FALLEN ANGEL is the brainchild of guitarist John Gruppe, former member of BELLADONNA band. The band was formed back in the early eighties and released a demo called “Power metal” before disbanding. They resurrected again in 2009 when they released their first full length album “Crawling Out From Hell” a fine piece of power metal music. Now eight years later and after some major health issues the band is on its tracks again and their second album is out.
The first impression the album left me is quite contradictory: I was impressed by the fat, detailed booklet and shocked by the number of tracks, although to be honest since I own the first album I was indeed expecting it. Take note that this album is the second installment in a trilogy and as with the first one, there is a special bundle that includes the album and a novel. And in case you dodged the hint, the album is a concept one, a terrifying story of a war between man and demons unfolded track by track.
Should anyone be familiar with the bands musical style, they would be relieved to learn that the band continues where “Crawling Out Of Hell” left: first class American power/heavy metal, heavy rooted to the U.S. 80’s metal scene and the 90’s underground. The band’s performance is impressive: dual leading guitar action with both precision, presence, energy and a crispy dark tone. While some of the solo licks are repeated they sprog a feeling of familiarity rather than slovenliness. The songwriting is both inspired and well made: catchy choruses and memorable riffs but with a feeling of obscureness that delve into the underground 90’s scene.
I’d have to say that the vocals are quite something: Caleb – The Teller Of Tales (yes that is the name of the singer and since I mention it in the guitar we have mr The man in black and mr. The Dark Lord Of Democales, in the bass there is the one and only Sodominius – The lord of flesh and the drums are handled by The Darkness itself) is quite reminiscent of Matt Barlow only a little bit more high pitched while there is an essence of Brian Thomas (HALLOWEEN), Stanley/Simmons (K.I.S.S.) and of course KING DIAMOND. Theatrical enough yet not confusing since the story is narrated rather than playacted.
What’s more I’d have to say that I am quite pleased. Though the album is very long (19 tracks, 70 minutes of music) and at a point it gets wearing, I loved it. Theatrical elements in metal is an dying art, though bands like HELL, THEM, SACRAL RAGE (in case you haven’t seen them live you are missing things), LIZZY BORDEN, HALLOWEEN are struggling to keep it alive and FALLEN ANGEL is a great addiction to the cast.