Angra (band)

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This article is about the power metal band. For other uses, see Angra (disambiguation).
Angra
Origin São Paulo City, São Paulo, Brazil
Genres Power metal, progressive metal, heavy metal, neoclassical metal, folk metal
Years active 1991–present (hiatuses from 2000-2001 and 2008-2009)
Labels Paradoxx Music, Rock Brigade Records, Eldorado, Rising Sun Productions, Lucretia, Limb Music, Steamhammer, SPV
Associated acts Viper, Shaaman, Andre Matos, Symbols, Freakeys, Hangar, Karma, Firebox, Almah, Bittencourt Project, Rhapsody of Fire
Website www.angra.net
Members Rafael Bittencourt
Kiko Loureiro
Bruno Valverde
Felipe Andreoli
Fabio Lione
Past members Luís Mariutti
Andre Matos
Marcos Antunes
André Linhares
André Hernandes
Eduardo Falaschi
Aquiles Priester
Ricardo Confessori

Angra is a Brazilian metal band known for its symphonic interludes, highly technical instrumental playing and Brazilian regional elements.

History[edit]

Founding (1991-1992)[edit]

Angra was formed in November 1991[1] by Santa Marcelina Music College students vocalist Andre Matos, duo guitarist Rafael Bittencourt and André Linhares, and were joined by former Rafael Bittencourt band mate drummer Marcos Antunes, as well as former Firebox bassist and former both Rafael Bittencourt and André Linhares high-school mate Luís Mariutti.

With this line-up, several of the first band hits were composed, mainly by Rafael Bittencourt and Andre Matos. The very first song to take form was "Time", which later became part of their first album; Angels Cry, composed by Matos and Bittencourt came short after; "Queen of the Night" was originally titled "Rainha" ("Queen") and was written by Bittencourt while he played with Marcos Antunes in another band - the song was then revived to integrate Angra's repertoire - and "Carry On" was brought ready to the band, composed by Andre Matos. In the beginning of 1992, André Linhares left and guitarist André Hernandes replaced him. In the short time that Hernandes stayed in the band, he changed the existing songs arrangements, giving them body and substance. A lot of his licks were kept by his replacement, Kiko Loureiro. It was during Hernandes' time in the band that "Evil Warning" took shape. An old song by Bittencourt called "Reaching Horizons" was then incorporated to the band. The last work of this line up was on the tribute to Kate Bush "Wuthering Heights".

Personnel changes and Angels Cry (1992-1994)[edit]

Shortly after guitarist André Hernandes left the band, Kiko Loureiro, who has played with both Antunes and Bittencourt in other bands, joined Angra. After almost an entire year of rehearsal they released the demo Reaching Horizons in 1992 which was received very positively by critics and achieved unexpected success both in Brazil and Europe. It was one of the first releases from Limb Music Products, which later would become one of Europe's premier power metal specialty labels. During the recording sessions for their first album Angels Cry, Marcos Antunes left the band. Sieges Even's drummer Alex Holzwarth was called to finish the album; Ricardo Confessori was later invited to be the new drummer. This change established Angra in its most enduring and prolific form, which lasted from 1993 to 2000. Angels Cry was recorded at Gamma Ray guitarist Kai Hansen's studio in Hamburg, Germany. The album included performances by Heavens Gate guitarist Sascha Paeth as well as Gamma Ray guitarists Kai Hansen and Dirk Schlächter.

The album was released in Brazil in 1993 and featured many classical influences as well as an adventurous cover of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights". The album was a great success in Angra's native Brazil as well as Japan where it sold over 100,000 copies[citation needed]. That year Angra dominated the polls of the Brazilian magazine Rock Brigade obtaining awards for Best New Band, Best Album, Best Singer, Best Album Cover and Best Keyboard Player[citation needed]. Due to the album's success in Japan an EP was issued on the Japanese market which included remixed versions of songs from Angels Cry; (Evil Warning, Angels Cry, Carry On and Wuthering Heights). In the following year the album was subsequently released in Europe through Dream Circle, and in France by C.N.R.

