Released: 2010, SPV
For the most part Angra have been well received in the land of Metal-Rules.com. The new output is no exception. Several years in the making, the band in pre-release interviews have discussed the changes present on this album, but personally, I’m not hearing a radical departure. The Brazilians have essentially established a signature sound with REBIRTH a decade ago and have not really deviated from that since. One change I suppose is that Ricardo Confessori, who was in the band for a number of years and played on the slightly less-popular late 90’s albums HOLY LAND and FIRWORKS, is back behind the kit. He’s a very decent drummer and you’d have to have a really good ear to tell the difference between him and Aquiles Priester.
After an atmospheric intro, the band rip through a couple of standard (but high-quality) speedy, power Metal cuts before dropping into a semi-ballad. Edu sounds good and sings in a slightly different tone on the balladesque cut, ‘Lease Of Life’. His voice is generally a slight shade heavier than the last couple of records but he still hits some of the higher end of his range. He is sounding more and more like Tobias Sammet as time goes on. It isn’t until the cut ‘Rage Of The waters’ where the band really start to demonstrate some of that Brazilian flavoured sound and song-writing. AQUA has lots of cool bass lines, different rhythms and then a ripping solo or two. There are quite a few unexpected sounds on the album they serve nicely to add variety. There are little tiny of electronic sounds and some symphonic stuff, acoustic stuff, few sound-effects all laced within the metal. For the most part the albums pours by quite quickly, quite a bit of double-kick driving things along, which is always nice.
AQUA is a bit of a themed album, tying in Shakespeare and his work THE TEMPEST and the power of water to heal and destroy, simultaneously. The story doesn’t get too heavy but does flow together quite nicely. Undoubtedly this is one of Angra’s most accomplished, mature and sophisticated works to date, yet still heavy enough for all. If you have been dying of thirst for some new Angra, some pure AQUA will refresh! Well worth the wait!