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Marc Baum
5 stars Why do power metal people still hail bands like Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, etc.? Because they have lead this trend since the end of the 80’s and beginning of the 90’s. Making power metal in these days could be dangerous, I mean, being a power metal is difficult actually. Lack of originality is the main problem with power metal, and since the mid 90’s this genre is dying and we see a lot of bands arrive and just pass away because they sound like ____________ (put any band name here). The difference with Angra is that they are serious and don’t follow trends in power metal (dragons, forests, castles, victory). This step away from common lyrics in the genre can make a great difference and lyrically Angra has proved since the release of "Angels Cry" they geniality to talk about life in general, but lyrics go to hell if music is boring.

If you take a listen to "Angels Cry", you may think “it’s just another power metal album”. Yeah, all right, but let’s see… it was their debut album and sometimes debut albums remark the main influences of the band. "Angels Cry" is not the exception. The main sound will attract Helloween fans, but there are details that make this album special. André Matos and his musical studies have helped to develop some arrangements that make stronger the songs in the perfect moment. The musical production is another essential factor to achieve this. Sascha Paeth (Heavens Gate) was in charge of this task and the result is a new fresh sound. You can hear all the instruments with detail. Bass don’t get lost, so the lines (specially the little but awesome solos) played by Luis Mariutti can be appreciated. Drums are OK, killer, but not something to become crazy about. And the guitars, when is about rhythm, sounds like every power metal guitar line, but making a good job to keep you expecting more; but what comes to shine are the guitar solos, Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt are not the best guitarists (this doesn’t means that they are bad, they are just good guitar players) but as both take the leading duties it makes them one of the best metal guitar duos among others like Murray-Smith or Weikath-Grapow. Vocals are powerful, even though I don’t like it much when Matos seems to loose the range of his voice (he sounds like a boy having a voice change), but I think he makes it with intention and that’s his style and what gives Angra a characteristic sound. Extra note: Which other male singer could sing Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" in the original form in such high tunes in the similar style of the original as he does here? It's unbelievable what he can do with his voice! It's very sad that he isn't in the band anymore (he has an new band with two of his old band mates, which is called "Shaman", inspired from the same title song from Angra's second album "Holy Land"). The new singer Edu Falaschi is a well chosen follow up though! He doesn't reach his high potential as singer and performer, but he has a clear and powerful voice. Sometimes I still miss André when it comes to higher tunes at live performances today, but all in all he fits to the band. The whole sound of the group on "Angels Cry" is so compact and passionate arranged, that it is a pure pleasure for me to listen to any single note on this album!

There is not a single weak song, but here are the chosen ones: "Carry On", being the most acclaimed track of the album; the title track, "Angels Cry", with a classical interlude that is just brilliant; the earlier mentioned Kate Bush cover "Wuthering Heights"; "Never Understand", with the guest appearances of master Kai Hansen, Dirk Schlächter (both from Gamma Ray), and Sascha Paeth playing amazing solos respectively at the end of the song along with Loureiro and Bittencourt; "Evil Warning", my favorite, playing a strange but interesting banjo intro and classical arrangements, later an interlude that grows with tension breaking in one of the best guitar solos on the album.

I think Angels Cry was a great debut for Angra. It’s not for every one, maybe just for people who are into power metal, but is worth to listen just for the musical ideas on it and for the impact it had on the scene considering that Angra is not another german band (like the most in power/speed metal) but a group of brazilian guys playing the music they like, showing that not only Europe can deliver great bands and quality in this kind of music. This is quality material to any collection. Prog-purists should let their hands off this, but open-minded progressive rock fans, who don't are afraid of innovative power metal sounds, should risk an ear too, while they get a great combination of bands like Dream Theater, Helloween, Queen and Rush. It's for sure a symphonic power metal classic of the 90's and one of the best debuts of the genre.

album rating: 9.5/10 points = 93 % 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

Report this review (#9699)
Posted Wednesday, December 24, 2003 | Review Permalink
3 stars Franz Schubert must be very upset in his tomb, cos Andre Mattos said "Unfinished Allegro" its an own composition... Is a good albun for 1993, but now-days is too much cliche! But here lives many classics of this band like: Carry On, Evil Warning and Streets Of Tomorrow.
Report this review (#9689)
Posted Sunday, February 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not so bad but not so good.Angra want to go away to power metal current,in fact they put together power elements with prog elements and they genuine origin that come out from Brazil. Best song "Carry on"
Report this review (#9691)
Posted Friday, April 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've been listening to this album since 1994 and it *still* sounds great when I play it again! It's a very elaborate album for a début, and let's not forget that the musicians already had an excellent level for their age at the time...