Monsters of Rock Festival and Holy Land (1996-1997)[edit]

In 1996 Angra opened for AC/DC in Brazil and was invited to the inaugural Brazilian Monsters of Rock Festival, sharing stage with KISS, Black Sabbath and Slayer. After the festival, the band embarked on what would be a very successful Brazilian tour, which eventually ended in Europe in 1995. Holy Land - an ambitious project involving huge orchestration, choirs, and Brazilian rhythms - was released in 1996. Once again the production was handled by Sascha Paeth and Charlie Bauerfiend. Holy Land proved even more successful than Angels Cry, and the Japanese Victor release, including the bonus track "Queen of the Night", went gold. Angra toured Japan for the first time following the album's success. That same year the EP Freedom Call was released, including cover versions of Judas Priest´s "Painkiller", which was followed by the release of the live album Holy Live, recorded in Paris in 1996.

Lisbon and Fireworks (1998-2000)[edit]

In 1998 Angra released the EP Lisbon, followed by the album Fireworks; both of which were produced by Chris Tsangarides. Fireworks was a departure from Angra's earlier experimental sound, focusing more on a traditional heavy metal sound and lacking the classical influences that were apparent in Angels Cry and the Brazilian rhythms that were included in Holy Land. A lengthy world tour was set up in support for the album. Angra made an appearance at the Buenos Aires edition of Monsters of Rock. The Holy Box was released the same year by Lucretia Records including exclusive acoustic tracks. In 2000 Angra co-headlined shows in Europe with Time Machine and Stratovarius.

Big shakeup and Rebirth (2000-2002)[edit]

During mid-2000 Angra split, parting ways with vocalist Andre Matos and its entire rhythm section, bassist Luis Mariutti and drummer Ricardo Confessori. After a great deal of speculation concerning the end of the band, remaining guitarists and founders Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt started drafting musicians to preserve the band. After the indecision of the drummer Clau Gamblet, Symbols vocalist Eduardo Falaschi, Paul Di'Anno drummer Aquiles Priester and bassist Felipe Andreoli were announced in March 2001 as the new members.

Rebirth was released in 2001, produced by Dennis Ward. The album was both a critical and commercial success in Brazil and internationally, selling over 100,000 copies worldwide in less than 2 months[citation needed]. The album went gold in Brazil that same year[citation needed]. The EP Hunters and Prey was released in 2002 which included acoustic takes of Rebirth songs, as well as other new material, a cover of "Mama" by Genesis, and their first song with lyrics in Portuguese, "Caça e Caçador" ("Hunter and Prey"). Angra went on to guest on many mainstream TV shows in Brazil.

Angra would play live in Japan, appearing in Rock Machine in Spain, Wacken Open Air in Germany and ProgPower in Atlanta, Georgia, which was their first visit to the United States. Following the tour, various members of the group played as guests in many projects, including the Led Zeppelin tribute album The Metal Zeppelin - The Music Remains The Same.

Temple of Shadows (2004-2005)[edit]

Temple of Shadows recording sessions started in January 2004 at Mosh Studios in São Paulo, once again produced by Dennis Ward. The album featured guest vocalists Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and Brazilian legend Milton Nascimento. Temple of Shadows was a concept album based around a character known as The Shadow Hunter and his saga which is described as "the saga of a crusader knight that ends up disputing the expansionist ideals of the Catholic Church in the eleventh century".[citation needed]

The band toured Brazil and Europe, headlining shows in Southern Europe throughout Spain, Italy, and France in February 2005. For the first time since its creation, the band played at a UK show at The Mean Fiddler in London, supported by DragonForce, and later joined Finnish band Nightwish for the Japanese dates in March. The band then went to Taiwan and after, for the first time, they played in Oceania, headlining shows in Australia. Angra resumed the Brazilian tour and then returned to Europe for the Lorca Roch Festival, Live in Italy and Bull Rock Festival, sharing stages with big heavy metal names like Iron Maiden.

Aurora Consurgens, management problems, Confessori's return (2006-2009)[edit]

Later in 2006, Angra worked once again with producer Dennis Ward on their new album, entitled Aurora Consurgens, focusing on a non-concept album as Rebirth was. Instead, they pursued a close relative of the idea, a theme album. Also in 2006, Fábio Laguna composed a solo progressive instrumental album called Freakeys along with drummer Aquiles Priester and bassist Felipe Andreoli. In mid-2007, the band took a break due to an unresolved situation with its manager, who was also the owner of the Angra brand. As result, other non-resolved situations between the members arose, culminating in an indefinite hiatus until a solution was reached.

