Released: 2006, SPV
Angra is a band whose recent outputs haven’t really grabbed me mainly because I didn’t think they were heavy enough. Never did I question their musical abilities, just their choice of lighter material. With their new album AURORA CONSURGENS, some of this problem is remedied. That’s not to say this is exceptionally heavy, but they have picked things up sufficiently so that even after just one listen to the new album I was intrigued. After 3-4 listens, it really becomes apparent how good the album is and how phenomenal the playing is on here.
“Aurora Consurgens” is also the title of a book written by Saint Thomas Aquinas (Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino) (c. 1225 – 7 March 1274) . The album is not conceptual, but does share similar themes of mental problems such as suicide, schizophrenia, sociopathy, bipolar disorder, etc. “The Course of Nature” opens the album with some traditional sounding Brazilian instrumentation before some heavy and fast-picked guitars come in. This is followed by a chunky “Train of Consequences” (Megadeth) styled section before the bouncy chorus comes in. The vocals are melodic and forceful. My favorite part of the song is the technical riff that starts at 2:20 then makes it way into a thrashy riff before a godly guitar solo comes in. The lead playing in this song is jaw dropping, perhaps the best I’ve heard from Angra! The magic continues on the speedy “The Voice Commanding You”. The choir section ¾ the way though this one is great followed by a very epic sounding buildup with lead/melody guitars. “Ego Painted Grey” starts like it’s going to be a boring ballad, great vocals and all, but not my cup of venom. After this lengthy intro, a very original and progressive section up begins before the track mellows out a little. The heaviness evaporates on the listless ballad “Breaking Ties”. Life raises its head during the chorus, being the only thing that keeps the song interesting for me. The metal is again exposed with “Salvation Suicide” with some lead playing that would make Jason Becker fans happy (as will the leads at the beginning of “Window To Nowhere”!!). This track is also one of the faster ones – double kicks, faster riffing (except on the chorus). “So Near So Far” is the only true dud on the album…just all around boring.
AURORA CONSURGENS is a diverse album of speedy melodic power/progressive metal, along with slower ballads rounding out the album. This is not meat and potatoes power metal, nor is it as overblown as some power metal. With this new album, my interest in the band is rekindled. Recommended for fans of tasteful melodic power metal such as Kamelot.