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Review: Angra - Cycles of Pain
Cycles of Pain

Label: Atomic Fire Records
Year released: 2023
Duration: 58:20
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: November 10, 2023
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Cycles of Pain

Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (8 Votes)

Tenth album for Brazilian Power Metal mainstays Angra. The last album of theirs I really paid attention to was Temple of Shadows, which I thought was prog/pop garbage. But let's be fair, this is an almost entirely different band than that one. Only two members remain from that lineup, and only founding guitar player Rafael Bittencourt remains from the long-ago glory days of Holy Land and Fireworks. So I was interested to see what was on offer here.

This is Power Metal like not many bands play it anymore, as it is still firmly rooted in the sound of the late '90s flowering of the style. Angra always had pretensions of being a bit more proggy and technical than a lot of the European bands of the school, and that remains in force here, even if it has been thankfully reined in from the old days. This is actually the third Angra album to feature lead vocals from former Athena/Vision Divine/Rhapsody singer Fabio Lione, and he does a lot to add a retro sound to this, as his voice is so strongly associated with the explosion of symphonic Power Metal around the turn of the century. I never used to like his voice, but he has become a stronger performer over the years.

It is both good and bad that this album sounds exactly like you think it will. It's well produced, well played, and slickly written, but there's just nothing here to really stand out. It's enjoyable enough when it's on, but nothing sticks afterward, and you are left with the sense that this band put a lot of effort into making an album that sounds like a dozen albums released in 1999.

Other related information on the site
Review: Aqua (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
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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