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Mean Fiddler, London 21 February 2005

At last! Finally the Brazillian Power-Progressive Metallers Angra (one of my favourite bands in the late 1990s) have performed a UK show and it was only thanks to Dragonforce that they bothered. Lack of promotion in this country at a time when they were at their most inventive has certainly worked against them and even now the band felt unsure of the reaction that they would receive. However, based on the sell-out crowd and the enthusiasm that they showed for Angra’s material, they should have no trouble pulling in a big crowd if they'd headlined in their own right - but kudos are due to Herman Li and the Dragonforce guys for encouraging them to play here.

Though I’ve seen the band around seven times since 1997, I've only seen this particular lineup once before (at the Progpower Festival in the USA in 2002) and though I was a huge fan of their old lineup, I was blown away by the new rythum section. I was even more blown away by them and the rest of the band after this evening’s performance - talk about Power, Speed and Tightness - amazing! Unfortunately they were not blessed with the best mix, with Aquiles Priester’s pounding drums slightly drowning out everything to begin with. In fact the sound seemed to vary considerably depending upon where you were stood in the venue and eventually I settled for a position close to the sounddesk, where the sound was decent. You had to feel sorry for poor vocalist Edu as the rest of the band seemed to race through the material in an attempt to cram the whole of their headlining set into the available hour. As it was we got 12 or 13 tunes out of the 16 songs that they had been performing during their concerts on the continent, including an excellent 'Carry On' and an enthusiastically received 'Carolina IV'.

Angra set list:

Spread Your Fire / Waiting Silence / Acid Rain / Nothing To Say / Carolina IV / Angels & Demons / Angels Cry / Temple Of Hate / Never Understand / Nova Era

Speaking to one of Dragonforce's guitarists while watching Angra'a set, he seemed nervous as to how they would follow such a performance, such was the precision and amazing speed of their twin-guitar attack Raphael and Kiko - definitely one of the very best in the business in my humble opinion. However once thei hit the stage, Dragonforce really raised their own game and played their hearts out, delivering definately the best performance I've ever seen from the band.

I thought that they might run out of power during, what was for them, a lengthy set but they were still going strong at 1 minute to 11 after playing almost every song on their two albums. There was a good deal of the usual fooling around on stage, but this time it was delivered with a tightness that I beleived they were capable of, but which I hadn't seen before. All I can say is that the band have really gone up a notch in my estimation after this performance and I really must dig out Sonic Firestorm and give it another spin.

Dragonforce Setlist:

Fury Of The Storm / Black Winter Night / Above The Winter Moonlight / Fields Of Despair / Dawn Over A New World / Vadim Solo / Soldiers Of The Wasteland / Prepare For War / Revelations / Evening Star / My Spirit Will Go On / Starfire / Disciples Of Babylon / Valley Of The Damned

Review: Charlie Farrell

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