on 12 July 2011
Angras first three albums with Edu behind the mic were fantastic, from the straight ahead proggy-power like rebirth to the more "worldly" feeling Temple and Aurora, the quality was there throughout, be it on the more mid paced songs, the more balladic, worldly instalments, or the straight ahead power metal blasts. Some felt aurora was not as good, I disagreed, so my hopes were very high for this album. These hopes were somewhat dashed. I didn't love it like I did the other three. I wasn't able to pick out a selection of real, genuine favourite tracks like Id with the other three, but I didn't particularly hate it either, I just thought it was a good, serviceable pm metal album. My opinion has not changed with repeated listens, over time; more than half a year living with it, I still find it somewhat of a disappointment: good whilst not being great: serviceable, really. No bad songs, just a lot of average ones. Stylistically, this is not as varied as the last two; I would somewhat call it the missing link between rebirth and Temple, sitting comfortably in the middle of the two styles: as always we have some mid tempo numbers, fast PM tracks and quite a lot of worldly, proggy ballad's, which for me have always been a highlight of Angra's albums: great, delicate vocals and melodies and songwriting that just end up producing great atmospheric numbers such as no pain for the dead from temple or so far from Aurora: however, the ballad's on Aqua are pretty much like the rest of their fellow tracks: good, list-enable, somewhat occasionally rousing, but rarely ever reaching the heights of past melodies and performances.
To this day I cannot pick out any particular highlights, to be honest, though I suppose Rage of the waters and Arise from Darkness are the most consistently enjoyable. If you are an angra fan, obviously you are going to pick this up anyway, but if you are new to the band, pick up their debut, or Temple from the Edu era, or any other apart from fireworks, to be honest: the quality, if not always style, is uniformly more consistent on these albums than it is on Aqua.
To round it all off, This is, again, decent enough, some enjoyable bits dotted throughout, and great performances as ever: the guitarwork especially rules on this album. However, in terms of consistently great material, this just does not cut it, especially when compared to the band's past glories.