ANGRA – Aqua

ANGRA - Aqua
  • 8/10
    ANGRA - Aqua - 8/10


Release date: August 11, 2010

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Aqua is the 7th full-length studio release by Angra: one of Metal’s best kept secrets (for the past 19 years) from Brazil. The foundation of Angra’s music lies in Power Metal, however, they have masterfully introduced various Progressive and Symphonic Metal elements into their mix over the years as well. Angra’s albums typically display outstanding guitar work, succinct and precise drumming, soaring vocals by Edu Falaschi, and crystal-clear production quality … in fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find “better sounding” Metal anywhere in the industry. Angra takes pride in their technical talents, and come hell or high water, they’re not going to let sub-par recording techniques or mixing board snafu’s ruin the “artistic aura” that’s pervasive in all Angra studio releases.

Angra albums often focus on a theme or a concept, and Aqua is no exception. Aqua is influenced by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and the album’s ebb and flow romanticizes shifts between the raging power of the sea and its subsequent calming forgiveness and life-giving forces. These powers and forces are conveyed through the narrative experiences of a crew on a ship fighting and begging the sea for mercy … and ultimately for the gift of survival.

What’s Good

About half of the album is comprised of super-crisp and technically “perfect” Power Metal. Tracks such as “Arising Thunder” and “The Rage Of The Waters” are as good as anything Angra has ever created musically, and Angra pulls you in and mesmerizes you with their virtuosity. The production quality is excellent, and the Progressive and Symphonic Metal elements brought into this album are truly insightful yet “brief” enough to not take the band away from their Power Metal roots.

The lyrics do tell a nice story, perhaps even an “epic journey” (if you will), and there’s plenty to capture your undivided focus and attention. Perhaps more so than any other Angra release, Aqua is a “headphones only” album that will especially “reach” Metalheadz able to avoid and/or block out all other distractions when listening. Aqua is truly a great album to listen to at night with the lights out, with perhaps just a solitary candle burning softly and peacefully on the fireplace mantle.

What’s Less Than Good

When Angra ROCKS in this album, they are nothing short of outstanding … however, with this being a concept album telling a story, there are quite a few slow musical passages and even some “dead time” transitions between and within about half of the tracks. Those transitions aren’t necessarily “bad”, but their frequency does take away from some of the “energetic euphoria” otherwise offered by this album. Additionally, Falaschi is a very solid Power Metal vocalist … but, he’s average at best when trying to carry ballad-esque tracks and softer musical passages.

In A Nutshell

Angra’s Aqua is a technically sound and innovative album that fans of Power, Progressive, and Epic/Concept Metal will most certainly enjoy. However, if you’re a Power Metal fan that wants nothing but power in your Metal, this album may or may not hit the mark for you. If you don’t have a history with this outfit, Angra is a band you absolutely MUST at least become familiar with … a good starting point is Rebirth from 2001 (which was when the line-up was shaken up quite a bit) and then follow that up with this Aqua release. If you like what you hear (and you should), you’ll certainly find your own way through their other work as you realize these Brazilians have a wealth of creativity on offer.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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