Angra - 'Angels Cry: 20th Anniversary Tour'

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Angra - 'Angels Cry: 20th Anniversary Tour'

Grab a hold of this epoch marking release.

As music of any genre continues to grow and evolve, there are certain notable events or bands that are indelibly bookmarked in the annals of history as being fundamental to the process. In the world of Rock and Metal you have to ask yourself "where would we be without the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Nirvana or more recently Nightwish?" Narrow it down further and in the sphere we now label Symphonic Power Metal, the rise of Brazilian demi-gods Angra whilst nowhere near as all pervasive, is nonetheless just as essential.

Upon its release in the fall of 1993 their debut 'Angels Cry' was lauded as an instant classic, a bold and daring Neo-Classically infused reinterpretation of the Power Metal sounds pioneered by bands such as Iron Maiden and Helloween. Released at a time when melody, melodrama and grandiosity had seemingly parted ways with Rock for good – remember, Grunge had completely overshadowed pretty much everything else by then – it shone out like a beacon of light, a forlorn yet stoic point of hope cast adrift in a cloying sea of decaying melancholy and abject futility.

Twenty years on and that 'Angels...' album still serves as the basic blueprint for just about every band in the Symphonic Power Metal arena (and boy, there have been a few over the years!), and although the story of Angra has been (and to some extent still remains) somewhat turbulent, the devotion of their steadfastly resilient army of fans worldwide is as strong as ever.

Recorded and filmed at a very special concert in their home town of Sao Paulo last year to commemorate the milestone anniversary of their aforementioned debut, the aptly named 'Angels Cry – 20th Anniversary Tour' is a lavish showcase befitting one of the most important and influential bands in the business. Released as a 2CD set (or visually as a DVD or Bluray if you prefer), it features most of the songs that graced the debut as well as firm fan favourites and newer songs from recent albums with Edu Falaschi.

As most of you will know, Falaschi left the band about a year before this show, but in Fabio Lione (Rhapsody, Labyrinth, Vision Divine, etc.) they have found themselves the perfect replacement, his expressive and emotive voice adding a whole other dimension to established Angra classics – whether his recruitment becomes a more permanent fixture remains to be seen, but if they do decide to record a new studio album with him, I'll be first in the queue come release day!

In addition to Lione, this show also features a smattering of very special guests in the shape of former Nightwish chanteuse Tarja Turunen (on 'Stand Away' and their interpretation of the Kate Bush standard 'Wuthering Heights'), ex-Scorpions legend Uli Jon Roth and well known Brazilian string quartet Famillia Lima. The results ... a spellbindingly hedonistic cocktail of light and sound which reinforces the long held belief that there are few (if any) in this particular theatre who can hold a candle to Angra.

If this tour passes close to you grab yourself a ticket, if not, grab a hold of this epoch marking release and lament at what you're missing!

Dave Cockett

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