Fireworks

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Angra - 'Best Reached Horizons' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/12/d8/6f/2963_angrabestreachedhorizons_1352750780.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 12, 2012    
 
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A two CD retrospective covering their remarkable twenty year recording career.

As the future of one of Brazil’s finest metal exports hangs in the balance following the departure of vocalist Edu Falaschi earlier this year, Angra have decided that the time is right to release their first ever best of compilation. ‘Best Reached Horizons’ is a two CD retrospective covering their remarkable twenty year recording career that has seen not one but two world class vocalists emerge from their midst. How I can have let a band who have featured the talents of not only Falaschi but Andre Matos pass me by until now I’ve no idea because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to this impressive compilation.

Disc one covers the Andre Matos era of the band, when as an unknown band from Brazil, they arrived at Kai Hansen’s studio in Hamburg in 1993 to record what went onto be their first album ‘Angel’s Cry’. Four songs from their debut are featured here and what a calling card it must have been as songs like the blistering ‘Carry On’ and ‘Evil Warning’ are brimming with youthfully exuberant progressive metal with symphonic interludes that are just bursting with ideas and packed full of exemplary musicianship. Matos even tries his best falsetto on the Kate Bush cover ‘Wuthering Heights’, which on paper sounds like a bit of a car crash but the band do it justice. The band reached their creative peak with their next album ‘Holy Land’, introducing indigenous instrumentation and rhythms to great effect on the exquisite title track and the monumental epic ‘Carolina IV’ (featured here in all its live glory). Matos’ last album with the band, ‘Fireworks’, has more of a metal flavour as can be heard on ‘Metal Icarus’ and the paean to the spiritual capital of their Brazilian forefathers ‘Lisbon’

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Disc two picks up the story at the dawn of the noughties when Matos departed, along with the entire rhythm section, plunging the band into disarray. But with Falaschi on board their future was assured on the release of ‘Rebirth’ in 2001, represented here by ‘Nova Era’ and the stirring title track that shows a renewed energy and sense of purpose within the band. As the decade unfolds there seems to be a subtle shift towards more of a power metal sound, suiting the more soulful tones of Edu’s voice. Sure the neo-classical elements remain but the songs become shorter and heavier and on the beautiful ‘Hunters And Prey’ you could almost say that they stray into hard rock territory. But if you listen to ‘Arising Thunder’ from their last album ‘Aqua’ you can definitely hear a return to their original symphonic metal roots.

To those of you, like me, who are new to Angra and their music this really is a first class voyage of discovery but existing fans might been tempted by the inclusion of a suitably bombastic Angra-fied version of Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ that has so far only been available on ‘The Music Remains the Same (A Tribute To Led Zeppelin)’ compilation released in 2002.

Alister Strachan

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