ANGRA
"Rebirth"

(SPV/Steamhammer)

01. In Excelsis
02. Nova Era
03. Millennium Sun
04. Acid Rain
05. Heroes of Sand
06. Unholy Wars
  Part I - Imperial Crown
  Part II - The Forgiven Return
07. Rebirth
08. Judgement Day
09. Running Alone
10. Visions Prelude

RATING: 8.5/10

As one of the people that were ready to dismiss ANGRA following the departure of vocalist Andre Matos (who, along with ANGRA's rhythm section, left the group to form SHAMAN), I was more than a little surprised by the quality of the Brazilian quintet's long-awaited comeback release. A more mature, focused effort than 1998's Fireworks, Rebirth's biggest surprise comes in the shape of new vocalist Eduardo Falaschi (ex-SYMBOLS), who possesses a richer, more powerful set of vocal cords than his predecessor yet never fails to live up to Matos' legacy, thanks to a singing style that is as powerful as it is melodic, all the while perfectly complementing the band's excellent songwriting efforts.

...

As before, ANGRA's sound is derived almost directly from the neo-classical metal approach pioneered by HELLOWEEN on their Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. I opus, and tracks like the opener “Nova Era” and “Millennium Sun” are certain to please all fans of the latter group's earlier releases, particularly as ANGRA's current sound is now thankfully devoid of Matos' annoyingly high-pitched contributions that quickly grew tiresome on the band's previous recordings.

...

As impressive as Falaschi's vocal efforts are, the strength of the material is ultimately what has helped shape Rebirth into the best ANGRA album to date and one of this year's most pleasant surprises. Ranging in style from the HELLOWEEN-like sounds of the aforementioned opener to the ambitiously deliberate complexity of “Unholy Wars”, the songs on Rebirth consistently ooze with class and conviction, and they are certain to silence all of the group's critics who had doubts about ANGRA's ability to re-emerge after what seemed like an insurmountable setback.

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