Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 4/4/2006
posted on 4/2006 By:
I am glad someone’s doing this. Taking the time to create some cool dark heavy metal. Hiring a guy that can actually sing. Giving the genre some balls with crushing riffs and attitude. This is needed.
Bored musicians who have achieved a certain amount of respect tend to flip out and do something drastic. A few start talking about “the good old days” and promise that they’re coming back even harder with a new group that’s going to kick your ass back to the 80s. There’s a nostalgic appeal to that kind of attitude. Unfortunately, the product usually smells like a turd. And if it smells like a turd, looks like a turd, and sounds like a turd, it probably is a turd. Surprised as I am to say this, Angel Blake’s debut is not a turd. In fact, it’s quite good.
I am not going to bother making some kind of stupid comparison to One Man Army. One Man Army is melodic death. Angel Blake is dark heavy metal. So forget about some kind of post-The Crown competition. It ain’t happenin’. Instead, I am going to tell you about how inspired guitarists Marko Tervonen (ex-The Crown) and Christian Alvestam (Scar Symmetry) sound on this album. It’s like a breath of fresh air to hear such intensely heavy riffs accompanied by clean vocals. Sometimes the vocals and production sound a little bit too clean, but it ultimately doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the CD.
What both sells and limits Angel Blake’s debut is its catchiness. It’s so damn melodic! Initially, I dove right into it, but after having listened to the album over a dozen times, I do notice that things become too predictable for the recording to register as anything beyond a 4.5 in musicianship. Songs like “Retaliate” and “Lycanthrope” rely on these uber-catchy choruses a little too much. There’s some minor variation courtesy of a few interesting solos and general ambience (some Middle Eastern touches in sound) though. Fans of dark heavy metal who can put up with a modern clean production (Evergrey fans, maybe?) will find a rare solace in this album. Others should keep an eye out for the group’s second release, as the debut certainly promises greater things to come.
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