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Angra - "Aurora Consurgens" (CD)

Angra - "Aurora Consurgens" CD cover image

"Aurora Consurgens" track listing:

1. The Course Of Nature
2. The Voice Commanding You
3. Ego Painted Grey
4. Breaking Ties
5. Salvation: Suicide
6. Window To Nowhere
7. So Near So Far
8. Passing By
9. Scream Your Heart Out
10. Abandoned Fate

Reviewed by on November 10, 2010

"Angra's 'Aurora Consurgens' brilliantly blends Brazilian traditional music with power metal, adding a dose of thrash and chops to spare."

It's all too often that extreme technicality also equals sonic sterility — particularly in power metal. Sure, it's grandiose that the singer has a 12-octave rate and the guitarist can fit hundreds of notes into a single measure, but if there's no groove, it's all — to quote the bard — "sound and fury, signifying nothing."

On their 2006 album "Aurora Consurgens," Angra avoids that trap by adding a healthy dose of their native Brazilian sounds, mixing in Megadeth-esque thrash elements and a healthy dose of attitude — in addition to a splendid set of vocal and instrumental chops — to create an album that more than earns the many plays any power metal fan is sure to give it.

The mood is set with Brazilian percussion opening "The Course Of Nature" before guitarists Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro come roaring in with a crunchy thrash riff. It's only when Edu Falaschi starts singing that you start feeling the power metal elements, which hit a splendidly grandiose note during the chorus. Then, Felipe Andreoli funks things up a touch before we go into thrash mode again in the solo.

If the rest of this disc can't match "The Course Of Nature" in terms of sonic variety, it isn't for lack of trying. The next track, "The Voice Commanding You," starts of in speedy Dragonforce mode before slowing up for a section of Gregorian-chant-style vocals that will send a shiver down your spine. Middle Eastern sounds make an appearance on "So Near So Far," but the song also has a strangely 1980s pop feel to it as well.

Generally, the album's speedier tunes, such as "Salvation: Suicide" and "Scream Your Heart Out" work better than the slower stuff. I can see a see of swaying cigarette lighters when the band plays stuff like the power ballad "Breaking Ties" or the acoustic "Abandoned Fate," but ultimately, they feel pretty generic. "Abandoned Fate" also presents the album with its worst sequencing issue, ending the album with a whimper, rather than the bang it should have had. Ultimately, though, that's a pretty minor quibble, given the overall excellence of the rest of the album.

Angra's "Aurora Consurgens" brilliantly blends Brazilian traditional music with power metal, adding a dose of thrash and chops to spare. Metal fans of all stripes would do well to check this one out.

Highs: Plenty of excellent tracks, with "The Course Of Nature," "The Voice Commanding You" and "Salvation: Suicide" standing out.

Lows: The slower tunes "Abandoned Fate" and "Breaking Ties" feel a little generic.

Bottom line: An excellent power metal album that adds thrash attitude and Brazilian sounds into the mix.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)