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After the split of Angra and subsequent loss of Andre Matos and Luís Mariutti No-one had any idea of what to expect from Angra. With the release of Fireworks; while its a solid album, it was lacking in the metal department and leaning a little too much towards pop metal I think. Fortunately Angra made a complete 180 producing an album not only on level with Holy Land (which was their best album before this), but surpassing it as well. The sound in this is still up-beat and happy, but it's more powerful putting them back into the power metal category, with a lot more riffing and heavier guitars, as well as more bass and really letting the drums drive the music, setting it at a faster pace. Also, Edu Falaschi is SOOO much better than Matos. To be honest Matos' voice was the only thing that stopped me from really getting into the earlier Angra, I found his tone quality to be questionable and kind of boring. Edu, has a great range and a much edgier voice which fits this style of music so much better.
First off, In Excelsis is a very solid introduction leading perfectly into the best song on this album; Nova Era is a master piece of a power metal song with a great chorus some amazing soloing and is just a great metal tune. Then Millennium Sun is a fantastic half ballad starting off really slow and melodic, building into a good mid paced metal song with a great solo and One of my favorite chorus's of all time. Acid Rain is another great metal song with a really awesome groove that just makes it a very accessible song. The chorus is another winner by Angra; it's short, but it's pretty catchy and fun to sing so certainly no complaining there. Heroes of sand is a decent mid paced song that actually makes a great sing-a-long. Unholy Wars is another gem from this album, it starts out with some of that Brazilian/south American groove leading into probably the fastest heaviest song on this album. The rest of this album is good with, but not quite as good as the first half, making this an especially good album as a whole because there are no weak songs in this, they're all good songs.
For a band practically returning from the dead, this is pretty damn good, most bands like Rhapsody of Fire and Stratovarius need an album or two to really get the creative juices flowing after such a drastic change, but not Angra. They cam back with what would be considered their magnum opus had they not created the master piece that is Temple of Shadows 3 years later. This is an excellent power/progressive metal album and definitely one of Angra's best, for metal fans everywhere this is a must own