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Review: Angra - Aqua

Label: SPV
Year released: 2010
Duration: 49:22
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 2.5/5

Review online: August 30, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers Rating

Rated 3.62/5 (72.4%) (50 Votes)

After years of turmoil, breakdowns and label problems Angra comes out with a new album and as expected it will cause excitement among fans. As many of you know this band started out as a full-blown Power Metal outfit but with each passing year since 2001, they have been leaning in a more progressive direction. In Aqua, Angra doesn't change that tendency at all, instead going further of the direction established in Temple of Shadows.

And that is exactly my problem with this record. I'd never liked Temple of Shadows, finding it to be a boring and an unexciting wank-fest. Things don't start out that way here, with the speedy opener "Arising Thunder" (easily the best song) proving that they can still do some amazing Power Metal. Unfortunately that is the only time that they show this type of ability; for the rest of the record they opt to do that dreaded style. Aqua is composed of mid-paced songs (especially ballads) highlighted by a tasty guitar solo. Nothing wrong with that but it would have been a lot better if they knew how to make better songs, instead of relying on that section alone.

The musicianship of this band is high, that is not surprise but here are not just the guitarists that do the job, the rhythm section is solid as well. Having said that, you can have the greatest players in the world but when you have a collection of tracks this tedious, it makes little difference. Judging by the vast amount of ballads that this has, it seems that Angra couldn't decide in what direction to go and how to approach their music. For examples of this just listen to "Lease on Life", "Hollow" or "A Monster in Her Eyes".

I was really hoping that they could recapture the magic of Rebirth but after may repeated listens I got to the conclusion that they just couldn't do it. Instead, what I got was one of the most disappointing disc of the year. Initially, I thought that this was perfect background music and to some extent it is. To fully appreciate it, I needed to pay a lot of attention to it, as it is the case with most Progressive Metal. But that doesn't mean that it has bore the fuck out of me, as has happened for much of the duration of this record. Bottom line, if you were happy with their recent direction then this is a good album to have, if you are looking for amazing Power Metal then look elsewhere because this isn't one of those albums.

Other related information on the site
Review: Aqua (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Aurora Consurgens (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Fireworks (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Rebirth (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Secret Garden (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Temple of Shadows (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Temple of Shadows (reviewed by Caspian)
Review: Temple of Shadows (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with guitarist Rafael Bittencourt on February 16, 2002 (Interviewed by Christian Renner)
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