Archange - 'Flashback'

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Archange - 'Flashback'

Fans of traditional Melodic Hard Rock will love this unashamedly eighties-flavoured release.

Archange may be a new band but these French musicians are very experienced, and it shows in the classy and professional performances found on 'Flashback', their debut album. The title is actually quite apt given the fact that this album sounds very retro... like it stepped right out of 1986. I don't mean that in a derogatory way because I genuinely believe fans of eighties Melodic Hard Rock will be won over by this record.

I found the songs hit me instantly and tickled all those sweet spots quickly and effectively. It may seem a little superficial and perhaps may not have longevity, but it's great party Rock which will give retro-sounding Melodic Hard Rock fans instant gratification. It would have sat very well in this genre's heyday scene; obviously, they haven't reinvented the wheel here, nor do I think that was their intention. It's just really enjoyable and I can't help but feel these songs getting into my head and making me smile effortlessly.

There is a strong Americanised flavour to their songs, and the album is chock full of Rock anthems, huge choruses and infectious guitar riffs. The songs have a great energy and it's pretty clear to me these tracks would go down insanely well in the live arena – some of them definitely fit the bill for the "Stadium Rock" tag.

Lyrically it can be clichéd and travel down some very well-worn roads, but that is not something that is unusual for this style of Rock so I can't knock them for that. Anyone who has ever studied Scorpions lyrics can see how they don't always dampen a band's appeal, and there is certainly nothing here that could be accused of being particularly bad.
The Scorpions flavour mainly emanates from the similarity between vocalist Dan Pallas and Scorp's warbler Klaus Meine. It's not a carbon copy type similarity but one where I feel fans of Meine will be drawn to these songs. There are some infectious and energetic guitar riffs from Laurent Rabatel, and he also provides some brash riffs and melodic solos that are quite exciting and pleasing.

Fans of traditional Melodic Hard Rock will love this unashamedly eighties-flavoured release. Take a touch of Scorpions, a dash of Ratt and throw in some chunky guitar riffs and Rock anthem choruses... and out pops Archange – full-bloodied eighties Melodic Hard Rock!

Paul Woodward

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