Review Summary: A great EP smack-dab between two of Angra's best full length releases.
Angra’s 2002 EP Hunters and Prey
packs quite a bit in a small package: a few guns-blazing power metal jams, a wonderfully-executed ballad, a Genesis cover, and a pair of acoustic versions of previously released Angra songs. And for my fellow axe-wielders, there are surely a few superb solos via Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt included in the new tracks that are guaranteed to grab your attention.
The ballad, “Bleeding Heart”, foretells of a failed romance between lovers that leaves the subject shattered and heartbroken. While this may be single-most overused concept in the arts, the vocal melodies and instrumentals here sell it well and keep the song from becoming lame. No regrets, war is over. The return of a soldier, put my hands on my bleeding heart, I’m leaving all behind
. The story comes across as sincere and which makes it a very fine ballad.
Just as much as Hunters and Prey
is an Angra release, it could also be a resume for Bittencourt and Loureiro too as the duo flash their chops in virtually every song; “Hunters and Prey”, has an especially memorable solo at the 4:08 mark that is fast-paced and energizing. “Live and Learn” (at the 1:58 mark) is more of the same, featuring some great arpeggio runs, while “Eyes of Christ” (the 2:01 mark) is slower in tempo and utilizes more bends and vibrato. Aside from just the solos, the entire EP is full of complexities and odd riffs that will prove a challenge for any skilled guitar player. Bittencourt and Loureiro establish why they’re one of metal’s best dynamic duos.
The Genesis cover, “Mama”, is very similar to the original; almost to the point where the band could’ve done more to make it interesting. The only major differences are that the sustaining power chords are more pronounced in this version, and the song itself is abbreviated. Oh, and vocalist Edu Falaschi couldn’t get anywhere near matching the presence and emotion Phil Collins had in 1983 (not that that is a surprise, though). After hearing the previous songs on this EP, one would expect a godly, earth-shattering solo in their cover to add some Angra flare to it, but we didn’t even get that; all we got was some single-note whammy work in the outro. The “Mama” cover isn’t terrible, but it epitomizes a boring cover.
While most of the songs here aren’t among Angra’s best, they‘re still quite good. Outside of “Bleeding Heart”, the upbeat melodies are contagious and likely to improve one’s mood. With that said, Hunters and Prey
is a solid effort that saw Angra further hone their skill sets which would set the stage for the group’s 2004 magnum opus Temple of Shadows