This monumental release from the Brazilian power-metal act is a profound improvement over their debut, Angel’s Cry. Absolutely blazing and intense, the album is true symphonic power metal with Brazilian folk instrumentation.
The album begins with the most unexpected introduction to a power-metal album – a soft, ambient passage with a female opera singer vocalizing in the background followed by a storm – and then the anthemic “Nothing to Say” begins. With amazing riffs, a memorable chorus and impressive classical interludes (very similar to the pauses in Rhapsody’s “Emerald Sword”, which would come later), this song is the perfect opener for a stellar album. “Silence and Distance” begins with singer Andre Matos’ soft, almost infantile croon, only to kick into overdrive with his brutal wail. Each song on this album is indispensable, from the Brazilian influences in “Holy Land” to the rapid-fire rhythms of “Z.I.T.O” to the sweet delicacy of “Deep Blue”, a delightful ballad.
The symphonic elements are never over-the-top, nor are they too subtle – they work very well to compliment each song. The two best tracks stand out quite nicely. The 10-minute “Carolina IV” is the album’s culmination, with everything from a choir to unforgettable symphonic pauses and accompanying orchestrations. The idyllic “Make Believe” is beautiful in every respect – the lyrics are undeniably emotional and the music is almost playful. The album is a monument to power and with its listener-friendly ballads and symphonic interludes, Holy Land proves to be an album worthy of greatness.
See also: Aina – Days of Rising Doom, Rhapsody – Symphony of Enchanted Lands