Angra – Aurora Consurgens (CD)

At first blush, I thought that Angra would be playing a brand of metal that is little different from that of a band like Helloween. However, from the opening track (“The Course of Nature”), Angra comes out with something that is miles away from anything that the aforementioned Helloween could play. There is an equal mix of classic and progressive metal, but during different segments of the disc, a funky, early Red Hot Chili Peppers sound sneaks in as well as drumming that would make Fear Factory jealous. The band is intense, even if they are not doing death metal. When Angra get into the groove of their “Aurora Consurgens”, one can start to get an idea of what Judas Priest must have sounded like when they forged boldly first when their first album came out.

The tracks are very rarely short; Angra has more than enough time to tell whatever story that they want on “Aurora Consurgens”. The vocal opening to “Ego Painted Grey” has a lot in common with acts like Queensryche, while Angra’s use of a snowballing type of arrangement makes this track into something that is impressive at all views. During “Ego Painted Grey”, Angra moves in and out of an orchestra sound. This is not Metallica’s “S&M” but rather of an epic nature not unlike that of an X Japan. The band’s style might seem to some to be early nineties, but there is a vitality present with “Aurora Consurgens” that far surpasses albums from that era.

The band can throw together an instrumental section into tracks that are incredibly varied (different sections feel as if the band is going forth and changing the channel on listeners), but make sense in some odd way. Angra is an act that I was unfamiliar with, even though they have been around since 1991. The fact that the band can go forth and create such vibrant music this far in their life as a band is a monument to their ability as musicians. There are countless numbers of tracks available on “Aurora Consurgens” that could conceivably make it onto rock radio, but these tracks do not eschew solid musicianship just for a few more album sales. Angra have made one of the more solid metal albums of 2006, and this vibrancy should make the band able to continue on for another 15 years without fault. Pick it up.

Top Tracks: Breaking Ties, Ego Painted Grey

Rating: 7.4/10

Angra – Aurora Consurgens / 2006 SPV / 10 Tracks / http://www.angra.net / http://www.spvusa.com / Reviewed 03 November 2006

[JMcQ]

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