Archangels In Black (Tour Edition)

SKU: POSH1132
Label:
Listenable
Category:
Power Metal
Add to wishlist 

Limited ediiton with O-card slipcase.  Comes with multitrack versions of 3 songs that you can remix on your own.

"I have an odd history with this band, first being introduced to them through their debut album Sanctus Ignis, which was described to me as Symphony X, only not quite as good. I agree with that statement, but the next material I heard from this band was this, Archangels In Black, which is so dramatically different from their debut album that I was wondering what the hell happened to them. So I went on a journey through the rest of their discography in order to discover what had happened. The style in this album is very heavy. Much heavier than their first two albums, and maybe just a bit more so than their previous recording, Dominate. It has more death metal growling and dark, crunchy riffs, whereas their first two albums were very neo-classical, symphonic, and progressive with lots of piano usage and more progressive elements. Previously, it may have sounded like Symphony X, but now they have turned in a whole new direction, towards what I would consider to be progressive/power metal with melodic death elements thrown in for effect.

What really entrances me about this album – and make no mistake, it’s a great album – is how the softer bits and orchestral parts are woven so tightly around the raw power of the rest of it. The atmosphere of this album is really dark, gothic, and creepy; the orchestral arrangements really enhance that atmosphere and provide an excellent balance between heavy and light while still maintaining that atmosphere. This, my friends, is some top-notch song writing. I’ve heard a lot of people knocking this album, saying it should have been better, but I really don’t agree with that. It’s a great improvement over Dominate, though I suppose it could be longer.

Of course, albums are judged by their songs rather than their overall sound. “Vamphyri” is the explosive opener as well as the chosen single for this particular album which you’ll understand the moment you hear this song; it begins with a very heavy riff building up into a scream/growl from Christian Palin (whom incidently is my favorite Adagio singer so far) that immediately tells you this is some seriously heavy metal and not for the faint of heart. Vamphyri is definitely one of the better songs from this with a great melody and chorus that is sooo much fun to sing; this song should be very pleasing to power metal fans.

“Fear Circus” is another noteworthy track, as it is the only music video from this album. It’s got a very cool groove that makes it easy to fall in love with. Actually the part of this song that captivated me the most was the middle section when the metal backs off and the orchestra comes in with a rather haunting melody that leads into a fantastic keyboard/guitar solo. “Undead” is also a great song, with a very well done piano solo introduction which is actually kind of misleading, because when the metal part kicks in it does so with an immediate and not even remotely subtle bang. The melo-death growls are very prevalent in this song, more so than most of the other songs; while I’m not a huge fan of melodic death metal, I don’t mind it as much when they are used sparingly in collaboration with normal vocals mostly for effect; Adagio has really managed to find a good balance in this album. “Codex Oscura” is the epic here, and it’s quite good, combining an orchestral opening with creepy atmospheric effects, memorable melodies, and exciting dynamic changes.

For the most part, all but one song is great: “Twilight at Dawn”. It starts off well enough, but around the two minute mark it introduces the chorus, which is the least melodic chorus and the least enjoyable of the album. It’s not bad, but it repeats over and over again more than any chorus really should. With all the repetition of death grunting, it just gets old (though I think a melo – death metal fan would be able to appreciate it more).

Overall, Archangels In Black is a great album, and the band’s finest to date. Adagio has managed to create a unique sound and make it their own. The orchestrations they use are some of the best I have heard on any metal album (Blind Guardian’s At The Edge Of Time might have a slight edge), and with it, they’ve managed to produce something special. Honestly, with the constant vocal lineup changes (three singers in four albums), I’m amazed they have managed to stay as consistent as they have. This is one incredibly talented group of Frenchmen, and I can’t wait to see what they bring out next." - Black Wind Metal

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:59
Rate: 
0
Solid album! In terms of sound, it is kind of like a mixture of their 2nd and 3rd albums (Underworld and Dominate, respectively) with more of a slant towards Dominate. The new vocalist fits right in, he sounds a lot like Gus Monsanto (from Dominate) but in my opinion is a better singer. Production is really slick as well as the packaging/booklet. The focus is definitely on the guitar but there are a lot of keys which is awesome. Extremely dark progressive metal, you might call it "progressive gothic metal" but it doesn't have the slow, droll characteristics that many people associate with gothic metal. Highly recommended to fans of Symphony X, Evergrey, and Dark Empire.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:59
Rate: 
0
Outstanding stuff. If you liked Underworld or Dominate, you'll love this. To my taste I would like to see something closer to Sanctus Ignis or Underworld but this is excellent and these guys can flat out play. An easy recommendation for the musicanship alone.
You must login or register to post reviews.

