“Don’t be quick to think you’re safe”, they say. You are, actually, so be thankful.
Having a former MANOWAR drummer in the eye of this hurricane means a firm grounding, and even though “Thundergod”, an opening salvo of Kenny Earl’s band’s second album, is dedicated to Scott Columbus, his predecessor on the heroic metallers’ stool, it might as well be a self-mythologizing anthem in the vein of “True Brothers” which comes later on. Might be if ANGELS didn’t possess the humor and the courage to plant a simple, if reasonably heavy, love ballad such as “What Have You Become” into their stomping terrain – how often do you hear the line like “There’s a girl I used to know, now she is gone” in the group’s chosen genre? They go for the slow flow no later than on the second song, the cinematic “Sondrio”, where Diego Valdez’s rich voice shines,
The problem is, the quartet fail to keep the focus until the end, and some pieces lose their melodic appeal quite early, so the SABBATH-esque epic “Redemption” could have easily been left out in the sludge wilderness. Still, the expanse of “White Star Line” nearly outstaying the welcome of guitarist Ethan Brosh’s exquisite acoustic intro but catching up nevertheless, and “Turning To Stone” perfectly balances lachrymose orchestration with genuine emotion, with no fear of getting maudlin on the band’s part. But then there’s the speedy “Bullet” that sounds like a struggle to keep the metal sheen on. Crack it up: it gets much better this way.