Fireworks

CD Reviews

Angel - 'Angel' / 'Helluva Band' / 'On Earth As It Is In Heaven' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/b7/7b/96/3001_Angelangel_1353693964.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 23, 2012    
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
7091   0   3   0   0   0

Three of the most eagerly awaited releases from Rock Candy.

I should imagine these are three of the most eagerly awaited releases from Rock Candy, and as always they are presented with a lavish 16-page booklet, including photos and new interviews with the band.

Both Edwin Lionel ‘Punky’ Meadows’ guitar and Mickie Jones bass guitar had been in the short lived ‘Bux’ before teaming up with child prodigy Gregg Guiffria on keyboards, who had begun his career in a number of bands in the sixties. Together they set about putting together a hard rock outfit with a difference, recruiting fellow Washington DC native Barry Brandt for the drum stool - all that was required was a singer. Enter one Frank DiMino a vocalist that was to truly give the band that special touch. Next, a name was required and believe it or not Angel was taken from Greg Guiffria’s first wife’s poodle: not exactly a rock n roll anecdote!

The first album Angel released in 1975 is regarded as one of the greatest debut albums in the rock arena, alongside debut masterpieces from Montrose and Boston. Who can argue with the majestic opening track ‘Tower’, where Frank Dimino takes complete command and unleashes his soaring vocals while the rest of the band whip up a storm of pomp and progressive rock? So few bands manage to do this today. ‘Long Time’ has elements akin to that of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, and is a song with an overwhelming sense of epic tragedy, clocking in at nearly ten minutes! That aside, it is held together by some truly sweeping keyboards.

I always felt that the image of the band betrayed them in a time of buckskin and cowboy boots, and they were often passed over as nothing more than a glam rock outfit, not unlike Casablanca label mates Kiss. Yet, if more people had given such gems as ‘Rock N Rollers’ and ‘Broken Dreams’, two great slabs of hard rock, a chance, they would have been pleasantly surprised. The lyrics offered in ‘Mariner’ evoke thoughts of ships negatioting the stormy waves of long ago, the song itself is none too dissimilar to some the earlier recordings of Supertramp in structure, and for a band in its infancy, it’s an ambitious piece of music. The glorious ‘On and On’ belts out an infectious chorus before the instrumental ‘Angel (Theme)’ brings proceedings to a close’ Listening to this again now actually reminds me of the intro to Ozzy Osbournes ‘Mr.Crowley’.

The dreaded second album syndrome certainly affected ‘Helluva Band’ released in 1976. It has a less vibrant delivery that of their the debut, and some of the songs did sound a little thrown together, no doubt due to much of their album being written on tour.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site


That said, there are glorious moments such as ‘The Fortune’ whereupon Greg Guiffia almost creates a landscape of other worlds with his gigantic keyboard work. The song is worth the price of the album alone, as the tale of a condemned man sung by Frank Dimino in a vocal of impeccable delivery. The guitar style of ‘Dr.Ice’ and ‘Mirrors’ reminds us how underrated ‘Punky’ Meadows is as a guitar player, and it’s a pity we hear so little from him these days. The influence of Richie Blackmore in ‘Pressure Point’ is clear, and sounds like a lost song from a Deep Purple or Rainbow session!

By the release of the third album ‘On Earth…’ the band had left behind some of their more progressive ideas and embraced a commercial style, more in keeping with the top bands of 1977 including Journey and Boston. Bringing famed producer Eddie Kramer in was thought to be the right man for the job at this point in their career (most fans are quite divided on this you will find). I was this album that was my original introduction to the band. I had picked up this record in a bargain bin and thinking they had that that ‘special something’ not unlike Kiss, I eagerly took the record home, fell in love with it, and proudly displayed the enclosed poster on my wall! The cover art on this third release depicted a truly angelic looking band among the heavens and unveiled a clever new logo design by Robert Petrick (that could be read the same upside down).

Unlike the Universal Music issue of this album from 2008, this is a rare Japanese mix and in its original track sequence, which makes this release a little more special. The Japanese mix sounds a lot crisper to my ears and some of the finer moments are given a new lease of life. For example, ‘Cast Of Stone’ sounds less of a muddle and the keyboards sound more dominant than before. Clearly ‘Can You Feel It’ is a more polished attempt at the market but it still hits you between the eyes - the band have lost none of their fire in the delivery. It is not until we reach ‘Magic Touch’, a sugar sweet stab at the singles market, that it’s clear the band had changed direction, leaving their more epic moments in the past, and embracing the AOR sound that was filling the airwaves. If that was a little too much of a departure for some, then ‘White Lightning’ proved the band had a groove that Jimmy Page would have been proud to have written. One of my personnel favourites is ‘Telephone Exchange’ a song that has moments that remind me of Boston. Frank DiMino owns this song and the whole band just sound perfect as ‘Punky’ Meadows tears up his guitar and fires off some lightning guitar work.

If any of these albums happens to be your introduction to Angel then you are in for the musical treat of a lifetime, for they are wonderful!

Ray Paul

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

 


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Member Login



Calendar

<<  July 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
    1  2  3  4  5
  6  7  8  9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 11 hours, 22 minutes ago
  • RobC68 : where's my digital download that I ordered yesterday as I've still not received it.....pathetic service
  • rockcompany : hi, ordered a bunch of magazines yesterday but still have not received a download. Also the order is not showing in my account?
  • Rocktopia Te : @kbm1983: Currently, all orders have to be be processed manually. This could take a few hours. Sorry for the delay, you shoulkd have received a mail containing download instructions by now. @ all: Pls. do not worry in case you see a PayPal transaction error message. Your order was received, pls. do not order the magazine twice. Many thanks for your understanding!
  • kbm1983 : Hi, I bought #91 earlier today but its still not in my downloads. Can you check it out please. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @ Man Shaped Wolf: You should have received a mail containing download instructions yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
  • Man Shaped W : Hey, same as defron but for 91 :) excited to read our review
  • Berny : @Defron: Can you pls. check your mail? Many thanks, B. :)
  • Defron : Hi guys. Bought #90 couples of hours ago but still not in my downloads . Can you check pls regards Ro
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!
  • SoCal Rocker : Hello from Burbank CA, I had to change my name and PW. How's anyone doing?
  • Rocktopia Te : @davidputnam: Could you please check your email? Many thanks & best regards, RT
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90 and received paypal receipt, but cant find in downloads. Please advise.
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90, but cant find in Downloads. i have the paypal receipt.
  • Berny : @rarock: Glad we were able to sort this out. Thanks for your purchase!
  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
  • KI2000 : Thanks Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia!
  • Hysteria : WOW! Thanks to the Fireworks Team for this AMAZING offer. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! \m/ \m/
  • Rocktopia Te : Check out the Fireworks Magazine Corona quarantine give - away!
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site