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:59
Rate: 
0
Solid album! In terms of sound, it is kind of like a mixture of their 2nd and 3rd albums (Underworld and Dominate, respectively) with more of a slant towards Dominate. The new vocalist fits right in, he sounds a lot like Gus Monsanto (from Dominate) but in my opinion is a better singer. Production is really slick as well as the packaging/booklet. The focus is definitely on the guitar but there are a lot of keys which is awesome. Extremely dark progressive metal, you might call it "progressive gothic metal" but it doesn't have the slow, droll characteristics that many people associate with gothic metal. Highly recommended to fans of Symphony X, Evergrey, and Dark Empire.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:59
Rate: 
0
Outstanding stuff. If you liked Underworld or Dominate, you'll love this. To my taste I would like to see something closer to Sanctus Ignis or Underworld but this is excellent and these guys can flat out play. An easy recommendation for the musicanship alone.
You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Second album from this post-Santana lineup is a bit more commercial than the debut but there are still progressive overtones. Neil Schon shines again.
    $5.00
  • "Polish symphonic power metal act Pathfinder have put together an impressive platter of sounds on their latest CD Beyond the Space, Beyond the Time. It's pretty obvious that the band have listened to their fair share of Rhapsody of Fire, Dragonforce, Helloween, Kamelot, and the like, so while this latest CD won't rank as one of the most original albums of all time, it's well played and chock full of memorable symphonic metal anthems.Sweeping keyboard orchestrations, chugging riffs, blinding guitar solos, frantic rhythms, and soaring vocals...that's what you are going to get a lot of here, and trust me, that's perfectly fine. Pathfinder are a talented bunch for sure, so let's meet them; Simon Kostro (vocals), Slavomir Belak (keyboards), Arkadiusz E. Ruth (bass), Karol Mania (guitars), Gunsen (guitars), and Kamil Ruth (drums). There is no shortage of ripping guitar solos (yep, the wild Dragonforce kind) and huge, orchestral keyboards, so if you like that sort of thing, you'll find this CD a real feast for the ears. Lyrically, the band have a lot going on, as their tales of mystery, fantasy, and mythology meshes perfectly with their bombastic, progressive/power metal onslaught. Hard to pick favorites among these many tracks, as they all seem to almost blend into each other as if it was one long concept suite, but "Pathway to the Moon", "The Whisper of Ancient Rocks", "The Demon Awakens" (which has a few cool black metal styled vocals which sound great next to Kostro's soaring pipes), "Sons of Immortal Fire", and the epic title track, which is a symphonic speed metal lovers delight, complete with blazing guitar & keyboard solos, plus a wide range of vocal styles.Complete with stunning, fantasy tinged artwork, Beyond the Space, Beyond the Time is one impressive release, though yes, it's quite over the top and for some will be cheesey beyond belief. Let's face it, you either love this style of metal or you don't, but I'm guessing those who dig it will certainly have much to celebrate after getting a load of this new one from Pathfinder, who are sure to be a band that will be discussed in length after folks get to hear this one." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $11.00
  • Already dubbed "Toddrÿche" by their fans, Queensryche turn back the clock with their new eponymous titled album.  With Geoff Tate given the boot, the band sounds revitalized with the addition of former Crimson Glory vocalist Todd La Torre.  While its not going to supplant Operation: Mindcrime, the sound harkens back to the band's roots.  La Torre was previously a member of a Queensryche cover band so he does a pretty damn fine approximation of Geoff Tate's glory days.  For years fans have been hoping the band would return to their progressive roots and it took this youth injection to get it done.Please note that this is the standard edition.  It comes with a patch and a slipcase.  There will be a deluxe version forthcoming.
    $12.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."The debut Jefferson Airplane album was dominated by singer Marty Balin, who wrote or co-wrote all the original material and sang most of the lead vocals in his heartbreaking tenor with Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson providing harmonies and backup. (Anderson's lead vocal on "Chauffeur Blues" indicated she was at least the equal of her successor, Grace Slick, as a belter.) The music consisted mostly of folk-rock love songs, the most memorable of which were "It's No Secret" and "Come up the Years." (There was also a striking version of Dino Valente's "Get Together" recorded years before the Youngbloods' hit version.) Jorma Kaukonen already displayed a talent for mixing country, folk, and blues riffs in a rock context, and Jack Casady already had a distinctive bass sound. But the Airplane of Balin-Kantner-Kaukonen-Anderson-Casady-Spence is to be distinguished from the Balin-Kantner-Kaukonen-Casady-Slick-Dryden version of the band that would emerge on record five months later chiefly by Balin's dominance. Later, Grace Slick would become the group's vocal and visual focal point. On Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, the Airplane was Balin's group. (Jefferson Airplane Takes Off was released as RCA 3584 on August 15, 1966. It was reissued as RCA 66797 on January 30, 1996, as a CD that contained both the stereo and mono versions, and that added back the track "Runnin' 'Round This World," which had been deleted from all but initial copies due