01. Viderunt Te Aquæ
02. Arising Thunder
03. Awake From Darkness
04. Lease Of Life
05. The Rage Of The Waters
06. Spirit Of The Air
08. Monster In Her Eyes
09. Weakness Of A Man
I listened many times to the new Angra‘s album Aqua, but since the very first notes I knew, it was the special CD, they need to open a new chapter in their careers. Well, truly I can’t say that the three “new lineup” album were bad and this could sound obvious due to the exceptional skills of the five brazilian musicians but something was missing.
I can remember well the first time I listened to their Angel Cry and Holy Land albums and more than the great music there was something magic! Something quite exotic that made me stuck listening those songs in a special mood. Something that, in my opinion, was lacking in the last three albums. Maybe it’s the coming back of Ricardo Confessori at the drums or the time spent to recharge their “batteries” but AQUA it’s for sure a very, very good album!
This new chapter starts with a short intro (to be honest this is probably the only thing I didn’t like too much) called “VIDERUNT TE AQUAE” and then it’s time to rock with the first song released by Angra to promote AQUA, “ARISING THUNDER”: a very fast double bass song with an amazing guitarwork and a killer chorus. Something at the very beginning of the song reminded me the masterpiece “CARRY ON”. Let’s say that I liked a lot the drumming of Aquiles Priester but it was sometimes too “cold”, while the amazing job of Confessori gives an higher latin “touch” to the songs of AQUA.
After this it’s time to go to the next song “AWAKE FROM DARKNESS”, that starts with a latin rythm to explode in a complex song full of different styles, from the latin percussions to the aggressive central instrumental part where Kiko Loureiro and Raphael Bittencourt confirm to be probably one of the best “axes” couple of the world. It’s very interesting the sharp cut between the solo sections and the piano soft interlude. Nothing to say about the perfect performance of the bass wizard Felipe Andreoli always powerful and virtuoso. It’s time then to a slow song “LEASE OF LIFE” where we can listen to a different aspect of Angra’s music with low pitched vocals, a soft piano arrangement and a refined guitarwork. I noticed that in this album the singer Eduardo Falaschi try a more aggressive vocal “path” and I think that the result it’s really interesting.
It’s time for some more speed and here we have “THE RAGE OF THE WATERS”. This is a fast song with an excellent guitarwork and an amazing bass solo that will be probably one of the best song to play live in the next tour.
It’s time to slow down a little again with “SPIRIT OF THE AIR”, lead by a refined score of classic guitar and a complex harmonical and rythmical structure. This song could be a nice junction point between the old Angra of Holy Land and the new ones of Falaschi.
An weird electronical sound introduce the next song “HOLLOW” which starts in a progressive and very aggressive way and then try to become more “easy” with a more melodic chorus. Of course when we speak about Angra, “easy” is not meant to be “common” or “simplified”. In fact the compositive level of this album is excellent and the time spent by Kiko Loureiro working on his solo projects was useful to take the fusion and jazz elements in Angra’s music to a new level. But I have also to say that in some high passages the vocals of Falaschi are not so convincing. It’s just my opinion but I think he can do the best at the medium octaves without try to reach always the highest note.
“A MONSTER IN HER EYES” it’s a mid-tempo song that seems to be taken directly from their recent discography but as I said before there’s always something more “airy”, more majestic that make everything exciting! Later on we will say something about the lyrical concept of AQUA.
Latin precussions and a tapping guitarwork introduce the next “WEAKNESS OF A MAN”. This song reminds me their song “THE SHADOW HUNTER” taken from the album The Temple of Shadows. The central interlude is probably on of the best moment of this album with a continuous flux of changes from an acoustic guitar to a progressive part with latin influences and then to a killer guitarsolo. Listen to believe!
I’m happy to see that the brazilian influences in Angra’s music are back stronger than before mixed to a new rock attitude. To complete this new album we need only one thing, a very slow, emotional song and here we go with “ASHES”. A sad and classical piano introduction embrace the listener just before the emotional voice of Eduardo Falaschi appears. Then after a crescendo and an “explosion” of sound for the chorus it’s time again for the piano. After another pompous chorus it’s time for a quick ending with the piano and the voice.
About the lyrical content AQUA it’s a concept album based on the Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST and if I remember correctly this is the first time Angra do that.
Just a little about the production of the album which is (as always for Angra) really clear and powerful, perfect for the sound of the band of for their complex arrangements.
What can I say now? AQUA is a great album for sure, and I think it’s the best coming back Angra could do to tell us they’re not dead! They’re alive and in a perfect shape!
My RATE for Aqua: 8/10