A band like Angel don’t deliberately set out to release a bad album on purpose. ‘Risen’ has many solid moments throughout and I’m glad to have given this a written work out.
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Cleopatra Records
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Frank DiMino – vocals * Punky Meadows – guitars * Danny Farrow – guitars * Steve Ojane – bass * Billy Orrico – drums * Charlie Calv – keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 Angel Theme (Prelude) * 02 Under The Gun * 03 Shot Of Your Love * 04 Slow Down * 05 Over My Head * 06 1975 * 07 We Were The Wild * 08 I.O.U. * 09 (Punky’s Couch Blues) Locked, Cocked and Ready To Rock * 10 Turn Around * 11 Desire * 12 Our Revolution * 13 Tell Me Why * 14 Don’t Want You To Go * 15 Stand Up *16 My Sanctuary * 17 Tower (Re-Recorded)
WEBLINKS: Wikipedia Page
The return of Angel has been in the wings (excuse the pun) for a little while now. The band has given us sneak previews via YouTube, plus they’ve hit the road in support of the new album called ‘Risen’. Glory Daze couldn’t really let the opportunity go to pass, considering the depth of support for Angel over the decades by many of the Glory Daze regulars, and that we’ve written all their albums up online.
As most of the pundits know, two original members of the band remain, in Frank DiMino and Lionel ‘Punky’ Meadows. Both have released albums under their own steam within the last five years. Of the remaining four members the best-known is keyboardist Charlie Calv, who was previously with New Jersey melodic rockers Shotgun Symphony.
Angel and their label Cleopatra Records have released ‘Risen’ back in early October 2019 with a whopping 17 tracks. Good to have a load of quantity but what about the other Q word: quality?
Yeah, I’d say the quality is definitely there. As far as this review is concerned I won’t get to all 17 songs as I’ll be here till the end the week. Let’s just cherry pick a few shall we? Shooting straight past the opening keyboard instrumental ‘Angel Theme’ (originally from the ‘Helluva Band’ album), we get ‘Under The Gun’, a song built on a strong chorus and keyboard parts faithful to Angel’s 70’s legacy.
I love the cheeky banter on ‘Slow Down’, a full-on rocker while ‘Over My Head’ is another track which turns back the clock. By now, it’s easy to see that Frank DiMino is in fine voice, he’s still got the chops folks! My favourite track is ‘1975’, where Frank mentions Angel, New York Dolls, Kiss and Queen in the same breath! The intro synth sequence is fantastic. If time travel were a thing, I’d be on the first transporter back there.
The anthem moment on the album is the hard chugging ‘We Were The Wild’, which is offset by the tender and the delicate ballad ‘I.O.U’. Lovely stuff. Blues is next on the cards, ‘(Punky’s Couch Blues) Locked, Cocked Ready To Rock’, a strong riposte which nearly robs the familiar riff from AC/DC‘s chestnut ‘Back In Black’. Great chorus too.
Moving back into the midfield is the pleasant on the ear ‘Desire’ while ‘Our Revolution’ is more hard chugging guitar rockin’. The acoustic guitar ballad ‘Stand Up’ is grandiose in the Styx scheme of things. ‘My Sanctuary’ probably wraps up Angel’s 2019 sound and vision all in the space of three minutes.
Not to be outdone, Angel complete the album with an updated and re-recorded version of their debut album epic ‘Tower’. I loved the original, great to hear it given a new lease of life.
Well, the proof is in the pudding, and because I have a sweet tooth, I’m taking to this album with great gusto! To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, based on others findings upon listening to it. This is an instance where I trusted my own instincts and glad I did so.
Let’s put it this way. A band like this don’t deliberately set out to release a bad album on purpose. ‘Risen’ has many solid moments throughout and I’m glad to have given this a written work out. 17 tracks was a lot of music in one sitting, but this is one case where I could’ve done with more, believe it or not. Do what I did, trust your gut and give this a fair hearing. You might well be surprised as I was! A for Angel.
Under The Gun
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[Explorer] I’m still trying with this one, but it’s not getting any better I’m afraid. I’ll give it 12 months and I’m betting that the majority will still be listening to the bands classics from the 70’s, and filing this alongside ‘In The Beginning’ , in the ‘got it, won’t ever play it again’ section.
[David] Listened to it on Spotify, found it uninspiring, Explorers right I will continue to enjoy the classics from the 70s, and file it along with Punkys solo under never to be played again.
[Explorer] Possibly, but it doesnâ€™t stop this album being a dogs breakfast (IMHO). This is an album I desperately wanted to like, especially after the fantastic live shows the guys put on, and I’ve given this album so many listens. Try as I might I just can’t get into it.
[Rkbluez] Haven’t picked this one up yet but the songs I heard sounded good, more like Frank DiMino’s last solo album than Angel, less pompy and more straight forward but good, a lot better than Punky’s album that I didn’t care for at all…played that one a couple of times and shelved it.