In 2008, Singer Edu Falaschi was originally reported as saying that Angra "has been terminated," but this was later revealed to be both a misunderstanding and a misreporting of his words. Edu later clarified what was meant by his earlier comments: "Angra is not done; we're taking a break, a pause. The band is going through some difficult management issues, and all of us are doing our best to get back on the road."[2] In 2009, the band's official site was taken down. Instead, the home page announced that the site was under construction and news would be released soon. In March 2009, the band's official site announced the return of drummer Ricardo Confessori after a 9-year hiatus to Angra, replacing Aquiles Priester, who left the band to dedicate full force to his band Hangar. The band went out on tour along with fellow Brazilian band Sepultura during 2009.

Aqua and departure of Falaschi and Confessori (2010-2014)[edit]

In the beginning of 2010, Angra started writing songs for their upcoming yet unnamed album due out in mid-2010.[3] The album was composed partly at the members' houses and partly at Confessori's ranch, where they rehearsed and improved the arrangements of the new songs. In February, they came into Norcal Studios in São Paulo, to start recordings. The band members made home videos from the writing/recording process and released them to the fans almost weekly.

On July 5 the band unveiled the cover and tracklist of the new album, named Aqua. On July 10, the first single "Arising Thunder" was released. On July, 15 a new song, called "Lease of Life", was played for the first time in Brazilian radio station Kiss FM. The radio program featured an interview with Loureiro and Falaschi, followed by a high quality play of the song.

On August 11, Aqua was officially released in Japan and the Aqua Tour began with a series of pocket shows, being followed by a Brazilian tour through several venues around the country.

On May 23, 2012, Eduardo Falaschi issued an open letter in which he announced his departure from Angra.[4] Despite not explaining why, he said he would focus on his future projects, including Almah.[4] Edu was later replaced by Fabio Lione (ex-Labyrinth, Rhapsody of Fire).

In 2014, drummer Ricardo Confessori announced he would end his second tenure with the band. He was later replaced by 23-year old Bruno Valverde.[5]

Secret Garden (2014-present)[edit]

On November 2014, the band posted a picture on Facebook unveiling the name of their eight studio album, Secret Garden, to be released on December 17 in Japan and on January 16 in Brazil and Europe.[6]

Musical Style[edit]

Controversy[edit]

In April 2011, Kiko Loureiro accused Brazilian axé group Parangolé of plagiarism. According to the guitarist, the group had used a guitar riff from "Nova Era" in their 2007 song "Azevixe".[7] In response, Angra fans or people simply supporting the metal band created the Twitter hashtags #parangolixo[7] and #parangoplágio (portmanteaus of the words "Parangolé" + "lixo" (garbage) and "Parangolé" + "plágio" (plagiarism), respectively). On the other hand, Parangolé fans used the tag #parangolove.

Members[edit]

Angra's first line-up was formed in 1991 with Andre Matos, Rafael Bittencourt, André Linhares, Luís Mariutti and Marco Antunes. By 1992 Linhares was replaced by Andre Hernandes (which, by 2010, was playing guitar in Andre Matos' solo band). Soon Hernandes was also replaced, this time by Kiko Loureiro. They recorded their first demo album Reaching Horizons, which was followed by Marco Antunes leaving the band in 1993 just prior to the recording of their first album Angels Cry. Alex Holzwarth, Rhapsody of Fire, was chosen as a guest for the recording sessions and later Ricardo Confessori joined the band for the tour. In 2000 Matos, Mariutti and Confessori left the band, eventually grouping together to form the heavy metal band Shaaman. In 2001 Eduardo Falaschi, Felipe Andreoli and Aquiles Priester joined the band for the release of Rebirth. The band also recruited keyboard players on different occasions but they never received "member" status. In mid-2008, Priester left the band due to differences with other band members and in late 2008, Confessori confirmed his return to take over drums. In 2012, Falaschi announced his departure from the band to follow his other projects. Later in December of the same year, Fabio Lione, was invited to replace Edu Falaschi, been confirmed as the new band's vocalist after the album Angels Cry 20th Anniversary was released. In may 2014, Ricardo Confessori announced he would leave the band for a second time, being later replaced by Bruno Valverde.

Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]

Guest musicians[edit]

  • Dirk Schlächter – lead guitar for Angels Cry (1993)
  • Sascha Paeth – lead guitar for Angels Cry (1993)
  • Leck Filho – keyboards (1993–1998)
  • Fábio Ribeiro – keyboards (1993; 1998–1999)
  • Alex Holzwarth – drums, guest for the recordings of Angels Cry (1993)
  • Fábio Laguna – keyboards (2001–2008)
  • Kai Hansen – lead guitar for Angels Cry (1993), vocals for Temple of Shadows (2004)
  • Hansi Kürsch – vocals for Temple of Shadows (2004)
  • Sabine Edelsbacher – vocals for Temple of Shadows (2004)
  • Milton Nascimento – vocals for Temple of Shadows (2004)
  • Daniel dos Santos – keyboards (2009)
  • Tarja Turunen - Rock in Rio concert (2011), Angra's 20th Anniversary show (2013)
  • Simone Simons - vocals for Secret Garden (2014)
  • Doro Pesch - vocals for Secret Garden (2014)

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Released Title Label Brazilian charts[8] French charts[9] Japanese charts[10] Sales Certifications
1993 Angels Cry Eldorado/JVC Japan/Polydor - X 17 900 000 Gold (JP)
1996 Holy Land Eldorado/JVC Japan/Lucretia - X 17 800 000 Gold (JP)
1998 Fireworks Paradoxx/JVC Japan/SPV - 41 15 700 000 -
2001 Rebirth Paradoxx/JVC Japan/SPV - 74 18 1.200.000[11] Gold (JP)
Gold (BR)
Gold (GER)
2004 Temple of Shadows Paradoxx/JVC Japan/SPV 10 110 22 800 000 Gold (JP)
Gold (BR)
2006 Aurora Consurgens Paradoxx/JVC Japan/SPV 14 154 17 450 000 Gold
2010 Aqua Voice Music/JVC Japan/SPV 11 147 22
2014 Secret Garden Universal Music/JVC Japan/Edel - - -

" - " - Information not found

" X " - Denotes an album that didn't chart or was not released in that country

Demos[edit]

Extended plays (EPs)[edit]

Compilations[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Singles [12][edit]

  • "Make Believe" (1996)
  • "Lisbon" (1998)
  • "Rainy Nights" (1998)
  • "Acid Rain" (2001) (demo version)
  • "Wishing Well" (2004) No. 85 Brazilian charts
  • "The Course of Nature" (2006) (free download only)
  • "Arising Thunder" (2010) (free download only)
  • "Lease of Life" (2010) (free download only)

Music videos[edit]

  • "Carry On" (1993)
  • "Time" (1993)
  • "Make Believe" (1996)
  • "Lisbon" (1999)
  • "Rebirth" (2001)
  • "Pra Frente Brasil!" (2002)
  • "Wishing Well" (2004)
  • "The Course of Nature" (2006)
  • "Lease of Life" (2010)
  • "Stand Away" (2013)
  • "Newborn Me" (2014) (lyric video)

VHS and DVDs[edit]

  • Rebirth World Tour – Live in São Paulo (DVD & VHS, 2002)
  • Angels Cry 20º Anniversary Tour – Live in São Paulo (DVD, 2013)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Metalsmiths's Lair : Angra". Truemetal.org. Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  2. ^ bravewords.com. "> News > Update: ANGRA Still In Business; Band Just Taking Break". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  3. ^ "ANGRA // Reaching Horizons // the official website". Angra.net. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  4. ^ a b Macedo, Eduardo (24 May 2012). "Angra: carta aberta de Edu Falaschi sobre a sua saída" (in Portuguese). Whiplash.net. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Announcemente". Angra's official Facebook page (in Portuguese). Facebook. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Post at the band's official Facebook page". Facebook. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Integrantes do Angra acusam Parangolé de plagiar sua música" (in Portuguese). Vírgula. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Exclusivo Online". Revistaepoca.globo.com. 2005-11-17. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  9. ^ Hung, Steffen (2004-11-14). "Les charts français". lescharts.com. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  10. ^ "ANGRAのCD・DVDリリース情報、ANGRAのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE". Oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  11. ^ Portal do Rock (portaldorock at portaldorock.com.br). "Entre para o mundo do Rock<<<". Portal Do Rock. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  12. ^ "Angra | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Myspace.com. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 

External links[edit]