments, some Yngwie-style shred interludes with fast Classical guitar parts, many instrumental pieces and a general potpourri of vocals styles that range from something akin to a Slaughter album to operatic to some that are better suited to Flamenco. Fan boys will love everything Angra might do - even a Polka album - but metal fans will find this deluded and diluted. - Ali "The Metallian"
ANGRA - AURORA CONSURGENS - SPV
Having suffered through the last few albums of Angra it would not have been difficult for an observer to predict that Aurora Consurgens was not going to be a major catastrophe in the eyes of this writer. After all, how much worse could it get?
Having impersonated a metal band for so many years - if the label and press’ description of the Brazilians is to be believed; the band itself might have declared itself pop/rock years ago for all one knows - the group’s 2006 record actually moderately stands up to inspection. The band has picked up its guitars, inserted some heaviness here and consequently given the fans something that could be construed as a mixture of Rush, Dream Theater (themselves hardly the pillars of the heavy metal scene), Helloween and unfortunately... Angra. In other words, the new album is harder and more credible, but not quite ready to be above average just yet. Instead, the album has enough to be considered hard rock in part, shows that the band can still get it together should it so choose and yet still harbours too many progressive, ethnic, keyboards, pianos, synthesizers and orchestral interludes and pieces. Be it the freedom a band derives when not operating within the confines of a strict concept album, the sense that the band had gone too commercial or ethnic for its own good or another reason Angra 2006 has good vocals and guitars amidst the rest of the elements one dislikes, yet fully expects. Were the band to steadily improve between albums, as it has here compared to 2004’s temple Of Shadows, it will produce a really good metal band three or four albums down the line. - Ali “The Metallian”