It may seem hard to believe, but with the release of "Aqua," Brazilian band ANGRA […]
By Mike Novak
September 15, 2010
Angra - Aqua album cover

It may seem hard to believe, but with the release of "Aqua," Brazilian band ANGRA has now released more albums with Edu Falaschi as their vocalist than Andre Matos. Despite losing 3/5 of their members in 2001, they have carried on and show no signs of slowing down.

Originally formed in 1991, ANGRA received critical acclaim with their debut "Angels Cry" and from then on established themselves as one of the first "modern" Power Metal bands (haters would call them "flower Metal," but I disagree). In 2001, singer Andre Matos, along with the drummer and bassist, quit to form the band SHAMAN, but ANGRA rebounded nicely from that circumstance, which would have destroyed lesser bands. "Aqua" marks the return of drummer Ricardo Confessori.

After a short intro, things start off well enough with a straightforward Power Metal song in "Arising Thunder." It sounds like a good mix between something from "Angel's Cry" and "Rebirth". However, this song is a bit misleading, as it is the only song that will bring to mind previous efforts. "Lease of Life" is a pretty good mainstream sounding song that still pales in comparison to "Breaking Ties" off of "Aurora Consurgens."

The rest of "Aqua," however, is going to disappoint a lot of fans. The majority of the music on here is too light to even be called "Metal." This may be even lighter than their "Holy Land" album. This is a shame because they have hinted at heavier sounds with every album so far with Falaschi as a singer, but those moments have only been teases. Here the jazz influences are more prominent, especially in "Hollow." And as a result the most accurate adjective to describe this album would be "boring."

The guitar solos, though technically solid, are that jazz fusion stuff that many guitarists seem to get into after a dozen years of playing the instrument. There's no neo-classical shredding to be found here. Ricardo Confessori, despite having improved since his first stint in ANGRA, is still far inferior to Aquiles Priester.

As you could have surmised from the review, this is ANGRA's worst album in the Falaschi era, and perhaps their worst album ever. They seem more occupied with writing "mature" albums with a concept (yes, this is a concept album and no, nobody cares) than writing the music that fans know and love. This is the first time where the output of former singer Andre Matos (in the form of "Adrenalize") has surpassed the work of his former band. Recommended only for those who thought "Aurora Consurgens" was too heavy.

5 / 10


"Aqua" Track-listing:
  1. Viderunt Te Aquae
  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. A Monster In Her Eyes
  9. Weakness Of A Man
  10. Ashes
Angra Lineup:

Eduardo Falaschi - Vocals
Kiko Loureiro - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Rafael Bittencourt - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Felipe Andreoli - Bass, Backing Vocals
Ricardo Confessori - Drums

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