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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Land (and Angels Cry), 8 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: Holy Land/Angels Cry (Audio CD)
There are hardly words to describe Angra's second album, "Holy Land". Many fans believe that the band as well as the numerous solo and side projects spawned from the band never reached the same heights they did on Holy Land, and I tend to agree with them. It's a pretty fair claim to describe every member of Angra as a virtuoso. Guitarist Kiko Loureiro has proven himself a visionary composer and superb musicians with a run of solo albums of late that hold their own comfortably against any of the more famous instrumental metal/rock/fusion guitarists in the marketplace that you could care to mention, while fellow guitarist Rafael Bittencourt consistently matches Loureiro's parts within Angra in perfect lead harmonies. Despite this, however, it was vocalist/keyboardist Andre Matos who really stood out in the early days of Angra and dominates the sound. Matos was, I'm told, classically trained and the proof is clear on Holy Land's centrepiece Carolina IV, which features some stunning use of classical orchestration (a musical representation within the concept album of the Europeans who traveled to Brazil to settle a while back), while the band, under Matos, pioneered the integration of native Brazilian rhythms and music into progressive metal, again at its most evident in the centrepiece Carolina IV. Matos' voice is (or certainly was at the time this was recorded) unique in the heavy metal world as he constantly reached frighteningly high notes that, while fascinating, intriguing and awesome to many listeners, are likely the most probable turn-off in Angra's music. If, like me, you grow to like Matos' high almost female sounding voice and have an appreciation for superbly crafted progressive metal, particularly encased within a concept album and served by an all-virtuoso line-up that indulges frivolously in musical autonomy, you should absolutely try to get hold of Holy Land as soon as possible - it ought to become one of your absolute favourites very quickly.

In this package, however, you will also find Angra's debut full length: "Angels Cry". I will not lie, but as far as it is possible for me to try and be objective about music, Angels Cry is not as good as Holy Land and it seems the majority of fans agree with me on that. Angels Cry is a fairly solid album. It's much less progressive than its successor, Holy Land, and lacks the same extent of variation of moods, complexity of compositions and native Brazilian rhythms. Matos' voice seems even higher and sqeakier here than it would later become, a feat particularly evident on the anthemic concert favourite "Carry On" as well as the Kate Bush cover "Wuthering Heights". Angels Cry didn't really break much ground and on its own wouldn't be a necessity for the casual progressive metal fan the way Holy Land should be considered, but it serves the less autonomous purposes of heavy metal music and has enough creativity that had it need been so vastly overshadowed by its successor the band would probably still have been well remembered. Of course, the whole band were already playing their individual instruments to virtuoso standards so for many listeners that alone will be enough to keep their attention and everything else will be an extra bonus.

No doubt these days when people begin an interest in progressive metal they will nearly always start with Dream Theater as well they might given the sleek production and reliable instrumental passages DT constantly offer, but so strong is my belief in the Holy Land album, I'd suggest even new progressive metal fans who perhaps don't own more prog metal albums than they can count on the fingers of one hand should be marking Holy Land as essential on their shopping list. Angels Cry is also pretty good in its own right, but here it's relegated to just bonus material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 16 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Holy Land/Angels Cry (Audio CD)
Since I received this item I keep on listening to it. It's energetic, well-made melodic power metal which you will find yourself singing whenever you aren't listening. Holy Land is also good but Angels Cry, while sounding slightly derivative at points, is brilliantly addictive music obviously made by people enjoying their craft.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Angra's Best Albums, in 90's best metal albums, 28 Jun. 2009
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George Spiros (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Holy Land/Angels Cry (Audio CD)
Metal full with folk and classical parts, alongside the silky high-pitched voice of Andre Matos, it is an extremely well written, deep and strong album.

I, without any doubt, put this album* along best of 90s albums. Epics 10minute songs like Carolina the 4th, small and faster songs, piano-introductions all build a very refreshing sound, that i find relaxing even if it is a prog-metal CD. It is trully wonderfull. Do yourself a favor and listen to some songs of this album.

It sounds really original, not like being the 100th metal album you've heard with simply differnt riffs.

*I am actually refering to Holy Land. Angels Cry is very good also, but Holy Land is way better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 8 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Holy Land/Angels Cry (Audio CD)
I bought this as a christmas present for a couple of friends and they loved it!Angra is really really amazing!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 12 April 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Holy Land/Angels Cry (Audio CD)
All song are great in this album, but the song Carry On stands out the most. The song starts with 2 solos and great drum beats. It is worth the price. FYI: ANGRA IS A BRAZILIAN BAND NOT ARGENTINIAN...
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Talent, 26 July 2003
This review is from: Holy Land/Angels Cry (Audio CD)
Angra are an unknown Argentinian band to England, but after being given 'Holy Land' by an Argentinian friend we were hooked! Some say a prog rock band, but they are so much more! Their voices are exceptional and inspirational for both sexes. 'Angels Cry' was our second purchase and without doubt they aren't one-hit-wonders. They're a mix of rock/metal with amazing bass and guitar solos with the added vocal talents of an operatic/rock singer and all members sing in exquisite harmony. A definite for anyone who wants something more out a rock band. 'Fireworks' was less impressive, with only a few great tracks, but I've heard nothing but praise for their later albums so go experimenting and you'll be pleasantly surprised...
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Holy Land/Angels Cry by Angra (Audio CD - 2010)
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