Angra - Angels Cry
Century Media
Melodic/Power metal
13 songs (74.26)
Release year: 1993
Angra, Century Media
Reviewed by Shane
Archive review

In 1993 Brazil’s Angra released their first full-length album Angels Cry and it was met with both commercial success and critical acclaim. I can see why. Angra is an extremely talented group who is not afraid to take risks and add fresh elements to the power metal formula to create something unique. Angra often incorporates various types of keyboards into their melodic approach to metal; however, they do it in a unique way. Instead of using these elements to give their music a medieval majestic feel as most power metal bands do, they use it to add funk, harmony and melody which has a distinct South American flavour. One needs to look no further than the track Evil Warning for clear evidence of this as at approximately four minutes and twelve seconds into the song it features a little section that conjures up images of bullfighting with its galloping rhythm and accompanying keyboards. This album is riddled with sections and breakdowns such as this and it is up to the listener to decide if they enjoy this South American flavour in their metal. I enjoy it because it adds something new while still retaining the epic feeling and sound that is pretty much a prerequisite for bands of this genre.

Angels Cry is on the lightweight side of metal despite some heavy riffs, ripping solos and double bass drum work. The production is clean and slick and the music is all about melody and technical precision. I am impressed by Kiko Loureiro’s guitar work as it is fast and precise, yet also is able to convey emotion as well. That is a rare combination in this genre of music. His guitar playing is definitely a highlight of this album. Andre Matos has impressive control over his voice especially when he hits the high notes however his voice lacks the punch that I look for in singers of this genre, especially when he is trying to scream with power. It sounds like he is straining his voice too much unless the note is super high. One listen to Matos’s performance on A Tribute to Judas Priest, Vol. 2: Delivering the Goods, while attempting to sing Painkiller, is clear evidence that while he is an excellent singer and (at the time) a perfect fit for Angra, his voice lacks the power needed to do seriously aggressive music. Matos also seems squeak though out this album. If you haven’t heard it already, after one listen to track two, Carry On and you will know what I’m talking about.

As previously mentioned, Angra is not afraid to take risks with their music. This album contains a cover of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights, which is surprisingly faithful to the original. Matos has no trouble singing this vocally challenging song, as he often has to hit several different notes in just one or two words. He does an impressive job using his falsetto to sing a song that is clearly meant for females to sing. Now, whether or not you believe this type of song fits on a metal album is a whole other story. I believe that’s what B-sides are for because if you’re listening to this album around other metalheads who are not familiar with Angra, you may have some explaining to do.

It took me a while to figure out exactly how much I like this album as it is different from most of the other types of metal that I usually listen to. Each song on this album is distinct, yet they all contain many of the same elements. Beautiful melodies, funky breakdowns, Matos’s piercing high notes, keyboards, blazing riffs, double bass pounding and excellent guitar solo’s can be found in nearly every song. All of the songs contain original, complex musical arrangements, and best of all, they all make sense. There is not a bad song on the album, even though the beginning of Evil Warning reminds me a bit of a Christmas carol and Wuthering Heights should have been a B-side. The version I have of Angels Cry is the import version and it contains alternate versions of Evil Warning, Angels Cry and Carry On. These versions seem a bit heavier and rougher than the album versions and Evil Warning has some different lyrics but only die hard fans of Angra will think that these alternate versions are necessary. I actually like them a bit better but they are so similar to the album versions that it really doesn’t make that much of a difference.

What Angra lacks in attitude and aggression they make up for with beautiful melodies. Angra can truly write beautiful music, however, those that crave heavier brands of metal may want to look elsewhere. Personally, I prefer music with more aggression and attitude so Angra will never be my favourite, however this album is definitely worthy of a spot in my CD collection.

Killing Songs :
Time, Angels Cry, Stand Away
Shane quoted 76 / 100
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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