Wednesday, December 12, 2001 @ 12:23 AM
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Brazilian rock legends Angra have been churning out classically inspired neo power metal for well over a decade and Rebirth continues in the their time honored tradition. Combing progressive arrangements, theatrical showtune pomp, and bold, sweeping dynamics, the five-piece outfit certainly demonstrates that they are more than capable musicians. They throw cellos, string quartets, horn sections, and massive choirs into the mix with ease and none of gets lost or overbearing. Sonically, this disc is a masterwork and fans of Queensryche, Queens and especially Yngwie should salivate over this technically brilliant, fast and furious metal onslaught. However, most folks will kinda chuckle…
The problem with style is that it’s just sooooo ambitious and over the top that it’s laughable. The solos are solo blindingly fast they sound like flutes or keyboards or something, while the riffs are heavy but so blisteringly fast that they sound like they’re sped up on 45rpm. Singer Edo Falaschi (now that’s a rock n’ roll name!) can sing his ass off and has a remarkable range but sounds like he would be even better suited onstage in tights in a Broadway musical. Every song is very serious and overwrought with overflowing emotion and is obviously very “meaningful.” I guess, it just gets a bit New Age-y at times, know what I mean?
However, that’s not to scoff at these guys or blow ‘em off. Technically, this is top-notch stuff. The musicianship is outta control. Just about every song has at least 8-12 different musical passages and, like much classical music, moves along so briskly that you hardly get bored. “Nova Era” is probably the only song on the album that doesn’t feature an abundance of sections (in that it only has like six or so VERY intricate parts, instead of like 16!), but everything else here is just sick. “Millennium Sun” starts of sounding like a vintage Freddie Mercury ballad before huffing forth with a Maiden-like gallop of charging metal. “Acid Rain” starts off with a classical choir singing about “Santos” and a hilariously heshin’ intro that just forces you to gut-laugh…but goddamn if this song doesn’t go through some absolutely jaw dropping twists and turns, including a percussion breakdown that sounds like twisted techno world music. The ballad “Heroes of Sand” has a similar effect, it starts kinda schmaltzy but launches into a really powerhouse chorus with some choice lush harmonies. “Judgment Day” utilizes some riveting percussion and has one of the more kick ass riffs on this platter. “Unholy Wars” opens with a slinky, grooving riff that is probably the most overtly hard rock thing here, before tossing in some tribal chants and then kicking into maximum speed metal overdrive. It’s all pretty head spinning, really.
Technically impressive? Yes. Musically challenging? Yes. Creative? Yes? Would I find myself actually wanting to listen to this more than once or twice out of curiosity? Probably not. I mean, while it’s all very impressive, there’s not much in the way of hum-able hooks or really memorable songs per say. On the other hand, I really don’t listen to much classical music…or Yngwie….and there’s clearly a big audience for this stuff….