Angra is a Brazilian metal band known for its classical interludes, highly technical instrumental playing and Brazilian
Angra was formed in November 1991 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".
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
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. 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. 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.
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.
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 neoclassical metal sound and lacking 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
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. The album went gold in Brazil that same year. 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 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".
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.
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." 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
In the beginning of 2010, Angra started writing songs for their upcoming yet unnamed album due out in mid-2010. 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. Despite not explaining why, he said he would
focus on his future projects, including Almah. 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.
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.