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ANGEL BLAKE The Descended Dynamic Arts Records (2008)

Angel Blake

Finnish metal has now brushed off the irritating comparisons to the enigmatic Nightwish. Nowhere do Marko Tervonen s creation Angel Blake attempt to emulate the standard bearers. The Nordic assault comes with many facets.

The single Defenceless promises much with its shrill guitar signature and heroic chorus but is strangely not my favourite track. Highlight of this ten strong offering was the proggish leanings of Again. If music can evoke images then it works for me. While listening to Again, I was taken to a Tolkeinesque place of my own imagination. Quickly this journey was enhanced by the next track When All the Lights are Out.

Call me old fashioned but a melodic awareness is a pre-requisite for any song, however heavily administered. Anything else is an assault on the senses and remains simply that. Silent Voice reminded me favourably of early Rainbow, its mediaevalesque tones tearing through the speakers with abandon. Perhaps not as intriguing as it could have been however. Sometimes prog is a victim of its own heritage. A song can live and breathe on three or four chords alone. This one chopped and changed and lost the original vibe I had warmed to.

You'll Never Need to Feel Again illustrates this point in a positive way. Sometimes you only need verse-chorus-verse chorus and a twiddly bit to move the listener. I was there in the chambers of Valhalla with them. A classical progression enhances the mood and doesn't detract from the original pace of the composition.

Angel Blake are still one album away from international recognition. In a crowded market place, a band must select its signature carefully. Defenceless will not distinguish the band from the rest. Again will. Time will hopefully prove me wrong

****

Review by Keith Thompson


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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