by MythofRock

Brazil has a lot of good metal bands, that have power, soul, energy, that can touch your heart, mind and soul. You can choose from lots of genres, because they have loads of them and it gets hard to choose from. Angra is one of those bands that was able to reach out for the success. Their music is a great mix of different cultures and has diversity. Although they are geographically displaced, they’ve conquered their place into the mainstream scene. Since their legendary debut “Angel’s Cry” in 1993, Angra have become a force to be reckoned with, quickly rising to be one of Brazil’s biggest and most important metal bands. Five years on from their ambitious masterpiece “Ømni”, they’ve came back with a masterpiece: “Cycles Of Pain”, the first album released via Atomic Fire Records. Let’s dive into it, shall we? It starts with “Cyclus Doloris”, an intro that opens this album with organ sounds, followed by church choirs, which makes it the best opener for this record. “Ride The Storm” opens with a chorus, followed by thrashing and fast guitars, played by Rafael Bittencourt and Marcelo Barbosa. The vibrato of Fabio Lione’s voice stands out in this song, which makes it one of the best tunes of this record. Here you can see a bright, belligerent power metal anthem. It’s even a tribute to Andre Matos, the first singer and the founding member of the band. If you’ve been following the band since the beginning, you’ll find parts from the early albums, such as the angel from the cover of the first album, “Angel’s Cry”. Next one is “Dead Man On Display”. A more-theatrical track, but it follows the footsteps of the previous one: the voice of Fabio, the powerful and aggressive guitars that are followed by Bruno Valverde’s drums. “Tides of Changes – Part I” opens with an emotional bass solo, played by Felipe Andreoli, followed by a dark, introspective moment and then “Tide of Changes – Part II” is next. It  is a very beautiful and emotional track. These too combine very well together, musically and lyrically. It features Vanessa Moreno. If you’re looking for Brazilian rhythms, then “Vida Seca” is for you. This song has a guest vocalist, Lenine, the legendary Brazilian artist, a singer, composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, actor, writer, music producer, chemical engineer and ecologist. It starts with guitars, percussion and bass, that suit the guest’s vocals very well. The selection between the relaxed moments and the heavy ones tell a story. If you’ve seen the video for this music, you’ve noticed that the lyrics speak about something, about Brazilian reality. Something to think about. This song ends like how it begins: with a Brazilian sound. “Gods Of The World” is a thrashy track, very powerful, a social commentary that you can also see in the video for the song. Next is the title track that features a returning cameo from Kiko Loureiro. “Faithless Sanctuary” is a progressive power metal song that has a lot of Brazilian rhythms, instruments and emotions, with an important message: be true to yourself! “Here In The Now” features Vanessa Moreno. The drumming and the bass lines match very well and elevate the atmosphere of the song. It shows how Angra dare to try different things and aren’t afraid to show it on their compositions. “Generation Warriors” opens with heavy guitars, followed by pounding drums. The power metal sound that we all know kicks in after. The record ends with a power metal duet: “Tears of Blood”, featuring the vocals by Amanda Somerville and piano lines courtesy of Juliana D’ Agostini. It shows that Fabio can sing everything and has a beautiful voice, despite his vocal range may differ from Andre Matos and Edu Falaschi. The operatic duet will make you shiver. This man could sing at any opera house. What a duet and a way to finish this album! “Cycles of Pain” is a multi-faceted record that honours Angra’s Brazilian heritage with a rich and dynamic soundscape that struggles with social problems. It also addresses the struggles the band went through either individually or as a collective. Fuelled by painful life experiences (among which the passing of Andre Matos), this record gives the band hope for the years to come and is one of the best albums they’ve made. We can hear all the essentials here: from power metal to progressive metal, the fans won’t be disappointed. A record for very fan to have and give as Christmas present!

♦ 10/10

Raquel Miranda


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