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Angra - Holy Land CD (album) cover

HOLY LAND

Angra

 

Progressive Metal

4.03 | 158 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The very first time I've listened "Holy Land" I felt a bit confused. It was softer than their debut, there were many slow songs and ballads. After being left in the shelf for a long time and after listening to it more carefully I realized how magnificent this album is. It is the same Angra who brought us "Angels Cry", still power metal, still the classical arrangements, but with a more mature sound. With "Holy Land", Angra tries to make a tribute to their homeland. This could be a concept album, but don’t get upset about it, I know, concept albums seem to be the same in power metal, but this is no about the traditional knights and maidens story… have you ever listened to a concept album about sailors and explorers? Maybe there isn’t a solid tale throughout the album, but you can see the same line followed in the lyrics. And to introduce the listeners to the core of the songs and the album, Angra has explored new terrains by mixing metal with some Latin rhythms and instruments in a way that can be slightly noticed. I guess this is the strongest point in Holy Land, making it a special album in the catalogue of every metal fan.

Each song in Holy Land is different and has its moments. On the vocal side, Matos makes a greater job than in Angles Cry, while his compositions are one of the best. The guitars don’t sound like Carry On or Evil Warning, they are more rhythm-oriented, there are less melodic riffs but Kiko and Rafael have worked too hard on the solos, breaking in different forms and in the perfect moment of each song. One of the best solos of the album is the one on "Z.I.T.O.", although this and "Nothing to Say" are the only songs that follow the musical line of the past album. A special tune is "Holy Land", slow song with a main piano melody so catchy and memorable. "Make Believe" is one of the ballads of the albums, but I would say that is more a classic rock ballad than a metal ballad, so it gives another taste to the album, closing with a powerful solo I like a lot. And I must mention the “epic” song of this album: "Carolina IV", with an intro full of Latin percussions and with some kind of variations all over the song, including Latin sounds, metal lines and classical interludes. This is one of the progressive songs and you must pay attention on the bass on this one.

It’s difficult to catalogue metal bands actually, and with Holy Land, Angra is one of those bands awaiting for that “style-label” because they have created their own style that at best can be described as symphonic power/prog metal with latin influences. For prog people Holy Land can be perfect for listening to Angra for the first time, but I’d prefer listening to Angels Cry first, so you can appreciate the evolution of these guys and know why they are one of the most important metal bands on these days. Holy Land is possibly their best, while most influential and complete sounding album in their catalogue.

album rating: 9.5/10 points = 94 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 5/5 |

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