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Angra - Temple Of Shadows (CD)

Temple Of Shadows
by Thodoris Pantazopoulos at 30 October 2004, 3:39 PM

Every Angra album holds a sacred place in my heart and each time they released an album, the procedure of the listening session acquired some kind of ritual pattern. I was a bit confused after the sudden (and phenomenal condemnatory) departure of Andre Matos, Luis Marriuti and Ricardo Confessori, I knew however that Angra's axemen were diehard musicians and indisputably the band's moving force, so I was strongly awaiting for their next move.  
2001's Rebirth marked what is neatly described by the album's 1st track as a Nova Era for the band and a sweeping triumph against those who believed Angra would just be a memory. And if Rebirth was a transitional stage for them, after so many line-up changes and management-related troubles, it was really hard to imagine how far these inexhaustibly talented musicians could go from now on. These days imagination will turn into reality when Temple Of Shadows will hit the stores and everyone will receive the answers he seeks through his CD player. Great albums demand thoroughgoing analysis; allow me…
Deus Le Volt!: Just a one-minute intro that prepares the ground for the opening song. Nothing else to be mentioned here other than that's a usual move from Angra.
Spread Your Fire: A very dynamic song, totally appropriate for an opener. A very beautiful, hymnal refrain supported by Sabine's ethereal vocal lines. Excellent orchestration and thunderous guitar-work! The best omen for what's about to follow!
Angels And Demons: Tricky song…at first it seems as a typical Power Metal song and you only take notice of the wonderful and catchy refrain,  but after 2 or 3 listening sessions it shows its full beauty. Amazing work from Edu, who shows at full extent his abilities and one of the most impressive solos I've heard in a long time! Thumbs up!
Waiting Silence: Mama mia…how on earth did they come up with this! Angra flirts with Progressive Metal like never before and the results are just UNBELIEVABLE! Probably the best song I've heard in a long, long time…a song that under other circumstances could belong to the legendary album of Dream Theater Images And Words (1992). Simply one of the album's top notches and a song every one will worship!
Wishing Well: After such intense moments it was time for something to ease the heat. A marvelous melodic song, with acoustic guitars and Edu in great shape! Absolutely stunning and majestic. The best ballad the band has written since Holy Land.
The Temple Of Hate: Not an impressive song, though the guitars' presence is incredibly lively and there's again a wonderful solo. You'd better focus on Edu's performance and the great rhythmic change somewhere in the track's fourth minute. Oh and…if you have a feeling that you hear a familiar voice, that's Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray).  
The Shadow Hunter: Another surprising song after Waiting Silence. Angra shows it's liking of Progressive Rock, composing a song with some great acoustic guitars and sensational percussion that revives Holy Land's memories and feeling. I think that it is among the album's best ones and surely a song that could make anybody proud of composing it. Do not be let down by its length, this song is astonishing! Well done!
No Pain For The Dead: A full dose of melody again; this song might not gash from heaviness or speed but the band succeeds once more in writing  a beautiful, sensational song. Possibly not as good as Wishing Well, but it still creates good impressions and the duet between Edu and Sabine is a good cause to get your attention.
Winds Of Destination: Lets get rumble! After a short, melodic break the band steers up and behind the wheel is none other than Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian) who performs a very nice duet with Edu. A tricky song, with some sudden and totalitarian rhythmic changes that gathers attention from the very first listening, though it seems complicated and not so accesible. I liked the fact that they didn't compose a b-category Blind Guardian-like song and put a lot of imagination in it. The track bears progressive taste, with guitars holding the main role here. A beautiful song that will overcome with its charm any listener after hearing it for a couple of times. Great job guys…
Sprouts Of Time: Kind of a hypotonic song in the beginning, which is based mainly on Edu's marvelous voice. Somewhere in the middle there's a nice part with acoustic guitars (I wouldn't risk calling it flamengo or local Brazilian music, that's out of my range) and the song shows some interest. Not anything special, especially after 9 straight brilliant songs.
Morning Star: Another lengthy song from Angra (about 8 minutes long), with a 2-minute instrumental intro. Mid-paced rhythms and serene atmosphere until….the 5th minute of the track where guitars cry out their appearance and things obtain a wild beauty. Again, the band works with progressive taste and naturally, it triumphs. These songs make me thank God for giving us bands like Angra.
Late Redemption: A strange, mystical song with an atmosphere that only bands with such range could create. A local Brazilian singer also takes part in it, Milton Nascimento, who performs some lyrics in Portuguese. A song with intense feeling which surely is a representative sample of Angra's multidimensional sound identity. Though atmospheric in the beginning, in the end tension climaxes and once more the guitars impress. We're already in the 12th track and I haven't found a single weak moment…
The XII Gate: This is maybe the first time in my life I wish a great record came to end so to hear the grandiose closing track. An incredible orchestration-medley of some parts of the preceding songs, fully instrumental with a soundtrack aesthetic. More than a happy ending…
Overall, the band's best album to date, no matter how this sounds. Without a single argue, their most guitar-dominated one and the most perplexed as far as it concerns the compositional structure. The one and only reason I ain't giving it the absolute rate is the fact that there's no Carry On or Nothing To Say in it. There are in it however, some songs that require a large amount and size of balls to be written, and this band not only survived after its bisection but it also stands healthy enough to offer in open hand compositions that other bands can only dream of. You know something? I just found my No.1 album for the year 2004…

4 Star Rating

Deus Le Volt!
Spread Your Fire
Angels And Demons
Waiting Silence
Wishing Well
Temple Of Hate
Shadow Hunter
No Pain For The Dead
Wings Of Destination
Sprouts Of Time
Morning Star
Late Redemption
Edu Falaschi - Vocals
Kiko Loureiro - Guitars
Rafael Bittencourt - Guitars
Felipe Andreoli - Bass
Aquiles Priester - Drums

Kai Hansen (Additional vocals in Temple Of Hate)
Sabine Edelsbacher (Additional vocals in Spread Your Fire & No Pain For The Dead)
Hansi Kursch (Additional vocals in Wings Of Destination)
Milton Nascimento (Additional vocals in Late Redemption)
Record Label: SPV


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