If you like a bit of melodic rock that fuses Led Zeppelin, Kingdom Come and Masters Of The Airwaves, then Angel’s ‘In The Beginning’ deserves a listen.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: In The Beginning
LABEL: Coalier Entertainment
CD INFO: Discogs Info
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Frank DiMino – vocals * Richard Marcello – guitars, keyboards * Brad Winikor – guitars * Leo Borrero – bass * Barry Brandt – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 The Crow * 02 The Rain Song * 03 Hero * 04 So I’ll Say Goodbye * 05 Long Gone * 06 In The Wake Of The Storm * 07 Set Me Free * 08 The Greatest Love Of All * 09 Shangra La * 10 Trapped In Paradise
WEBLINKS: Wikipedia Page
The year was 1999. Melodic rock and AOR had been pushed to the outer rim of popular music. Faded memories from the 70’s and 80’s stumbled around in the brains of many long lost fans of those two genres of rock music. But yet, old dinosaurs still found the time to resurrect themselves to anyone who had the interest and the time to listen. One of those dinosaurs were Angel, a popular draw for many here at Glory Daze.
However, it was a partial resurrection, with only Frank DiMino and Barry Brandt featured full-time, while Punky Meadows and Felix Robinson guested on one track each. The album was a limited release only, and if you’ve got the original Coallier Entertainment issused CD, you’ll see why.
In mid 1999, the band had announced news that they were heading out onto the road, and had actually played a Kiss Expo gig up in Boston, with guitarist Steve Dionne, bassist Randy Gregg and keyboardist Gordon Gebert in tow.
However, by the time the CD eventuated, the line-up had changed to that listed above. Also changing was Angel’s sound. If you’ve read online articles about ‘In The Beginning’, most commentators compare this to Led Zeppelin. Whether that’s a good thing or bad remains to be seen.
But long-time Angel fans were more than a happy to see the return of the band, even if it wasn’t the real McCoy. There’s a lot of what sounds like 12-string guitar on the two opening tunes: ‘The Crow’ and ‘The Rain Song’. Quite likeable actually, though not necessarily ‘Kashmir’ by any stretch. DiMino attempts a few Robert Plant like vocal soars.
Moving on past the straight-ahead rocker ‘Hero’, we are presented with the exotic sounding ‘So I’ll Say Goodbye’, which could be Kingdom Come doing outlandish things. It keeps to a slow-burn to mid-tempo and it works a treat. ‘Long Gone’ sounds like a bit of barroom boogie done Led Zeppelin style. DiMino does Plant? err yeah.
‘In The Wake Of The Storm’ is an ode to Y2K (do you remmember all the nonsense that went down at the end of the millenium?), while ‘Set Me Free’ tries the power-ballad route but doesn’t get far. The electrics take a back-seat on ‘The Greatest Love Of All’, and as much as I tried, the last pair of tracks ‘Shangra La’ and ‘Trapped In Paradise’ sounded like a couple of House Of Lords cast-offs.
Despite having reservations at the outset, I have to say some of this album was likeable. Maybe if they hadn’t gone in under the Angel monicker, I wouldnt have had heart palpitations beforehand.
Nonetheless, if you like a bit of melodic rock that fuses Led Zeppelin, Kingdom Come and Masters Of The Airwaves, then ‘In The Beginning’ deserves a listen.
Just forget that this is an Angel album, and you may come away surprised, as I was, though in all honesty, if you were to bypass the album then you probably wouldn’t be missing a great deal.