Angra - Temple of shadows 4/5

Reviewed: 2-18-05


1. Deus le volt!
2. Spread your fire
3. Angels and demons
4. Waiting silence
5. Wishing well
6. The temple of hate
7. The shadow hunter
8. No pain for the dead
9. Winds of destination
10. Sprouts of time
11. Morning star
12. Late redemption
13. Gate XIII

Angra's 'Rebirth' CD was a true rebirth for the band. With the departure of 3/5 of the band (most notably founder Andre Matos) many people thought that Angra was done. But, the band “carried on”, recruited some quality new members, and released what may have been their best CD. Angra may not be helping to define a sub-genre within power metal like they did with their classic debut 'Angels cry' (one of the early classical power metal CDs), but they may be reaching new heights when it comes to songwriting prowess.

Now the band returns with their 6th CD 'Temple of shadows'. Lyrically, this is a concept album about a knight during the Crusades. Musically, well, it's Angra! Fans of 'Rebirth' should feel right at home here. One minor difference is that vocalist Edu Falaschi has added some minor tinges of roughness to his vocal timbre. Not so much that he sounds radically different, and it doesn't permeate through his whole performance, but it isn't a side of his vocals that I remember hearing on 'Rebirth'. Also, I would gague this CD as having a slightly more proggy overtone to it in comparison to 'Rebirth', if not as much as was the case in 'Holy land'.

After the prerequisite intro track, “Spread your fire” kicks things off in typical, delightful Angra fashion, with a speedy tempo, catchy chorus, and dazzling harmony guitar heroics. “Angels and demons” starts off with a much more proggy stylized riff, before settling into a more midtempo song. One real personal highlight is “The temple of hate” which is a speedy scorcher featuring split vocal duties between Edu and Kai Hansen. Hearing Kai singing over new power metal material makes the Gamma Ray lover in me cry out in joy and in frustration at the amount of time we have had to wait (and continue to wait) for a new Gamma Ray CD. (Note to Kai: Hurry it up already!) Hansi Kursch similarly, makes a guest vocal performance on "Winds of destination".

'Temple of shadows' is one of the best CDs of 2004, though most probably won't hear it until 2005. It maintains the high quality and polished classiness of Angra's best material. Angra remains a classically inclined power metal band with a high level of muscianship (at times accentuated with more progressive metal stylings) and excellent songwriting. For the heavier side of power metal, look elsewhere, but for those who still love high speed, beautifully melodic European styled power metal, with some Brazilian percussion thrown in, 'Temple of shadows' is a must have.




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