Angel Blake – S/T (CD)

Angel Blake plays the style of music that HIM would love to be able to play. The style of music that comes throughout on this self-titled album is something that is sultry, but still brutal. This is a fundamentally different beast than either Danzig or Type O Negative because it seems as if Angel Blake is a more serious act than either of the previous two acts.

The production of this album can be warm and lush without Angel Blake sounding necessarily like “sell-outs”; this is still an output of the band instead of a computer that tries to fix the fuck-ups of a band. Repetition is present in tracks, but this is not to the degree that makes it hard to listen to the act; the repetition is more of a common point to the track than the only focus of the act. The rich array of tracks on this album are testament to the talent of Angel Blake; while there are the ballad-like songs present, there are slinky, brutal metal tracks (as is the case with the Judas Priest meets Slayer romp “Retaliate”. Another notch in “Retaliate’s” belt has to be the punk guitars that find their way into the track. Imagine if the most distinct part of the Offspring – the shredding, thrashy guitars – was put to seventies and eighties metal and one has an idea of what is happening during “Retaliate”.

The band works together perfectly, with pieces fitting together to the point that it almost seems as if they threw the composition into Cakewalk and let it take off. However, the warmness enjoyed by Angel Blake throughout this disc is enough to ensure all listeners that the band sat in the studio and hammered out this album. Even more, the incorporation of traditional elements (this is done with a Middle Eastern flair) during songs like “The Force” shows that Angel Blake should deserve a place in the pantheon of metal, along with acts like Maiden. The allure of this album is the fact that Angel Blake can take up these older and newer styles and recontextualize them to the degree that is needed to make the album salient for all listeners. Individuals might have heard Marko’s previous band, The Crown, but they should destroy any notions that they had of this band before sitting down. This is a great album on its own right and it is a disservice to accord it any merits merely by being an offshoot of an older band .

Top Tracks: The Force, Retaliate

Rating: 6.8/10

[JMcQ]

Angel Blake – S/T / 2006 Metal Blade / 10 Tracks / http://www.angelblake.com / http://www.metalblade.com / Reviewed 24 April 2006

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