by MythofRock

Few power metal bands have carved as unique a niche as Brazil’s own Angra. From their inception in the early 1990s to their continued relevance today, Angra has enchanted audiences with their intricate compositions, virtuosic musicianship and diverse musical influences. Let’s embark on a journey through Angra’s history, expansive discography and enduring importance, some days before their live show in Athens, Greece.

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos

Formed in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1991, Angra emerged during a period when South America was experiencing a burgeoning metal scene. The band’s lineup initially comprised André Matos (vocals), Rafael Bittencourt and André Linhares (guitars), Luís Mariutti (bass), and Marco Antunes (drums). Inspired by classical music, power metal and Brazilian rhythms, Angra sought to weave these diverse elements into their sound, creating a style that was both technically dazzling and emotionally resonant.

Angra’s debut album, “Angels Cry”, released in 1993, immediately established them as a force to be reckoned with in the metal world. Combining blistering guitar work, symphonic arrangements and Matos’ soaring vocals, the album showcased the band’s penchant for crafting epic anthems. Tracks like “Carry On” and the title track “Angels Cry” became instant classics, earning Angra widespread acclaim and a devoted global following.

Following the success of “Angels Cry”, Angra continued to push boundaries with their sophomore effort, “Holy Land” (1996). This ambitious concept album, a true power metal masterpiece, delved into Brazil’s rich cultural heritage, incorporating indigenous rhythms and folklore into its sonic tapestry. Tracks such as “Nothing to Say” and “Carolina IV” exemplified Angra’s ability to seamlessly blend metal with Brazilian musical traditions, further solidifying their reputation as innovators in the genre.

Following their third album, “Fireworks,” produced by Chris Tsangarides, Angra faced a pivotal moment in their history. The departure of their unique frontman, vocalist Andre Matos, along with bassist Luis Mariutti and drummer Ricardo Confessori during the mid-2000s marked a significant transition for the band. However, rather than succumb to adversity, Angra demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability.

In March 2001, the remaining members, guitarist Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt, revealed a new lineup, featuring Symbols’ vocalist Edu Falaschi, drummer Aquiles Priester, and bassist Felipe Andreoli. This reformation signaled a new chapter for Angra, one characterized by evolution and growth while remaining faithful to their artistic vision.

Albums such as “Rebirth” (2001) and “Temple of Shadows” (2004) stand as examples of Angra’s continued development as both songwriters and performers. These releases garnered critical acclaim, reaffirming the band’s status as stalwarts of the metal genre. Despite the challenges they faced, Angra’s unwavering dedication to their craft propelled them forward, solidifying their position as one of the foremost acts in the global metal scene.

Edu Falaschi made headlines in May 2012, when he released an open letter announcing his departure from Angra. In the letter, Falaschi stated his intention to shift his focus towards future projects, notably his involvement with Almah. Although he did not provide specific reasons for his departure, it marked a significant change for the band.

Following Falaschi’s departure, there were discussions within the band’s management about the possibility of Andre Matos returning to the fold. However, despite these overtures, Matos ultimately declined the opportunity to rejoin Angra.

Instead, the band enlisted Fabio Lione, formerly of Labyrinth and Rhapsody of Fire, as their third vocalist. This decision ushered in a new era for Angra, with Lione bringing his own unique vocal stylings to the band’s dynamic sound.

In November 2014, Angra unveiled their eighth studio album, “Secret Garden”, which was followed by “Ømni” in February 2018.

Tragically, the metal community was shaken by the news of former vocalist Andre Matos’s passing on June 8, 2019, attributed to a heart attack. Matos’s legacy loomed large over Angra’s history, his contributions to the band’s sound and impact on the genre indelible.

Angra forged ahead, announcing their latest, tenth album, “Cycles of Pain”, under the label Atomic Fire.

Angra’s current line-up comprises Rafael Bittencourt (guitars, keyboards, piano, backing vocals), Felipe Andreoli (bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals), Fabio Lione (lead vocals), Bruno Valverde (drums), Marcelo Barbosa (guitars).

Angra’s influence extends far beyond their discography, shaping the landscape of progressive and power metal for decades to come. They have inspired countless bands and musicians around the world. Moreover, Angra’s ability to infuse their music with Brazilian elements has helped elevate the profile of South American metal on the global stage, paving the way for future generations of artists. With each album and performance, Angra continues to satisfy audiences with their passion, creativity, and unwavering dedication to their craft. As their future endeavors are eagerly anticipated, Greek fans are ready to enjoy Angra and its music on their upcoming live show in Greece.

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