Angra - Hunters and Prey
SPV
Melodic Heavy/Power Metal
8 songs (38:20)
Release year: 2002
Angra, SPV
Reviewed by Marty

Angra has wasted no time giving us their second release with the new line-up. Only 7 months after the brilliant Rebirth album, we see the release of this 8 song mini CD. It features one new track, recorded during the Rebirth sessions, tracks that were originally written for the Holy Land album and never recorded, acoustic versions of previously released tracks, and a cover tune (Mama by Genesis). This is a multimedia release, and as a bonus, contains the video for the song Rebirth.

The addition of the new band members, in particular, Edu Falaschi on vocals, really has rejuvenated this band. He has a slightly lower pitched voice, but can still reach the range of Andre Mateos (former vocalist) and gives the band a more versatile and complete sound than they've ever had. Andre Mateos has a great voice, but I've always found it to be a little soft for the style of music that Angra plays. Edu's voice is really strong, can hold notes unwaveringly to stunning perfection and can scream with the best of them! He is also very capable of delivering a very passionate and emotional performance, as heard on Bleeding Heart, a fantastic and touching ballad containing some nice piano and acoustic guitar work. The use of background vocals on this release really adds dimension to most of the songs. They are not just used for the choruses, but to accent certain phrases of the song and it really adds a nice touch. The guitar playing of both Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt has always been stunning and is usually a highlight of any Angra album. This release is no exception. Live And Learn contains some fast speedy riffing and some great dual leads during the mid-song instrumental bridge. This one's the only real Power Metal style track on this whole release. The title track, Hunters And Prey has some cool riffing with Angra's trademark off-beat Brazilian-style rhythms. Keyboards are sprinkled throughout most of the tracks with a few having a more orchestrated sound than others.

Acoustic versions of Rebirth and Heroes Of Sand, originally recorded for the Rebirth album are also included here. Both are quieter and more laid back but remain very true to the original versions. I love Angra's acoustic work and the fact that it works so well is testament to the fact that they write great songs. If you can strip away all the electric guitars and replace them with acoustic guitars and/or orchestration and it still sounds good, then you have a great song. Blind Guardian has proven this with their Forgotten Tales album. Eyes Of Christ an almost Dio - style track, has a more slower pace than the normally speedier Angra style and is a nice addition to this collection. The version of Genesis' Mama, is a very accurate interpretation of the classic '80's track. Edu nails Phil Collins' vocal lines and the addition of some guitar power chording adds muscle to the song. I'm pleasantly surprised by this version. Not only does it sound about as close as it could possibly be to the original, I think they have actually improved upon it! Also included is another version of Hunters And Prey, only with lyrics in Portuguese, the native tongue of all the band members. This could have easily been a throw away or filler track but isn't. It sounds really cool and even if you don't understand the language, it has even more of a melodical sense than the version with the English lyrics.

One thing that sets this band apart from countless others who play this genre of metal music is their sense of melody and flair for songwriting. They have such a unique sound, which is rare in this day and age of so many so-called "clone" bands emerging on the scene. Their sound and arrangements are simply stunning and the guitar playing second to none. They are certainly one of the best bands around playing Melodic Power Metal and the use of keyboards and orchestration give Angra a more progressive and sometimes symphonic element to their sound. Everything is very well played, well arranged, and the voices just soar! This album offers a slightly softer side to the band and will not only appeal to the fans but also fans of good solid melodic music, even if you're not really into metal music. What you get with this release is a great collection of very diverse sounding tracks and is a nice little teaser for the fans who can't wait for their next release!

Killing Songs :
Live And Learn, Bleeding Heart, Hunters And Prey, Mama
Marty quoted no quote
Other albums by Angra that we have reviewed:
Angra - Secret Garden reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Angra - Aqua reviewed by Kyle and quoted 92 / 100
Angra - Holy Land reviewed by Kyle and quoted 94 / 100
Angra - Aurora Consurgens reviewed by Andrew and quoted 95 / 100
Angra - Temple of Shadows reviewed by Ben and quoted 92 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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