Power of Metal.dk Review

Secret Garden
Style: Power Metal
Release date: 19 January, 2015
Playing time: 54:00

What if you play in a power metal band and suddenly you are without a singer? Call Italy and ask for Fabio Lione. This Italian singer known from Rhapsody of Fire and Vision Divine has already helped the band Kamelot out and besides that he sang on albums by Athena, Thy Majesty, Hollow Haze, Labyrinth and several others. So when Falaschi quit, they called Fabio to help them out with the 70.000 Tons of Metal gigs and why not sing on the new album also then? Besides the singing of Fabio, guitarist Rafael Bittencourt also has a big vocal part and I must say that he is a good singer. In the future they could even record an album without a new singer, perhaps it is just not ideal for the gigs.

Rafael's voice is a bit lower than the general power metal singer, but for that part they hired Fabio. On "Secret Garden" Simone Simons shines with her angelic vocals and on "Crushing Room" Bittencourt duals with Doro Pesch. Opener "Newborn Me" is a real Angra song, fast and with some tribal rhytmns and the high voice of Fabio. "Black Hearted Soul" continues, starting with a dark sounding orchestral choir and then turns into a typical high speed power metal track. The voice of Fabio is so recognizable that Angra has to look out not to sound too much like other power metal bands in which Fabio took the lead. I guess that is also a reason why Rafael sings on several songs, just to stay a bit different.

Fortunately the typical Angra rhytmns are embedded in several songs and I have the idea that this album tends to be more to progressive, especially the second half of the songs. On "Storm of Emotions" you hear that Rafael can perfectly do his own laundry. With "Synchronicity II" the band plays an excellent version of this The Police song and Rafael's vocals stick perfectly to this song. Like I already said - the second half of the album is a lot more progressive, only "Perfect Symmetry" is a lot faster, but the songs are strong and I don't find it a problem at all.

The ballad "Silent Call" ends this album on which there are more progressive parts than on earlier albums, but where they kept the typical tribal parts and because of the different singers there is a lot of variety. Perhaps not the best Angra album so far, but certainly not their worst either. There is enough to enjoy, but I'm very curious who is going to sing on their next.

01. Newborn Me
Black Hearted Soul
03. Final Light
Storm of Emotions
Synchronicity II
Violet Sky
Secret Garden
Upper Levels
Crushing Room
Perfect Symmetry
11. Silent Call
Label: Ear Music
Distribution: Playground Music (Scandinavia)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 13 January, 2015
Website: www.angra.net