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Angra - Angels Cry CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.92 | 160 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
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

Marc Baum | 5/5 |


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