Fans of Angel, the band with the ambigrammatic logo who were seen as the anti-Kiss in the seventies (despite Gene Simmons having a hand in them getting signed), once thought that there was no chance of them adding to their multi-million selling history.
Angel – Once Upon A Time (Cleopatra Records)
Release Date: 21 April 2023
Words: Ian Sutherland
There was an abortive reunion in the late nineties, but once that broke down, it seemed like that was that. Yet here we are twenty years later with a lineup fronted by stalwarts singer Frank Dimino and guitarist Punky Meadows, all dressed in white again and releasing their second album, Once Upon A Time, a successor to 2019’s Risen.
So are the glory days back again? I would have to say that they kind of are! Once Upon A Time actually manages to sound like the classic albums did. That restrained production, keyboards and guitars on an equal footing, lots of harmonies and catchy chorus lines, topped with Dimino’s unique vocals floating over it all.
In vibe, I’d place this album sound-wise somewhere in between On Earth As It Is In Heaven and White Hot. Not as heavy as the former, not as commercial as the latter, but with elements of both.
Songs like Black Moon Rising and Blood Of My Blood, Bone Of My Bone nod towards their epic side and feature some fine soloing from Meadows.
Turn The Record Over and Liar Liar showcase their pop-rock credentials loud and clear with earworm choruses that will stick in your brain long after they fade out.
Let It Rain and Without You give Dimino’s vocals space to shine, and the rest of the current lineup put in a good shift and hit all the right notes, especially keyboard player Charlie Calv.
Angel’s 21st-century resurgence is as welcome as it is surprising. The new music is worthy of the legendary name, and let’s hope those white suits hit the boards in the UK again soon.
Angel – Once Upon A Time is available from https://orcd.co/angel_onceuponatime.