ANGEL, from Washington DC.,US, were formed somewhere in the middle of the 70s. They started their musical journey with live appearances in local clubs of the area until they managed to get a deal with Casablanca Records thanks to gene KISS’ Gene Simmons who discovered them back in the 70s. “Helluva Band” (1976) is their second release that came out one year after their same titled debut (“Angel”, 1975). From those that are unaware of the band, ANGEL delivers a mix of Pomp and Progressive Rock with many Hard and Heavy elements, all these stuff under a melodic and catchy musical background.
The same goes for this album and if you take as a starting point the opener “Feeling Right”, you would sure understand my point especially about the melodic and catchy background of the band. The follower track, “The Fortune”, is one of those songs that words are never enough to describe it. I would put it simple and clear: I would for sure put this song into the list of my five favorite songs from the 70s –next to monsters like “Stargazer” (RAINBOW), “July Morning” (URIAH HEEP), etc- and in the list of my 10 favorite songs of all time.
You got to listen to its sky-traveling intro, its melodic and emotional main theme based on acoustic guitar, its powerful first breaking / bridge to its star breaking crescendo, to its heavenly solo –both in guitar and keys- to understand my point. Yes, this song is the main reason that I have selected this record for review. As the record goes on we would get back to earth with more “human” – and not “heavenly” like “The Fortune” – songs like “Any Way You Want It”, “Mirrors” – one of my other favorites in here mainly due to its epic touch-, “Feeling” – a beautiful ballad -, etc.
All the musical stuff in here carries the narcissistic feeling of Pomp Rock, the wild touch of the 70’s Hard Rock, some Space Rocking musical shades are making the songs even more beautiful and in general we got a record that everyone who searches for something really melodic would enjoy. The band’s main man Gregg Giuffria (keyboards) found later himself in other bands (GIUFFRIA, HOUSE OF LORDS) and the same goes for other band members as well, for example singer Frank Dimino found himself on UFO’s Paul Raymond project band. Unfortunately the main point is that ANGEL despite their talent and inspired stuff never managed to make it as a big band and their members met the success under other band monikers.