- Angra (band)
Infobox Musical artist
Name = Angra
Background = group_or_band
São Paulo, Brazil
Years_active = 1991–present
Power metal Progressive metal Speed metal
Label = Paradox Music, Rising Sun Productions, Lucretia,
Limb Music, Steamhammer, SPV
Eduardo Falaschi Kiko Loureiro Rafael Bittencourt Felipe Andreoli Aquiles Priester
Andre Matos Luís Mariutti Marco Antunes Ricardo Confessori
URL = [http://www.angra.net www.angra.net]
Associated_acts = Viper
ShaamanSymbols FreakeysHangar KarmaFirebox Almah
Angra is a heavy metal band from São Paulo,
Brazilknown for its use of symphonic interludes, highly technical guitar playing, and regional elements in their songs.
Angra was formed in 1991 by Santa Marcelina Music College students vocalist
André Matos, duo guitarist Rafael Bittencourtand André Linhares, and were joined by former Rafael Bittencourtband mate drummer Marcos Antunes, as well as former Firebox bassist and former both Rafael Bittencourtand André Linhareshigh-school mate Luís Mariutti.
With this line-up, several of the first band hits were composed, mainly by Rafael Bittencourt and André 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 shortafter.
"Queen of the Night" was originally "Rainha" and was written by Bittencourt while he played with Marcos Antunes in another band. The song was then revived to integrate Angra's repertoire.
"Carry On" was brought ready to band, composed by Andre Matos.
In the beginning of 1992, André Linhares left and guitarist
André Hernandesreplaced 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,
It was during Hernandes time in the band, that "Evil Warning" took shape. A Bittencourt's old song called "Reaching Horizons" was by then incorporated to the band. The last work of this line up was on the tribute to
Kate Bush"Wuthering Heights"
Shortly after guitarist
André Hernandesleft 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 metalspecialty labels.
During the recording sessions for their first album
Angels Cry, Marco Antunes left the band. Sieges Even's drummer Alex Holzwarth was called to finish the album; Ricardo Confessoriwas 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 Crywas recorded at Gamma Ray guitarist Kai Hansen's studio in Hamburg, Germany. The album included performances by Heaven's Gate guitarist Sascha Paethas 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 Brazilas well as Japanwhere it sold over 100,000 copiesFact|date=May 2008. That year Angra dominated the polls of the Brazilian magazine Rock Brigadeobtaining awards for "Best New Band", "Best Album", "Best Singer", "Best Album Cover" and "Best Keyboard Player"Fact|date=August 2008. 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. It went on to be very successful both critically and commercially.
In 1994 Angra opened for
AC/DCin Brazil and was invited to the inaugural Brazilian Monsters of RockFestival, sharing stage with KISS, Black Sabbathand 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 huge success of Holy Land. 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 Parisin 1997.
In 1998 Angra released the EP "Lisbon", followed by the album Fireworks; both were produced by Chris Tsangarides. Fireworks was a departure from Angra's earlier experimental sound. It focused more on the traditional heavy metal sound, and lacked 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´s edition of the Monsters of Rock Festival. "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.
During mid 2000 Angra split, parting ways with vocalist Andre Matos and its entire rhythm section, bassist
Luis Mariuttiand 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. Symbols's vocalist Eduardo Falaschi, Paul Di'Anno's drummer Aquiles Priesterand bassist Felipe Andreoliwere chosen after what the band called a "rigorous and criterious process involving both technical skills, previous experience and perfect mutual musical understanding".
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 monthsFact|date=May 2008. The album went gold in Brazil that same yearFact|date=May 2008. 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 (Portuguese for Hunter and Prey). Angra was a featured guest on many mainstream TV shows in Brazil.
