Angra - Temple Of Shadows
Temple Of Shadows from Brazilian band Angra is a concept album with a saga about a knight crusader called The Shadow Hunter. It is an ambitious story which, combined with great music, gives you more than just the ordinary power metal, since Angra has over the years become one of the better bands of the genre and they further strengthen their position as a top act with this album. They continue to develop the music that is significant for them: fast melodic power metal, not seldom symphonic, and with some occasional thrown in influences from their South American blood.
The fifth album from Angra starts heavy, melodic and fast, just the way it should be, with Spread Your Fire that has blistering guitars and melodies that bare the typical Angra sound. And so far it is with complete satisfaction I listen to Temple Of Shadows, and as it turned out the satisfactory feeling lasted for most of the album.
Tracks like Temple Of Hate are too die for, fast pounding rhythms backed up by strings that takes make the music lift, and the Latin rhythms in tracks like Shadow Hunter and Sprout Of Time are nothing but brilliant. And to top the already good album, guests such as Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Hansi Kürsh (Blind Guardian) and Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge) help making some of the songs even better with their vocal contributions. Even if most of the songs hold a high quality, there are a few that dont really match up to ordinary Angra standards. Still good enough to listen to, but a bit non-saying and anonymous in my opinion.
This is a more even album than their previous Rebirth and is just as great as any of their earlier ones, and a big improvement is made with the song material in general. Edu Falaschi is the one that has made the biggest personal improvement and turned from a good singer to one of a really high calibre. The album feels like it has a heavier touch than what we are used to and that is something that is welcome, as they havent let that take over any of their melodic sides. It would be wrong to say that Angra plays progressive metal, but nevertheless there are some great elements of that kind to be found here, and best enjoyed when they are mixed with their native influenced music.
With the limited version of Temple Of Shadow comes a second disc that features a bonus DVD. Rebirth World Tour Live In Sao Paulo is perhaps not the most expensive production but fully worthwhile to watch, since the performance from Angra is more than ok. And Edu Falaschi shows that he fully capable of taking care of the older stuff from former vocalist Andre Matos. So I would recommend the limited version to those who are considering buying Temple Of Shadows.