Rating:
8.2
Angra - Aqua
11 August 2010


01. Viderunt Te Aquæ
02. Arising Thunder
03. Awake From Darkness
04. Lease Of Life
05. The Rage Of The Waters
06. Spirit Of The Air
07. Hollow
08. A Monster In Her Eyes
09. Weakness Of A Man
10. Ashes
11. Lease Of Life [new mixing][Japanese bonus]

[limited digipack edition bonus compilation CD]
01. Nova Era
02. Rebirth
03. Hunters and Prey
04. Spread Your Fire
05. Waiting Silence
06. The Course of Nature
07. Salvation: Suicide


I'm afraid this won't help me winning much sympathy, but I have to be honest: I never really liked Angra. And that always seemed strange to me, because they seem to represent one of the biggest worldwide expressions of power metal. When I listened to the album which should be, according to the ratings, their masterpiece, Temple Of Shadows, my expectations were sky-high. But, despite repeated listens, I couldn't go further than an unexpected 6. I didn't find anything particularly bad, I just couldn't notice anything better than average. Now, you can freely hate me.

But I haven't written this just to tell you the story of my life, but to explain that the reasons for which I enjoy Aqua could easily be the same which brought some long-time fan to dislike it. In fact, this album is different from the previous Angra releases. To be honest, it's different from every power metal album I ever listened to.

First of all, the band, as many power metal veterans are recently doing, clearly evolved its original style to a more elaborated prog-power metal. This, initially, didn't seem to make much sense, but after a while I started to comprehend it and it's been fun. Like the Scottish accent, when I went in holiday in Edimbrugh. Everything here speaks with a proggy accent: the main riffs, the variegated drums, and even some jazzy instrumental parts in the middle of the songs.

Also, Aqua is a slow, quiet album. If you're expecting that tireless machine-gun fire exploding in your ears that we, mere humans, used to call drums, you will remain hugely disappointed. This album lacks the traditional up-tempo tracks but I, personally, didn't absolutely feel nostalgia for them. On the contrary, Angra seems to be at ease with relaxing, melodic songs, that in this album abound: the masterpiece "Lease Of Life", the dreamy "Spirit Of The Air", the sad "A Monster In Her Eyes" and the closing "Ashes".

An up for this album is absolutely Falaschi's performance, apt to vary from melancholy to aggressive tunes, from rare fast-paced lines to quiet whispers, providing both balls and romance to this album.

I was going to rate this album even higher but, just after "Ashes", I casually listened to Dream Theater's "The Count Of Tuscany", which reminded me what a masterpiece really is. Thanks to this I understood what is missing in Aqua: awesomeness. Maybe because the guys need some time to get into this new style, but the real blemish of this release is the lack of inspiration at the songwriting level.

All considered, Aqua is a good, surprisingly fresh album that transmits optimism concerning Angra's future, and that can be a second starting point for the band, with its new, promising, style.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Angra
Album: Aqua


 


written by R Lewis | 14.01.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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DeathSlyzer - 14.01.2013 at 11:18  
I actually get what you're saying. I too had a hard time getting into Temple of Shadows. On the last listen though, I did notice that I started enjoying the songs more and more, so maybe my opinion will change. But for now, Aqua is my favorite Angra album, and I really agree with everything you said. "A Monster In Her Eyes" is just a beautiful song, and the melancholic feeling of that song is incredible to say the least!
Hyperion - 14.01.2013 at 19:52  
Aaaah i guess you're right, but i was disappointed with this release, since i absolutly loved Temple of Shadows and Aurora Consurgeons. hopefully it's not Sonata Arctica all over again!!!!
Evil Chip - 19.01.2013 at 06:49  
"The Count of Tuscany" a masterpiece?...
R Lewis - 19.01.2013 at 13:44  
Written by Evil Chip on 19.01.2013 at 06:49

"The Count of Tuscany" a masterpiece?...

Always remembering that everything is subjective, yes, a Masterpiece with the M capital.
farfaramir - 22.01.2013 at 19:08  
Mmmm, but you are reviewing this album and if this one was the one who brought the mid tempo songs to Angra (which would be quite ironic, cause when they presented this album, they said Airising Thunder was their fastest song to date), but Holy Land is already a mid tempo album. It's not different to any other Angra album in that point at least.

Besides, Edu performance it's not that good in this one, that's my main problem with "Aqua". I know it's subjective, but this is not a good album.
R Lewis - 23.01.2013 at 16:39  
Written by farfaramir on 22.01.2013 at 19:08

Mmmm, but you are reviewing this album and if this one was the one who brought the mid tempo songs to Angra (which would be quite ironic, cause when they presented this album, they said Airising Thunder was their fastest song to date), but Holy Land is already a mid tempo album. It's not different to any other Angra album in that point at least.

Besides, Edu performance it's not that good in this one, that's my main problem with "Aqua". I know it's subjective, but this is not a good album.

I predicted this review would not make me earn a lot of success
farfaramir - 27.01.2013 at 00:16  
Written by R Lewis on 23.01.2013 at 16:39

Written by farfaramir on 22.01.2013 at 19:08

Mmmm, but you are reviewing this album and if this one was the one who brought the mid tempo songs to Angra (which would be quite ironic, cause when they presented this album, they said Airising Thunder was their fastest song to date), but Holy Land is already a mid tempo album. It's not different to any other Angra album in that point at least.

Besides, Edu performance it's not that good in this one, that's my main problem with "Aqua". I know it's subjective, but this is not a good album.

I predicted this review would not make me earn a lot of success

Lol, Im not mad at your review, it's nice to see different opinions, and you got some points there. That doesn't mean I have to agree with it.
4look4rd - 16.11.2013 at 20:38  
Temple of Shadows is a fantastic album but its not Angra's best. I believe the overwhelming majority of Angra fans consider the Matos-era material their best releases yet.

Holy Land, Freedom Call, and Angels Cry are all outstanding albums even today.
Titan1930 - 17.11.2013 at 00:02  
Written by 4look4rd on 16.11.2013 at 20:38

Temple of Shadows is a fantastic album but its not Angra's best. I believe the overwhelming majority of Angra fans consider the Matos-era material their best releases yet.

Holy Land, Freedom Call, and Angels Cry are all outstanding albums even today.



i'm a big fan of Angra and Andre Matos, i love holy land and angels cry but for me Temple of shadows is their best job, maybe because i'm a big fan of progressive metal as well

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