Classifying an album as heavy metal or progressive metal or whatever is tough...of course, many people who don't like heavy guitars may have restrictions to this album, but I wouldn't consider it purely metal because of its more elaborate elements. Matos' voice is so remarkable that it never allows people to be indifferent regarding it: you'll either love it or hate it. In my case, I love it:) In further albums he'll explore other vocal ranges too...

Report this review (#9692)
Posted Sunday, April 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This debut album of this brazilian band is in my oppinion remarkable. The band works in a mix of SYnphonic melodical heavy metal, brazilian rythms (like the maracatu in " never understand" oppening), classical moments and progressive rock. The sinergy between the musicians is impressive, creating great moments, like " Angels Cry" , " Never understand" and the Kate Bush cover " Wuthering Heights". The arrangements reaches the virtuosi state of art in most of the record.The band travels from really heavy moments to lirical and absolute beautiful soundscapes.This record really animates me , every time i hear it.Very true and original product from Brazil. Try it.
Report this review (#9693)
Posted Saturday, May 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars This record is still far from the impressive "Holy Land" album, this is not a very interesting debut from the progressive point of view for it's power metal on the vein of Helloween and Stratovarius. The best (and most progressive) track is the outstanding Never Undertand. The rest of the album is very well done heavy metal but not really progressive.
Report this review (#9698)
Posted Monday, December 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I agree with you guys when you say it's not prog but power metal. however, it's still a great album for those who enjoy a heavier sound and that's why I rated it three stars. The sequence "first-second song" is Angra's highlight in the earlier albums. "Unfinished Allegro" is suddenly interrupted by the heavy guitars of "Carry On" which virtuosism is noticed on the firsts seconds. All the musicians are pretty skilled, especially the drummer. "Angel's Cry" and "Evil Warning" follow the same idea of great instrumental work. "Time", "Stand Away", "Never Understand" and "Wuthering Heights" explore mostly André Mattos' beautiful voice (which becomes evident in "Lasting Child") and bring the best melodies of the album. All right, I think it's enought.
Report this review (#41351)
Posted Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is genial. The incredible variation and complexity, but at the same time the clean and neat sound, is incredible and admirable. Some of the songs may not be the most intresting or original songs, but masterpieces as Carry On, Stand Away (that even though to some the vocals may sound funny, the courage that Andre Matos had in order to push himself above the regular and expected quality of singing is surely honerable and exciting, it takes creative musicians to write something original and different from every other band out there) and Time sure are worth listening to. I may have to disagree with some of the posts in this website, but in my opinion as a Melodic Metal fan, this is one of the albums that I consider that almost achieved perfection, if not for some songs that I didn't like so much. This is a great album.
Report this review (#54019)
Posted Sunday, October 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My journey with SHAMAN music (see my review on "Ritual" and "RituAlive" at his site) has brought me back to ANGRA - the origin of Shaman before its formation. The reason is simple - at Shaman's live concert DVD there is "Carry On" taken from "Angels Cry" album. So I grabbed the CD of this album which I have at double CD version altogether with "Holy Land" (I already reviewed long time ago at this site). Well, I do love the opening track of this album "Unfinished Allegro" which also appears at "Rebirth World Tour" CD and DVD version. This short introduction serves well to set the tone of the overall album. When "Carry On" enters the scene I can see the beauty and the energy of this song especially through its strong melody, powerful voice of lead vocal (Andre Matos), stunning guitar solo and dynamic bass guitar and inventive keyboard sounds. It's truly an excellent track in power metal vein.

"Time" is my favorite track. It starts mellow with nice acoustic guitar fills. The music flows nicely in slow tempo and finally moves into fast tempo with high register notes voice line, augmented with guitar riffs and keyboard punches. Again, I love the melody of this song as well as the high energy it delivers. The simple music interlude using keyboard followed with guitar is an excellent attraction of this track. "Angels Cry" is an excellent power metal song with great guitar work. The interlude part is really melodic and memorable - with the music tempo slowing down and using keyboard to fill the music, giving a symphonic nuance of the song.

"Stand Away" is a nice song that starts like a ballad. The overall melody and structure of this song have in a way inspired "Fairy Tale" of Shaman. Oh yes, they don't seem the same but the style is similar. I really like both songs. "Never Understand" brings the music to another style even though it still maintain the power metal vein at the middle of the track onwards. This album also features a song that was popular under Kate Bush, i.e. "Wuthering Heights".

