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Angra - Holy Land CD (album) cover

HOLY LAND

Angra

 

Progressive Metal

4.08 | 209 ratings

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viperjr98
5 stars WARNING-ACHTUNG-WARNING: You will not be getting an objective review :WARNING- ACHTUNG-WARNING!!! This is one of my top 10 "desert island" albums. It is perfect in every way. There is nothing I would change.

I was introduced to this one (along with Symphony X's Damnation Game and Superior's Behind) by an ytsejam contact, my Scandinavian friend Mape Olila (Mape, if you happen to read this, thank you!) back in '96. It was an incredible time for finding new music for me. I had been into the original prog metal trio (QR, FW, DT) for years but had not found anything quite as good. Then along came Angra. I have listened to perhaps thousands of CDs by hundreds of bands since, and only Pain of Salvation have found their way into my own personal prog metal hall of fame.

What we have here in this CD is part speed metal, part symphony, and part Carnivale. After the orchestral opening, "The Crossing", comes one of the best opening songs I can remember, "Nothing to Say". The symphonic elements layered into the opening crunching guitar riff give me goosebumps every time. "Silence and Distance" starts and ends with piano balladeering with a great odd-time sig guitar riff in-between. "Carolina IV" is an all- time classic, as is the title track. "The Shaman" is about ancient indian burial rites ("warm up the soul while the body's freezing"). "Make Believe" is probably the least prog metal, most poppy, song on the album, but it is still one of my favorites. It's a beautiful melody, flawlessly performed with perfect orchestral accents throughout, and Andre Matos hits one of the highest notes ever recorded near the end. "Z.I.T.O" (I have no idea what it stands for) rocks, "Deep Blue" takes it down a notch, and "Lullaby for Lucifer" ends the CD on a peaceful note, giving you a chance to breathe after what was just an incredible ride.

This is Angra's best work by far. The preceding album wasn't bad, the subsequent album was decent, and the albums since the departure of Matos and the rhythm section just don't hold a candle. I am certain that 50 years from now I will still be listening to this album.

To those who say this isn't prog, then we simply have different definitions of what prog is. That in itself is a defining aspect of prog music; that it is hard to define. You can call it whatever you want. I'll call it one of the best ever.

| 5/5 |

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