Angra - _Aurora Consurgens_
by: Yiannis Stefanis (
Chosen as the symbolic title of Angra's fourth full-length release, _Rebirth_ was an album of limited capabilities that really only targeted the average Euro power metal fan who is mainly interested in generic bands like Dragonforce and who is happy enough to wave plastic swords at concerts. In terms of musical expression though, this title would have been far more fitting to 2004's progressive / power metal opus _Temple of Shadows_, the legacy of which shines through in the band's latest offering, entitled _Aurora Consurgents_.Just as its predecessor, _Aurora Consurgents_ is the musical medium that brings together the best qualities of both progressive and power metal music, while containing the same references to Brazilian folk which make Angra sound so unique and special. More importantly, it is the kind of album that will grow on you after each spin, but that is not to say that it will not attract your attention immediately either.Not being the biggest Euro metal supporter, I was pleased to see that obvious references to the music of bands such as Stratovarius and Helloween were limited to songs like "The Voice Commanding You" and "Salvation: Suicide". On the other hand, Kiko Loureiro's and Rafael Bittencourt's inspiring guitar performances, together with Edu Falaschi's varied vocal arrangements, were so convincing that they managed to transform these simply structured songs into full-blown compositions!The reason why _Aurora Consurgents_ scored so highly in my appreciation is due to its progressive / experimental nature, having followed paths that are traditionally associated with bands like Queen and Dream Theater. The monstrous display of low chorded guitar riffs and the colourful, melodic structure of songs like "The Course of Nature" and "Passing By" will definitely please every Dream Theater fan (of the _Awake_ era). On the other hand, the opening melodic theme in "Ego Painted Grey", which bears a striking resemblance to Queen's all time classic "Show Must Go On", may even bring a tear or two to some people's eyes. Other compositions that stand out are the US hard rock ballad "Breaking Ties" and the equally melodic "So Near So Far", which features some really colourful flamenco guitar themes.Overall, _Aurora Consurgents_ is a varied album, put together by a group of highly skilled musicians, which manages to both challenge artistic barriers and entertain, without sounding tiring or repetitive. Having been through a period of re-discovering their real identity, this Brazilian quintet has managed to once more get on top of the game, and I, for one, am happy to see that there are still some power metal bands out there that mean serious business!
(article published 10/23/2006)
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