sábado, 13 de janeiro de 2018

Angra: Union and Audacity ("OMNI" Review)

In life, perhaps the most important foundation for remaining productive and motivated is the union between people, especially in gears that need to work together, linking beliefs and ideas into a single element, in order to carry out certain jobs ahead and with success. There is always the risk of losing essential parts in a team, so you have to hit the new pieces to keep on winning. Completely ready to seek new conquests, proving himself unsatisfied by the sublime past, the iconic brazilian band Angra arrives in yet another phase in "ØMNI", 9th release of the band's career.  (Versão em português clique aqui)

In the case of a band with a consolidated name, many people usually expect things similar to their first works until "Temple Of Shadows" (2004). Without departing from what has been experienced in the past, the army led by guitarist and founder Rafael Bittencourt (sole original member of the band) undergoes the novelty, with doses of audacity, increasing everything that the band has learned throughout its 26 years of career, taking a lot of weight and several progressive routes in praise of harmony.

Once again, the quintet was flown to Fascination Street Studios in Sweden to produce the album with producer Jens Bogren, who also produced the band's predecessor, "Secret Garden" (2015). And the sound part of the work is full of vigorous qualities, of clear timbres, bringing the instrumental, orchestrations and percussions in an great work of mix and mastering.

The concept is a fiction about a future, with short stories that take place at various places in time. The future is precisely in 2046, where humanity will have profound changes, an artificial intelligence system will allow conciouss communication between present and future human beings.

The cover art was created by the American artist Daniel Martin Diaz, specialist in sketches that approach science and concepts related to biology, and the art's final improvement by Gustavo Sazes, basing the illustration on the lyric part of the album. 
At a first listening "ØMNI" is not one of the easiest lessons, because each song has different personalities that move you to different routes. Heavy Metal today has a lot of ramifications, making it harder and harder to stick to a particular label, but I can say that the band mixes the best of your Prog/Power Metal, with bits of Thrash, and sure, without leaving the influences of Classic, Brazilian and Latin music aside.

And in the matter of individual performance, the band sounds very well and cohesive, starting with the aggressive guitars (Marcelo Barbosa, making his debut, fits like a glove in the band) and the hot rhythmic base, insured by the technique of bassist Felipe Andreoli and the sovereignty of Bruno Valverde on drums. And to conclude, nothing is more complete than highlighting the magnificent interpretation of the magician Fabio Lione, who has been consolidating once and for all his permanence in the group.

The opening act is "Light Of Transcendence", which brings the unique character of Angra, highlighted by a fast, heavy and melodious Speed ​​Metal, also colored by some elements of classical music; "Travelers Of Time" brings traces of brazilian music from the beginning, positioned bridge and refrain in balance, followed by progressive and modern euphonies; "Black Widow's Web" has a mid-tempo, exhaling great riffs and dense rhythm, becoming thunderous when the chorus arrives. In it we have the participation of singers Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) - dividing her roaring vocals in a duet with Lione - and the brazilian Pop singer Sandy Lima, who starts and finishes the music modulating crystalline verses.

"Insania" has a great initial impact on its epic corals, which has also given us a striking and chunky refrain. Marked also by the cadenced rhythm guitars and the variants taken of drums; "The Bottom of My Soul" connects the elegance of Folk Metal with the load of guitars and surrounding solos, occupied by the pleasant voice of Rafael Bittencourt, who has been evolving as a vocalist every day.

"Warn Horns" is another one that presents abundantly fast actions, taking advantage of wide variations of time, gaining the reinforcement of Kiko Loureiro, who was in the line of front of the band by many years, now a guest, in the solos; "Caveman" is drawn with substances of brazilian music, coming from a clamorous ritual, gathering these resources in soft and unique atmospheres; "Magic Mirror" brings us timbres that are sometimes airy and dense, seducing by the variations of of Lione's vocals, passing through melodic to the aggressive ones; the air of grace comes to light in "Always More" the only ballad of the album, permeated by captivating, sweet and romantic harmonies.

The title track, "ØMNI" ("EVERYTHING", in Latin, a title that fabricates an interconnectivity with the universal truth that everything that has happened, led what the band is today) is divided into two parts. The first is for the long play "Silence Inside", bringing together multiple arrangements regarding the musicality of the band, starting with great orchestrations and great lines of Latin music, in perfect cohesion with the progressive side of the five members. Lione and Rafael alternate the vocals, showing much feeling. And to conclude, "Infinite Nothing" sums up the whole album with beautiful arrangements of strings and orchestrations. Fans of "Temple Of Shadows" will understand what I'm talking about.

"ØMNI" shows that Angra goes through another positive moment of their career, where things tend to get better and better if they maintain that essence, unity and strength, regardless of who is integrating the band.

Expect lots of emotions and surprises!

Text: Gabriel Arruda
Edition/Revision: Carlos Garcia

Band: Angra
Album: "ØMNI"
Year: 2018
Country: Brazil
Style: Power/Progressive Metal
Producer: Jens Bogren
Label: Shinigami Records (Brazil)/Ear-Music (Worldwide)
Press Office: Hoffman & amp; O 'Brian

Fabio Lione (Vocal)
Marcelo Barbosa (Guitar)
Rafael Bittencourt (Guitar/Vocal)
Felipe Andreoli (Bass)
Bruno Valverde (Drums)

1.    Light of Transcendence
2.    Travelers of Time
3.    Black Widow’s Web (feat. Alissa White-Gluz & Sandy)
4.    Insania
5.    The Bottom of My Soul
6.    Warn Horns (feat. Kiko Loureiro)
7.    Caveman
8.    Magic Mirror
9.    Always More
10. ØMNI – Silence Inside
11. ØMNI – Infinite Nothing

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