Angra - Holy Land review
|Release date:||March 1996|
02. Nothing To Say
03. Silence And Distance
04. Carolina IV
05. Holy Land
06. The Shaman
07. Make Believe
09. Deep Blue
10. Lullaby For Lucifer
11. Queen Of The Night [Japanese & French bonus]
Nicely surprised by Angra's debut album, 1994's "Angels Cry", no one was yet prepared for what was to come with this follow-up release. Originating from Sao Paulo, Brazil the Heavy/Power Metal band that plays a savvy blend of classic Metal and progressive folk elements really set the bar very high with 1996's "Holy Land".
The term "songwriting" takes all his meaning with "Holy Land". It's still regarded as their best release, alternating killing heavy tracks and beautiful ballads. Some of their best songs ever are there: 'Nothing To Say' is a powerful hit, 'Carolina IV' is an epic journey, 'Z.I.T.O.' is their fastest composition, packed with solos and not to be forgotten the beautiful ballad 'Deep Blue'. And what about 'Make Believe' [still one of my favorite songs after so many years...]? Some releases of "Holy Land" even include the bonus track 'Queen Of The Night', another kicking ass song, which by the way, is also released on their following album "Freedom Call".
Following the saying to not change a working team, Angra recorded in Germany once again with the same team, leaded by famous producer Sascha Paeth under supervision from their label Limb Music Productions. They gave the artwork job to the same talented designer and as a result, the album has a gorgeous look. One major difference from their debut album is that their drummer, Ricardo Confessori, is actually performing the drums this time and the difference is noticeable, giving a softer feel to the drumming, which allows Andre Matos' voice to shine even more than it would have with a hard-pounding drum sound. Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt are sharing the guitar work with such talent that it's criminal, their solos are unbelievable. Luis Maruitti is getting the job done with a terrific feel on the bass and the five of them together really transcend their music.
Almost 10 years after its release date, "Holy Land" still sounds to me like one of the best albums around, either it easily passed the test of time or I'm getting old. In the end, "Holy Land" is an indispensable album for all Power Metal fans and should appeal to anybody with tastes that go beyond your average people's music.
Written on 26.08.2003 by
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