Overall, this is an excellent addition to your power metal collection with some prog elements, of course. Recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW [Review no. 800]

Report this review (#95988)
Posted Friday, October 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars After reading some positive reviews on ANGRA I decided to order "Angel's Cry", "Holy Land" and "Temple Of Shadows" all at once. Even after listening to those albums multiple times I still don't like them. I think this is just plane metal, but if they would be Metallica I could still like it. This is just one of those prog-metal bands with abundance of metal and a huge lack of prog, like there is some other band I don't really "get" called Dream Theatre. I like prog because of it's complex textures. First I thought that prog and metal could not be combined, but bands like GREEN CARNATION, PAIN OF SALVATION, OPETH and RIVERSIDE have proven me differently. If you want to listen to some good Brazilian prog music go buy a CD from AETHER, INDEX, SOLIS, or TARKUS, but avoid ANGRA. Sorry guys!
Report this review (#103803)
Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of the best discoveries of the last year and also one of my favorite debut albums. I've heard by name these guys from Brazil (who are maybe the most well known metal band from their country, behind the big Sepultura), but never had the opportunnity to listen to their music, and I must say I'm very surprised (in a good way).

I was expecting to hear another predictable so called 'prog' metal band, with no prog on their compositions, but I was wrong. This is not plain Power metal: despite the influence from bands of the genre is evident (specially in some moments), Angra go further with more complex, innovative and inventive compositions, combining mellow and heavy parts, some neo-classical stuff, and great, original solos from mr Kiko Loureiro. Having said this, it's evident that Angra are NOT another common Power metal band, not at all.

All the tracks are very good, some of them excellent. Now I'll write about my personal favorites on this impressive debut. The album opens with "Unfinished Allegro", a short but great keyboard piece (keyboards played occasionally, by singer André Matos) with evident classical influence, which is connected directly to the first real song, "Carry On", which has an extremely powerful voice, a catchy and very melodic chorus that is stucked in my head since the first time I heard it, and an interesting interlude with a great guitar solo followed by a bizzare but very good keyboard solo; this song is incredibly powerful, you ought to hear it! "Time" starts quietly, with similar moments to what can be called a ballad, but then the heavy guitars explode and André's powerful voice enters again (another damn great chorus hear); then the song continues in this mid/fast tempo, some nice, very good time changes here and there, until it ends, another incredibly good highlight! "Angel's Cry" features another catchy calm chorus, again some very well done heavy changes and an adventurous interlude with another neo-classical keyboard driven passage that has not much to do with the song BUT it's always a pleasure to hear, and give the song distinction. Highly enjoyable. Here's also an amazing cover of the Kate Bush song "Wuthering Heights". Here, as some reviewers already did, I'll remark with big job singer André did, specially on this track, because he could keep the extremely high tone (he sings so high that maybe you won't realise it's sung by a man, incredible) and sing this beautiful song masterfully, that honestly gives me shivers every time I hear it. Amazing cover. "Streets Of Tomorrow" is one of the most complex songs here, which starts with an odd heavy riff, and goes through plenty of passages here and there, an amazing chorus, and maybe the best guitar solo here (good work, Kiko!), and also the powerful vocals stand out and the rhythm section is at their top. Everything here is done to be immensely enjoyed, a big highlight. "Stand Away" has again soft/heavy passages, with some great vocal work, beautiful and deep melodic moments and a weird guitar solo that seems taken from a videogame. The closing song, "Lasting Child" maybe the most complex here, with (again) superb vocal work, time/mood changes, and a memorable inspired keyboard line an the end, closing an excellent debut and one of the best 1st albums I've heard so far.

Overall, a disc that's so good and mature that would not seem a debut. Recommended to (Prog) Metal fans, and another Prog rocker with an open mind shouldn't lose the chance to hear and enjoy this excellent album as much as I did.

Rating: 4.0/5

Report this review (#110909)
Posted Tuesday, February 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not that bad at all---not the greatest thing to hit prog rock, but is still generally a strong release from Angra though it is definitely not their strongest...Angels Cry the song is pretty awesome...a lot of the song are a bit mellow, but they get into their speed mode..soo their music is a bit inconsistent with theme though transition (you may call it) is pretty good....

I give them a 4 for musicianship. I give them a 3 for lyrics. and about a 3 for everything else but, what can I say it's worth the buy so I'll give it a 4.

