Aqua (SPV/Steamhammer)

Dec. 20, 2010
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The South American influences that once colored Angra’s brand of symphonic power metal have grown more subtle over the past two decades, but with Aqua—the band’s first studio album in four years—these Brazilians prove they haven’t run out of ideas. Considering the genre’s limited creativity, which has kept it relatively stagnant for years, that’s saying something.

While guitarist Rafael Bittencourt admits that “there are not many musical differences between Aqua and our last three albums,” Angra has chosen a theme (water, to represent change) that allows room for lyrical freedom and listener interpretation. Early songs like “Arising Thunder” and “Awake From Darkness” rely on power-metal stereotypes. More intriguing are the slower, less traditional songs, such as the piano-powered “Lease of Life” (which also contains one of the album’s most beautiful guitar solos) and the folk-like “Spirit of the Air.” Those Latin influences are still there; you just have to listen more closely than before.


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