"Aurora Consurgens" (SPV; 2006)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Well-rounded power metal with a world music scope (sans Viking helmets and light on the fantastic imagery) comes courtesy of Brazil's Angra and their latest 10-track release "Aurora Consurgens."

Juxtaposing elements of progressive metal, a la Queensryche, with the power metal played by bands like Manowar and Blind Guardian, this disc gets both operatic and oppressively heavy at the same time, sometimes, as in the case on "Salvation: Suicide." 

Expressing their need for speed with vigor and conveying their desire to reach the nougat-filled creamy chorus center on cuts like "The Voice Commanding You," Angra makes a metallic concept album about a religious manuscript by Saint Thomas of Aquin the subject matter of one hell of a power metal release. 

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"Temple of Shadows" (SPV; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I have long admired Angra for the dazzling technical skills and above average songwriting. Unfortunately, I am only familiar with Angra from their inclusion on various compilation discs from their first couple of releases. What's even more unfortunate is that I never got around to acquiring their albums. With "Temple Of Shadows" I am know unmistakably aware of what I've been missing.

"Temple Of Shadows" is a concept album loosely centered around an 11th century crusader who questions the ideals of the Catholic Church. And to my ears Angra still sounds like early era Helloween - which isn't a bad thing, you know. So, yes, "Temple Of Shadows" is another concept album from a power metal band.

As we all know concept albums tend to bring out the symphonic and epic tendencies of a band which is almost a necessity just to keep things interesting. To me, "Temple Of Shadows" has more of an epic feel than a symphonic feel despite the actual presence of a symphony to bolster the story and its emotions.

The first half of "Temple Of Shadows" is pretty standard power metal fare with a few Brazilian rhythmic flourishes thrown in for good measure. The latter half of the disc is much more progressive and symphonic and it actually evokes the genius of Pain Of Salvation. Seems to me Angra has gotten beyond the basics of power metal idioms and are starting to go after their 'thing' and their own sound this appears, from the sound of this, to be rapidly taking shape. I hear a lot of conviction and confidence in the thirteen tracks that make up "Temple Of Shadows."

Obviously, Angra's "Temple Of Shadows" will appeal to power metal fans, but even progressive rock and progressive metal fans will find something to like with this disc.

"Temple Of Shadows" was produced by Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69).

Angra: Edu Falaschi on vocals, Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt on guitars, Felipe Andreoli on bass, and Aqualis Priester on drums. Guests include Milton Nascimento, Kai Hansen of Gamma Ray, Hansi Kursch of Blind Guardian, and Sabine Edelsbacher of Edenbridge.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2023 21:56:12 -0400.