Reviewed by MJBrady on 29 Sep 2004
It seemed the parting of ways with Angra and former singer Andre Matos would prove to be the demise of the bands' once magical presence in the progressive metal circles, cds like Holyland, Fireworks & Freedom Call were setting new standards for band that found a niche with their huge sound. After this separation of ways, the band released some less than stellar recordings (compared to the standards they set for themselves) and it seemed that they had gotten less progressive and more predictable. Bring in the year 2004 and the bands latest effort called - Temple of Shadows, and I am pleased to say that the band has found itself again, and with new singer - Eduardo Falaschi, they are creating some interesting music to say the least.
This is a fine cd, and for those of you that are not metal progheads, this is not for you, but for those that have followed the band, you will be pleased to hear what they are doing on this cd, in fact, this cd provides some of the most intense music that band has created to date. They have found a way to write in the classic Angra style, but have also managed to incorporate the talents of the bands' new members, each getting more space to really impress as musicians, rather than play formulaic patterned metal songs like what was being recorded on the last couple cds. This is very inspired music, and everyone shines on it, both guitarists are reaching new levels of creativity, the drummer - Aquiles Preister is incredibly fast, complex and precise, he alone makes a huge impression on this cd. The bass of - Felipe Andreoli, also stands out from time to time.
As has always been an Angra Trademark, the production is majestic, between the huge group vocals, and elaborate instrumentations, they also provide little nuances of effects, atmosphere and an inexplicable aura about their music. Joining both technical brilliance with multi-vocal harmonies has Angra in the small company of bands that have created music that has the production/performance standards at the highest pinnacle, bands like Symphony X or Dream Theater are perhaps the only other bands that have set such a standard for delivering the complete package, and while Angra doesn't sound like either of those bands, they are deserving of similar recognition for what they are doing as a progressive metal band.
It's so nice to hear musicians play, and really play, rather than hearing them follow some contrived pattern or formula for an attempt at success, that's is essentially what being a progressive band is, allowing your talents as musicians to flourish, all while writing in a style of music that puts everything together. Here Angra has escaped the trap of regurgitation and stepped into the light of creative energy again.