Angra would play live in Japan and appeared in The "Rock Machine" Festival in Spain, the famed "Wacken Open Air" event in Germany and The
ProgPowerFestival in Atlanta, Georgia, which was their first visit to the USA. 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 Shadowsrecording sessions started in January 2004 at Mosh Studios in São Paulo. Dennis Wardonce again was at the production role. The album guested famous vocalists Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge), Hansi Kürsch( Blind Guardian) and the Brazilian legend Milton Nascimento. Temple of Shadow was a concept albumbased around a character known as "The Shadow Hunter" and his saga which is described as "a saga of a crusader knight that ends up disputing the expansionist ideals of the Catholic Church in the eleventh century". Progressive metalinfluencies permeate the album to an extent never seen before on an Angra release, making it sound closer to Dream Theaterand Pain of Salvation. Expanding from the typical power metal sound, the album incorporates orchestras ("No Pain For The Dead"), flamenco ("The Shadow Hunter"), triple timing ("Wishing Well"), and epic vocal parts often including entire choirs, and not limited from female voices. The record sold over 20,000 copies in the first week in Japan alone, selling close to 50,000 copies in Brazil and over 250.000 worldwide.
The band made a very successful tour in Brazil and an impressive European tour, 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 Nightwishfor the Japanese dates in March. The band then went to Taiwan and after, for the first time, they played in the Oceaniacontinent 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 Maidenand Dream Theater.
Later in 2006, Angra worked once again with producer
Dennis Wardon their new album, entitled Aurora Consurgens, focusing on a non- concept albumas Rebirth was. Instead, they pursued a close relative of the idea, a theme album. The moods and lyrical content of a themed album all follow a specific topic or idea, rather than a story, which are apparent from start to finish. In the case of Aurora Consurgens, the lyrics are about the different mental perturbations such as suicide, schizophrenia, sociopathy, bipolar disorder, etc.
Also in 2006,
Fábio Lagunacomposed a solo progressive instrumental album called Freakeysalong with drummer Aquiles Priesterand bassist Felipe Andreoli.
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". [http://www.bravewords.com/news/96314]
Angra's first line-up was formed in 1991 with Andre Matos, Rafael Bittencourt, Kiko Loureiro, Luís Mariutti and Marco Antunes. They recorded their first EP "Reaching Horizons", which was followed by Marco Antunes leaving the band in
1992just prior to the recording of their first album "Angels Cry". Alex Holzwarth was chosen as a replacement for the recording sessions and was later replaced by Ricardo Confessori. This was the longest lived Angra line-up. In 2000 Matos, Mariutti and Confessori left the band, eventually grouping together to form the power 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 after Andre Matos' departure but they never received "member" status.
Eduardo Falaschi- Vocals(2001–present)
Rafael Bittencourt- Guitars (1991–present)
Kiko Loureiro- Guitars (1991–present)
Felipe Andreoli- Bass (2001–present)
Aquiles Priester- Drums (2001–present)
Fábio Laguna(tour member) - Keyboards (2004–present)
André Matos- Vocals(1991–2000)
André Hernandes- Guitar (1992)
André Linhares- Guitar (1991)
Luís Mariutti- Bass (1991–2000)
Leck Filho- Keyboards Live (1993–1998)
Marco Antunes- Drums (1991–1992)
Alex Holzwarth- Drums (1993–1994)
Ricardo Confessori- Drums (1994–2000)
Reaching Horizons" (Demo, 1992)
Eyes of Christ" (Demo, 1996)
* "Acid Rain" (Demo, 2001)
Extended plays (EPs)
Holy Live" (1997)
Rebirth World Tour - Live in São Paulo" (CD & DVD, 2002)
Videos and DVDs
Rebirth World Tour - Live in São Paulo(DVD 2002)"
* [http://www.allmusic.com All Music Guide] - biography by David White
* [http://www.angra.net Angra Official Site]
* [http://www.angra-france.net Angra French Official Site]
* [http://www.myspace.com/angraofficial Angra] at
* [http://www.metal-archives.com/band.php?id=538 Angra] at
* [http://www.metalstorm.ee/bands/band.php?band_id=32&bandname=Angra Angra] at Metal Storm
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