Archangel – Self-Titled Album Review

archangel

There are quite a few bands called Archangel. This one is a heavy metal outfit from Tampa, U.S.A. and they are good.

‘Intro. 1’ has a variety of styles within its two-minute span! A moody acoustic guitar, orchestrated keyboards a subtle metal riff in the background. Quite an ambitious opener and it leads nicely to ‘Divine Descent’ which is a more straight forward rocker, with frantic drumming and some heavy riffing and plenty of guitar solos, well executed by Mario Morano. It tells the story of Satan’s falling out with God.  Next up is ‘Eternal Sleep’. There’s a lively bit of drumming to kick things into action, with some manic guitar parts, with nice pinched harmonics and whammy bar bits by George Randles and the afore mentioned Morano. Vocalist Michael Brady shows his impressive vocal range here. There’s some well played harmony guitar in this track too. ‘Wings Of Death’, carries on the theme of the CD, with its retelling of the war between Satan’s and God’s angels. Again it’s an exciting, riff laden metal track, with effective, screaming vocals, a great mid section riff, and couple of good baselines by John Boyd.

‘To Hell And Back’ is a speedy, all-action track. It features brutal, hammer down drumming by Tom Klinesmith and some really catchy riffs and frenetic solos. It’s a really enjoyable metal track, with a great outro riff, although the solo needed to be higher in the mix! ‘Bohemian Travesty’ (amusing title, chaps), showcases Brady’s impressive vocals, accompanied by some more impressive heavy riffing and breakneck speed drumming. There’s a sudden tempo change, with a narrative and it builds back into some fast paced riffing with short solos and another catchy riff to end the track. ‘Intro. 2’ brings back the moody acoustic guitar and some baroque keyboards by Steve Jurbala. This leads into the dramatic ‘Archangel’, a melodic metal track, with well written lyrics. The next track, ‘Caught Between Worlds’, builds a bit more than many of the earlier tracks, with some well played baselines and there’s more keyboards too. The well delivered vocals and guitar parts feature too. The lyrics are certainly more detailed and thoughtful than verse chorus, chorus verse, throughout this CD. ‘Second Corruption’ is a classy 7 minute song. There’s an atmospheric guitar intro. leading to another full throttle, catchy riff, well timed pinched harmonics, a wild solo, effective tempo changes, with energetic drumming and menacing vocals. This is the best track on the cd for me. The penultimate track, ‘Claws Of Ba’al’ has a dramatic opening guitar, nice rumbling bass, atmospheric guitar playing. It doesn’t sound promising as the Angel of Death seems rather angry! The final offering, ‘Facing The Demon’, is a dramatic, moody, doom-laden chunk of metal. Here you’ll find more evidence of the great vocal range, heavy duty riffs and the battering of drums, all of which brings the CD to an impressive climax.

I recommend this cd to anyone who enjoys well-crafted heavy metal. An impressive debut indeed.

By Chris Greenwood

 

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