Angra - Temple of Shadows
Rakibitlou Music
Melodic Power Metal
13 songs (66'30)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Ben
Album of the month

Angra have always been way ahead of the pack of standard Power Metal boredom. With the exception of their first and only real blunder Fireworks, this band has consistently been releasing extraordinary material. Their blend of classical music, Brazilian rhythms and instrumentation, and soaring Power Metal is something that only they have mastered, each album of theirs is a new venture, a new sound that never repeats itself. As a huge fan of their Rebirth long player I was very curious as to what they would hit us with next. Hunters and Prey made me deduce that a softer, yet more Holy Land compositions would be in store for us but was I ever wrong. Temple of Shadows is a bombastic classical fusion with a steep lean into Progressive Metal territory. There are incredibly fast scorchers, soothing ballads, gigantic choirs, and passionate soloing. In short, everything I want in a Power Metal album.

Edu has taken a more versatile approach to singing on this record. On Rebirth he stayed fairly safe, a similar Matos style with a bit more edge to it but the very first words out of his mouth are a harsh and much more deeper timbre than we are used to. I for one am quite happy with this new facet of his voice. Breaking the tradition of every other Angra release by having track three be a power ballad, Angels and Demons has very upfront Progressive flair to it. While I believe that this band is certainly strong enough to stand on its own two feet without any guest appearances there are a few high profile artists who lend their talents to the Brazilians. Kai Hansen shows up on vocals for the speedy Temple of Hate and his high shrill voice contrasts with Edu’s nicely. I must also point out the rousing strings interlude in here as well, it is bouncy, it is classy, and it is a pleasure to hear. Sabine Edelsbacher does some operatic singing on Spread Your Fire where she has some Latin chanting going on as well as on No Pain For the Dead, a beautiful lamenting string filled number. Subtle, yet flavorful, her performance spices up the songs that she appears on just that much more. Hansi Kursch also sings a few lines on Winds of Destination which alternates between hard hitting Power Metal and slow Prog. Although Hansi has a great voice his guest role is the least memorable. By the time the song is over you almost forgot he was there in the first place. I feel obligated to mention that Temple of Shadows is a concept album, something along the lines of a warrior fighting the Catholic church but honestly, I don’t give the story too much attention. In this day and age almost one out of every ten albums (the ratio goes up dramatically in the Power Metal genre) is a concept album that is really just an album with some loose tying lyrics. Very rarely are there any concept albums out there that have the full totality that LP’s such as Operation Mindcrime had. To me, Temple of Shadows is just an excellent Power Metal album, concept or not.

I cannot find anything that is in dire need of complaining about with Temple of Shadows. This is how Power Metal should be, and as I have neared my fill almost completely of this genre in these recent weeks it should speak volumes that I give an Album of the Month award to this cd. Angra has proven to the world that their rebirth (pun) was not a fluke and I still believe it, this is easily one of the best releases of 2004.

Killing Songs :
Spread Your Fire, Waiting Silence, Temple of Hate, and Morning Star
Ben quoted 92 / 100
Marty quoted 95 / 100
Jay quoted 91 / 100
Jason quoted 90 / 100
Dylan quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Angra that we have reviewed:
Angra - Ømni reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
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
To see all 11 reviews click here
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