Angra
Angels Cry


4.5
superb

Review

by mikem1234 USER (3 Reviews)
July 7th, 2008 | 21 replies | 9,192 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The album that really got the neo-classical power metal ball rolling.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

When this album was released, the rest of the metal world was gradually and tentatively incorporating classical elements in the frame work of metal songs, but Angra's
Angels Cry was the first full-blown fusion between classical music and the speed-obsessed genre of power metal. Bands like Celtic Frost, Dream Theater, Blind
Guardian, and even Ozzy, were dabbling in classical textures, but that doesn't explain why there is such a large proliferation of bands releasing albums in this style
now. 'Angels Cry' is really the origin of this whole explosion, for better or worse.

The songwriting on this album is mainly the work of singer/keyboardist/orchestral arranger Andre Matos. Guitarist Rafael Bittencourt makes a contribution on the
songwriting front with Matos on five of these ten tracks, but Matos is the real force behind this album. His vocals are rediculously high-pitched, and guaranteed to
annoy some people. He is strongly influenced by well-known singers like Bruce Dickinson and Michael Kiske. He doesn't quite have the commanding power of
Dickinson or the gay (in the non-homosexual sense) intonation of Kiske, but that is for the better on this album. His vocals perfectly fit the music, and he proves to
have a diverse enough range and strong emotional articulation so as to not totally get on your nerves like many power metal vocalists.

Musically, there is a lot going on; like any good power metal album, they are not just sticking to a formula. After the soon-to-be-obligatory classical intro ("Unfinished
Allegro"), the warp-speed melodic metal of "Carry On" races away, but its symphonic breakdown really foreshadows what this album will not be about: generic
speedy power metal. The breakdown is very dynamic, even though it is played by Matos on keyboards, and the guitars are working in tandem with the classical
elements instead of just being another layer. Matos' vocals also reach their peak in terms of how high pitched the guy can physically sing. Definitely the highlight of the
album.

The next track, "Time," is also noteworthy because it is the first to introduce the Brazilian elements on this album, which would play a bigger role on tracks like
"Never Understand" and "Streets of Tomorrow," helping give them distinction, as well as on the next Angra album 'Holy Land.' The other interesting 'event' in it is the
nearly inhuman way Matos stretches and harmonizes his vocals at 1:24. It really is something to hear. See, even total pussies can have amazing talents!

Also in need of mentioning is their cover of Kate Bush's (!) "Wuthering Heights." Although Matos' accent makes it difficult to understand all the lines (this happens
elsewhere on the album, believe me), it is still up to the standard of the original, and strangely fits in this album. I mean, Matos pretty much sings at the same register
as female singers anyway, so he can pull it off quite well. And there is a very soulful little guitar solo that might just bring a tear to the eye of anyone who's had to sit
through too many shred-power metal albums (I'm looking at you, Dragonforce, and you too, post-Matos Angra!).

Elsewhere, the hit-to-miss ratio is remarkably high. You would think that there would be at least one dud, this being a power metal album (a genre very susceptible to
serious inadequacies at times) and all, but the only real problem I can see is their is a general aura of pretentiousness which continues all the way through to the closing
track "Lasting Child." I won't bother with a complete track-by-track, song ratings are below.

'Angels Cry' also benefits from a near-perfect production job for 1993. You can actually hear the bass and the guitars don't sound messy or anything. I suspect this is because
of how meticulous guitarists Kiko Laureiro and Rafael Bittencourt are with their riffage and melodies. The riffs may be too 'lite' for some heavy metal fans, who might
think they are being too accessible, but guitars really aren't the focus of 'Angels Cry.' As I mentioned earlier, the guitars aren't independent of the orchestral
arrangements. They are used in ways that are necessary, instead of taking the whole album on their back, if you catch what I mean.

Those with an interest in power metal, neo-classical metal, will find much to love about this album. Frowning metal heads and shred freaks may not. Normal people with a stomach for occasional pretentiousness and a mild interest in melodic metal should definately take a listen.

Suggestions are welcome...this is my first real review on sputnik.


user ratings (119)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
mikem1234
July 7th 2008



108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Might need some editing, just for the text layout. I did it originally in Notepad.

TheStarclassicTreatment
July 7th 2008



2909 Comments


Nice.
Is Aquiles Priester drumming on here? He is unbelievable.

mikem1234
July 7th 2008



108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The drummer is actually Alex Holzworth of Rhapsody. Their early period drummer, Richard Confessori, joined right after this album. I actually forgot to mention how good the drumming was on this album. It's definitely not the highlight of the album, but still really cool and interesting.

