After last week's horrible album, I figured I should right the ship and post something good. You know, so you can clear your mind and ears of that.....THING from last week.
This week we go way back to 1980 and the self-titled debut album from Angel Witch. Yes, it's more metal and yes, it's more from the NWOBHM. Metallica likes these guys too!
However, after this album, Angel Witch broke up and a different formation came out with their second album 5 years later. Back then, waiting that long between albums (unless you were Boston), especially a debut album, was the kiss of death. With so many other metal bands sprouting up, Angel Witch became just another "should, coulda" bands. Didn't help that the second album and subsequent albums weren't as good as the debut.
Funny thing (to me at least) is that even though they do sing about the occult and other evil things, it's quite melodic. Call me an idiot, but the chorus in the first song sounds like Sweet. Well, I guess the occult and other evilness can be melodic. Look at......umm......Black Sabbath? No?
If you like early Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath, you might just like this one!
1. Angel Witch
Availability: There's a few different version (20th anniversary, 25th anniversary, 30th anniversary), all with bonus tracks (which I did not include). Find which one you want, prices start around $10.
Seriously? You paid $43 when you could have got a better version with the same bonus tracks for a quarter of the price? But then again, the album cover is interesting.
Like the PSA though, it's funny.
There were more expensive listings on Ebay. It is a (now) rare pressing of the album. I'm not sure, but it might be the first pressing on CD. I think the city (Atlantis) artwork is the original art though.
This was an okay listen. I'm not a big fan of NWOBHM. I think Iron Maiden are okay, but I don't salivate over there work. But like I said, this was certainly okay. It's not anything I would particularly want to own. The guitar work was fantastic however. My favorite song was the slow one, but I already forgot which one it is.
It's the one between the faster songs I believe?
After one listen through, the lead guitar definitely stands out. An 80's shred fest for sure! I like it. Vocally, it's not that great, but, the guitar is really cooking!
Never heard of these guys. If I had of heard it back then...well, I'd have it now!! Jon, what is the name of this lead guitar player?
Some observations: the lead singer reminds me a little of Ron Keel from time to time.
The guitar player is good enough to "hang" with some legends!
I really like the tempo changes in track one.
Track two is a fast paced rocker, with cool guitar riffage...but the chorus is pretty bad on this one for me. Does n't ruin the song, but I just don't like it.
Track 3 is the weakest track so far. I do like the twin guitar lead right before the slow section kicks in. Either 2 guitar players playing this, or the 1 lead player was double tracked. Not a bad track, but nothing special for me.
Track 4 has a better chorus, and I like the guitar riff during the chorus. Another strong lead.
Track 5, as a whole, is nothing special...well, except for that guitar lead. 2nd section of the lead has another twin lead...really nice. And some organ added to the final section...nice touch.
The best thing about track 6 is....well, the lead guitar. Quick opening lead, but it smokes. Another twin lead section in the middle...then the closing lead is smokin' hot again. Who is this guy???
Track 7...vocals take another "step backwards" on this one. And the chorus? Just can't get into it at all. But the guitar lead...man, shred-a-matic!! Who is this guitar player?
Track 8...slowing it down, and that is a good change up after so much faster tempo tunes. The vocals are better on this track. And the guitar lead? Love how it starts off slow and nice, with a very bluesy tone. And then the shredding comes back in. Now it's twin leads again. This is a very good lead guitar record!
Track 9...well, another stand out guitar lead, this time with some wah-wah pedal thrown in. And at the end of the choruses, when the singer does some screaming...it sounds better than his "regular" vocals to me.
And lastly, track 10 is filler.
So, a dynamite guitar album...this player should be well know for his skills. The singer? Not so much. I would buy this if I found it at a decent price, but the vocals are weak enough to where I would not put it on my "must get" list.
But a good post, and a good listen. Shame the shredder is not more well known. Or is he? Who is it???
Kevin Heybourne is the geetarist AND lead vocalist. Don't think you hear much about him when there's dicussion about geetaring.
Never heard the name. It's a shame...very good guitarist. Thanks for an enjoyable post!
Oh, just you wait for the next one. A geetarist you DEFINITELY have heard of!
Interesting listen to say the least. Reading through Gordon's comments really focused me in on the geetar work instead of the vocals, thanks for the heads up!
For me the song structures aren't really great, good but not great, and the production is just so-so, though I think that's kind of expected if you don't have the cash to really push that.
Overall it was a decent listen.
Best Track: Free Man