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Angra: Cycles Of Pain
Angra - Cycles Of Pain Album Art

Angra: Cycles Of Pain

Progressive Power Metal
5.0/5.0

We haven't had a new studio album from Brazil's Angra since prior to the COVID pandemic, 2018's Omni. But the quintet has been busy. In 2021, they released Omni Live in Japan where they have a huge fan base. Also in 2021, the band published a graphic novel based on the history of the album Temple of Shadows (2004), called O Templo das Sombras. Earlier this year, Angra dropped a studio live recording, the EP Angra ilumina Sonastério, featuring some fan-favorite songs. Now, into their fourth decade, Angra returns with their tenth studio album, Cycles Of Pain.

Angra - Click For Larger Image

Angra

Cycles Of Pain, as a title, suggests something ominous. Rather it's a reflection of the turmoil the band and individual members faced over the last five. In the context of the isolation, misery, and death of the pandemic, founding member and guitarist Rafael Bittencourt's father died. Later in 2019, founding member and vocalist Andre Matos succumbed to a heart attack.


So then, lyrically, the album is a reflection of those difficult times. Musically, the context is Angra's well-known forte: neo-classical progressive power metal. We know the genre: twin guitars riffs and harmony driven by the gallop and groove of the rhythm section, with Fabio Leone's immense and powerful voice above, and epic guitar solos to follow, then all things wrapped up in diverse to dense arrangements with large orchestration.

Sampling some highlights, you'll find some more rip-roaring traditional power metal with Generation Warriors, Ride Into The Storm, and Gods Of The World, three raging numbers. Perhaps somewhat restrained is Tears Of Blood, also with some fine vocal/choral harmony. On the more technical progressive side is the two-part Tide Of Change, Here And Now, and perhaps, more lightly, Cycles Of Pain. Another is Vida Seca, written in their native Portuguese, beginning with subtle vocals only rise heavy and intense.

Most things considered, Cycles Of Pain, their tenth studio, finds Brazilian metal icons Angra in exceptional form, offering fans another creative, engaging, and enjoyable album of their signature neo-classical progressive power metal. Definitely recommended.



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The Take Away

Cycles Of Pain, their tenth studio, finds Brazilian metal icons Angra in exceptional form, offering fans another creative, engaging, and enjoyable album of their signature neo-classical progressive power metal. Definitely recommended.

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