Silenius
July 8th 2008



302 Comments


yeah the notepad txt format kinda made this look very weird and uneven but the review itself is good.

Willie
Moderator
July 8th 2008



15774 Comments


I remember when these guys first came on the scene. No one even gave a shit about what type of music they played. The big deal was solely that they were from Brazil just like Sepultura (this is roughly around "Arise" when they were getting popular).

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

mikem1234
July 8th 2008



108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Brazil may be a hotbed for metal, but not very good metal. Seriously, I checked out some of the bands that are supposed to be good (Burning in Hell, Hibria, Aquaria, Burning Point, etc.) and they were total craaaap. I guess if Matos or the Cavalera bros. aren't involved, Brazilian metal is just naturally shitty. When Angra lost literally all it's creative talent (Matos, the drummer, and the bass guitarist), they were never the same.

mikem1234
July 8th 2008



108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Was going to add this in the review but forgot:

1. Unfinished Allegro - 3.5
2. Carry On - 5
3. Time - 5
4. Angels Cry 4.5
5. Stand Away - 4
6. Never Understand - 4.5
7. Wuthering Heights - 4
8. Streets of Tomorrow - 3.5
9. Evil Warning - 3.5
10. Lasting Child - 4

out of 5 obviously

TheStarclassicTreatment
July 19th 2008



2909 Comments


Oh yeah I love the cover of Wuthering Heights.

AnEpicDeath
February 16th 2010



188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Brazil may be a hotbed for metal, but not very good metal. Seriously, I checked out some of the bands that are supposed to be good (Burning in Hell, Hibria, Aquaria, Burning Point, etc.) and they were total craaaap. I guess if Matos or the Cavalera bros. aren't involved, Brazilian metal is just naturally shitty. When Angra lost literally all it's creative talent (Matos, the drummer, and the bass guitarist), they were never the same."

From what little Brazilian metal I've heard, I agree (looking at you, Hangar). But the post-Matos hate is absurd. I love both of Angra's phases, but that aspect of my opinion is irrelevant to what I'm trying to say: post-Matos Angra features easily their most creative and technical work and far tighter songwriting as a whole. Angra got darker, heavier, more complex, and more technical post-Matos, albeit sacrificing some degree of their orchestral/symphonic focus. The difference in vocal skill between Matos and Falaschi is debatable (though Matos obviously did more than vocals), and Priester is (both creatively and technically) an infinitely better drummer than Ricardo, and the change allowed Loureiro to really step up and flex his (considerable) writing and playing chops. Temple of Shadows is easily Angra's crowning work, with their neoclassical, power metal, Brazillian folk, and (freshly introduced) progressive metal influences and aspects in perfect balance. Aurora Consergens may be a bit of a flop, but more so than Fireworks?

snakehunter
March 5th 2010



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@mikem1234

man what about Rafael Bittencourt, Edu Falaschi or Kiko Loureiro?
they are GREAT for me THEY ARE ANGA!


jybt
November 13th 2010



342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Now I really like Andre Matos and the first Angra era. Unfortunately, Wuthering Heights drags this album under a 5 rating.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2013



1776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

An excellent Power Metal album and even better as a debut, this certainly showed Angra's musical ambition. The guitar solos are clean and unique, the tempo fits each song perfectly, and although the vocals can at times get on your nerves (which is one thing that drives some away from the genre itself), they really add to the atmosphere generated by the sound.

KjSwantko
March 28th 2013



8719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Title track is so fucking good wow. Dat melody.

KILL
March 28th 2013



67082 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this and holy land rock hard

KjSwantko
March 28th 2013



8719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn right they do, KILL.

scissorlocked
March 28th 2013



3479 Comments


Temple of shadows, though modern, is also great

Digging: Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches

KjSwantko
March 28th 2013



8719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Truth. Most of Angra's discog kicks ass really. Easily one of the best PM bands.

Geadom
May 2nd 2013



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pos, great review. This album rocks, even being power metal ( the metal genre that gets boring really fast), this album delivers some great fucking riffs and musicianship. Vocals are also pretty good, but beware of the typical cheese-y lyrics.

Keyblade
May 2nd 2013



13256 Comments


pretty much all their albums rule man. great band

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins

Geadom
May 14th 2013



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I'll be here when fire burns
(inside your heart)
Cliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimb up the hills and mountains,
don't forget what you've learned!



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