With Rebirth, Angra firmly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Their next album, Temple of Shadows, was a true and utter masterpiece. With Aurora Consurgens, the members of Angra once again prove that their physical abilities are unparalleled – silvery solos and mind-bending beats convey that each player is a bona-fide master of his instrument.
The songwriting on this record is nowhere near the level of quality that was achieved throughout the entirety of Temple of Shadows. These new tracks feel like they were just slapped together, to the effect that there is not a single song on this record that is greater than the sum of its parts. Granted, there are some AMAZING parts, but they rarely flow together as well as they should. Perhaps the band’s deliberate decision to divvy-up writing responsibilities is to blame for the uneven soundscape (Rafael was the primary creative force behind T.o.S). Basically, each track on T.o.S left me thinking “Wow,” while each track on A.C. leaves me thinking “So what?”
Moreover, the passion, beauty, and genuine emotion that characterized T.o.S. is missing here. The melodies, while complex and masterfully executed, are often flat and uninspired. I actually FELT the songs before. Now, they hardly have a lasting impact – more surface, less substance. It’s probable that constructing an album with one solid, all-encompassing concept in mind helped Angra fashion the musical monolith that was Temple of Shadows. Kamelot accomplished a similar feat when they put out their masterpiece, The Black Halo.
On the plus side, Aurora Consurgens is a very well-produced album. And as I said before, each member is firing on all cylinders. If you’ve never heard Angra before, there’s a good chance that you will be blown away by this disc. But side-by-side, this album consistently pales in comparison to Temple of Shadows. Hopefully, Angra has merely stumbled and not fallen with Aurora Consurgens. Lord knows they have the talent and capacity for another perfect prog/power metal masterpiece.