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Brazil's Angra was formed in 1991, picking up where Viper had left off playing neo-classical progressive metal. Singer Andre Matos left Viper after the Theatre of Fate album due to creative differences. He soon hooked up with guitarist Kiko Loureiro to form Angra; they were joined by bassist Luis Mariutti, guitarist Rafael Bittencourt, and drummer Marco Antunes. After a demo entitled Reaching Horizons, Antunes was replaced on drums by Ricardo Confessori. This completed the lineup for their first full-length album, Angels Cry, which met with critical and commercial success in Brazil and Europe. It was mostly a hard, progressive metal set, slowing down only for a remake of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights." Two years later, in 1995, Angra recorded their second album, entitled Holy Land. While maintaining the same core sound as Angels Cry, Angra showed more subtle Brazilian influences on Holy Land, in the rhythms and backing vocals. Two EPs, Holy Live and Freedom Call, appeared between 1996 and 1997. Their next album, Fireworks, released in 1998, was a more straightforward hard rock album. The classical influences from Angels Cry and the Brazilian influences of Holy Land were both gone, replaced by straightforward metal. In 2001 longtime vocalist Andre Matos left the band and was replaced by Edu Falaschi. The resulting album, the prog/neo-classical metal Rebirth, was a return to form for the group. They followed that record's success with the conceptual Temple of Shadows in 2005, which featured a slew of guest vocalists, including Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), and Brazilian music legend Milton Nascimento. 2006's Aurora Consurgens didn't go the narrative route, but it did focus on some specific themes like suicide, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental disturbances. In 2010, Angra released their seventh studio-long player, Aqua, which was based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest. 2015's Secret Garden marked the debut of new vocalist Fabio Lione, who'd replaced Eduardo Falaschi in 2011 -- the LP also featured lead vocals by guitarist Rafael Bittencourt and guest performances by Simone Simons from Epica and Warlock's Doro Pesch. The group's ninth full-length effort, Ømni, followed in 2018.
© David White /TiVo
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