Review by Mike Korn
Most associate Brazil with Sepultura and Krisiun, but Angra proves that there's more to the land of the Amazon than nu-metal bashing and screaming death metal. Angra is a long-running progressive/melodic heavy metal band that has carved a fair little niche for itself. That niche was seriously in danger of collapsing when the group lost its much-acclaimed and charismatic frontman Andre Matos a couple of years ago. Many considered that the end of Angra, such was Matos' association with the band. But lo and behold, the Brazilians have arisen from the ashes with the aptly-titled "Rebirth".
I certainly can't knock them for choosing Edu Falaschi as Matos replacement. The man has a velvet-lined pair of lungs and sings without any trace of an accent. James LaBrie is a good comparison point, but I can hear some Dio, Tate and D. C. Cooper influences. He often sounds too "sweet" but he can put a lot of emotion in his vocals, as "Heroes of Sand" shows.
If a mixture of Dream Theater and European speed metal Ala Stratovarius and Rhapsody is your bag, you're gonna dig Angra. They fit very snugly into the current prog-power metal vibe. Too snugly, in my opinion, as the band offers little in the way of freshness. Plus, I often find "Rebirth" overproduced and so squeaky clean that it approaches sterility. Hard rock music should have some grit to it, but this has been polished to a fine sheen. So, if you are a fan of Dream Theater, Stratovarius, Yngwie and Angra's early material, "Rebirth" is a worthy purchase. I think they could do with more spontaneity myself.