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Angra's fifth full length studio album, Temple of Shadows, is finally ready and it's based on a concept. Rafael Bittencourt's story tells the saga of the Shadow Hunter, who is an 11th century crusader soldier questioning the Catholic Church ideals. Angra has got some well known guests on this album... For example, Brazilian singer/composer Milton Nascimento, Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge) appeared on a track or two.
Angra is known of their quite speedy melodic metal (with some symphonic and power metal characteristics) and occasional ballads. Also some Brazilian rhythms are apparent in their mix of several metal genres. This album continues in the same vein as older Angra releases, although now their music is flavoured by Kai Hansen's signature style... Just listen to the sixth song "Temple of Hate" where Hansen is featured (it sounds like Gamma Ray).
Quality of songs varies, and not all of the songs are as apposite as others. For example, I don't like their new "Hansen"-ish compositions. However, some songs are very good, such as the 'Shadow Hunter', which is a very diverse song (quite similar to Pyramaze's work). Also the power metal songs like the glorious 'Waiting Silence' and 'Wings of Destination' are good. The latter features Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch. I would have liked to hear more of Edenbridge's Sabine Edelsbacher, though. She's featured on 'No Pain for the Dead' and not-so-successful 'Spread Your Fire'. According to the promo sheet, Milton Nascimento was featured on the 12th track (Late Redemption).
Temple of Shadows has been produced by no other than Pink Cream 69's bassist Dennis Ward. The sounds are quite apposite. I could hear slight distortion on some of the guitar parts, but fortunately they are just barely audible (and thus not so grave). On the other hand, the clipping that occurred on the 9th track (for example, one piano note got clipped) is very noticeable.
Although Temple of Shadows covers some new ground, it still is quite a standard Angra release... It contains some of the fastest Angra songs ever written, but it also has the slower symphonic ballads. Temple of the Shadows isn't the best Angra release to date, but it's a lot better than their previous Rebirth album (which left me quite cold... its music just didn't have any effect on me). So check out Temple of Shadows, you might like it (it's a bit different than the previous Angra releases).
Release date: 15.11.2004 (Europe) and Spring 2005 (USA)
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- MAGE (30.10.2004)
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