Report this review (#118078)
Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album well-known is a great work, in which songs of low level do not exist emphasizing: Carry On, Time, Angels Cry and Street Of Tomorrow. This album finishes by concretizar the style of a band that, for that moment was occurring to know. In addition it reunites to very symphonic elements and change of interesting rhythm emphasizing the work of the guitars, the bass guitar and by mainly of the voice, Andre Matos, who also fulfills a fundamental roll in the composition of the disc and demonstrating a great dominion on the high tones. Without a doubt best line-up of the band. Excellent album
Report this review (#130268)
Posted Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the first albums I bought with my own money at the age of 15 and it is still one of my favorites... I love everything about this album...Andre Matos is a great pianist and a very good singer... The musical production is perfect, you can hear every instrument perfectly... All keyboards, orchestral sound and pianos, sound really natural... This album is essential for all power metal fans...
Report this review (#158234)
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Angel´s Cry" is the debut full-length album by Brazilian power metal act Angra. The album was released through Rising Sun Productions in October 1993. "Angel´s Cry" was recorded at Kai Hansen´s (Helloween, Gamma Ray, Iron Saviour) studio in Hamburg, Germany and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and Sascha Paeth (one part of the prolific producer team Paeth/Miro who have worked with most of the European power metal elite. Most notably Rhapsody of Fire). It´s noteworthy that the drums on the album are played by Alex Holzwarth (Sieges Even, Rhapsody of Fire) as future drummer Ricardo Confessori was not a member of the band at the time when the band recorded the album even though he is featured on the photos in the album booklet.

The music on the album is neo-classical influenced European power metal with the occasional progressive moment thrown in. After listening to "Angel´s Cry" it´s pretty obvious that Angra are Helloween worshippers ("Keeper of the Seven Keys part I and II" era). The fast paced double bass drums, the melodic neo-classical influenced guitars, symphonic keyboards and the memorable, anthemic and melodic vocal lines delivered by a high pitched vocalist are all trademarks in the genre, that Helloween spearheaded in the 80s. So it´s safe to say that the music on "Angel´s Cry" is not very original.

What makes this album stand out from the pack is the quality of the music. And these are generally very high quality compositions. The album features fast paced Euro power metal tracks like "Carry On", "Time" and "Streets of Tomorrow" but "Angel´s Cry" is actually a rather diverse album which also features tracks like the power ballad "Stand Away" (which features some extremely high pitched vocal parts), "Never Understand" (the most progressive inclined track on the album) and the symphonic closing track "Lasting Child: I The Parting Words II Renaissance". There is also a cover version of the Kate Bush track "Wuthering Heights" featured on the album. The cover is true to the original but very well performed. The vocal performance by lead vocalist André Matos is nothing short of amazing on that track. High pitched falsetto delivered with passion and conviction.

The musicianship on the album are on a high level. The guitar playing by Kiko Loureiro is melodic yet powerful but the prize goes to vocalist André Matos. He is an outstanding vocalist who masters his voice and singing style to perfection. He doesn´t invent anything new but he´s got a great voice and a brilliant technique.

The sound production is professional, clear and powerful although the drum sound at times could have been a bit more powerful. So all in all "Angel´s Cry" is a great album in all departments. Professional and clever songwriting (even though it´s not terribly original), brilliant musicianship and a well sounding production. In other words a high quality release by Angra fully deserving a 4 star (80%) rating.

Report this review (#203893)
Posted Saturday, February 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Just another wannabe band?


Angra deserves much more praise than they have; in North America anyways. The fact that they are frequently absent of your fa favorite list is perhaps due to the saturated market of metallic music. The early 2000's have been a prolific time for our he headbanging friends, with the wave of Nightwishesque bands including Evanescence and such. Eyeliner, black dyed hair, go goatees, spiked wrist bands bands were legions and kinda bored us in the end. Where to look for protein in a sea of sugar?

Angra does not fall into that category. With Matos, Loureiro, Bittencourt and later, our beloved suprahuman Aquiles Priester, Angra is not a temporary band with not much to say. While some bands are quickly out of ideas, Angra keep delivering quality products after 20 years of loyal service. They are obviously hyper qualified musicians (those solos) and Matos is capable of vocals beyond I ever heard. Not even Geoff Tate or Geddy Lee gets that high. To cover Kate Bush is something, but to cover it decently is is worthy of your attention.

I admit that I'm a sucker for the art cover (very 90's) and the fact that they rock not only power metal, but also neo-classical and Brazilian influences. You have to admit that sort of approach is in short supply in the over-abudant world of metal.

An impressive debut with adrenaline, orchestration and enough originality to part from the herd. They were first before many more popular bands, so dibs on Angra!

Report this review (#1907192)
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2018 | Review Permalink

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