to the sexual and perceived drug references of the line "The nights I've spent with you have been fantastic trips." But the included version still eliminated the word "trips.")" - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Remastered edition with two bonus tracks."Searching for a way to retool their sound, Judas Priest attempted to accentuate their melodic side on Turbo by incorporating synthesizers and '80s pop-metal stylings ("Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days" sounds more like Poison, albeit with synths). The restrained songcraft sometimes pays dividends, especially on the synth-driven leadoff track, "Turbo Lover," easily the best song on the record and a successful reimagining of the Priest formula. But often, the band simply sounds directionless, unsure of exactly which path to accessibility it should follow; moreover, the synth-guitar backing and overly polished production give the album an oddly mechanized, processed feel. It certainly doesn't help most of the material, which is often at least competent but rarely inspired enough to make much of an impression. That's unfortunate because Turbo's best moments indicate that with a clearer focus, the album could have been a creative success; however, it's overall Judas Priest's weakest release since Rocka Rolla." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Alice Cooper wasted little time following up the breakthrough success of Love It to Death with another album released the same year, Killer. Again, producer Bob Ezrin was on board and helps the group solidify their heavy rock (yet wide-ranging) style even further. The band's stage show dealt with the macabre, and such disturbing tracks as "Dead Babies" and the title track fit in perfectly. Other songs were even more exceptional, such as the perennial barnstorming concert standard "Under My Wheels," the melodic yet gritty "Be My Lover," and the tribute to their fallen friend Jim Morrison, "Desperado." The long and winding "Halo of Flies" correctly hinted that the band would be tackling more complex song structures on future albums, while "You Drive Me Nervous" and "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" showed that Alice Cooper hadn't completely abandoned their early garage rock direction. With Killer, they became one of the world's top rock bands and concert attractions; it rewarded them as being among the most notorious and misunderstood entertainers, thoroughly despised by grownups." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Arena return after a 6 year hiatus. New lineup includes new vocalist Paul Manzi, John Jowitt is back replacing Ian Salmon, Clive Nolan, John Mitchell, and Mick Pointer. Its a conceptual work focusing on the last hour of life and the following hour in the afterlife. High concept indeed! 
    $11.00
  • NEW REMASTERED EDITION PACKED WITH BONUS TRACKS!!This one is a it or miss effort. Pete Hicks was gone by this point and Mr. Hackett took over on vocals to mixed results. Essentialy the album consists of Steve Hackett and Nick Magnus with some of the usual names guesting. There are some monster tracks like "The Air-Conditioned Nightmare" but overall there is a commercial gloss to the disc. Remastered version with three bonus tracks and fresh liner notes from Steve. Recommended with reservations.
    $10.00
  • Another finely crafted gem from this underrated German melodic metal band.
    $8.00
  • Remastered edition with one bonus track."A telling thing about Robert Plant at his peak is how he would sneak on-stage with Rockpile and sing Elvis songs, or how Swan Song signed Dave Edmunds when his retro-rock was about the furthest thing from the monolithic Zeppelin of Physical Graffiti. Plant always harbored deep, abiding love for early rock & roll, a fact that was often obscured by his restlessness, too, a side that he indulged on his first two post-Zep solo albums -- glistening, modern albums with a heavier debt to Robert Fripp than Little Richard. Two albums in, he switched tactics for the EP detour The Honeydrippers, Vol. 1, an unabashedly retro-rock project that hauled out five golden oldies from the pre-Beatles era and served them up authentically, or at least as authentic nostalgia. There is a certain sense of pastiche here, particularly in how "Sea of Love" is drenched in oceans of strings, far more than on the Phil Phillips original, which manages to evoke the era of lily white pop covers in a way that no straightforward cover could, but that's part of the charm of the record. Some may find this kind of pastiche a bit distancing, even campy, but there's a genuine warmth in Plant's performance, and his ad-hoc group of Honeydrippers -- including Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page in uncredited cameos -- have a great time running through these handful of oldies, particularly "Rockin' at Midnight." It may not be much more than a lark, but it's truly fun, even if it might have been slightly more fun making it than it is listening to it." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • The Laser’s Edge is proud to announce the signing of the British progressive rock band Magenta for the exclusive North American release of their fourth studio album, titled Metamorphosis. Without abandoning the sense of melody and dynamics that remain the Magenta trademark, Metamorphosis sees the band taking a darker, more intense path with powerful, sometimes disturbing subject matter. "I think this album is going to surprise a lot of people," says keyboardist Rob Reed "It will challenge many people's preconceptions of what Magenta are, and what we are capable of musically. Most of it was written on guitar, so some of the material is heavier than before, whilst retaining most of the elements of the Magenta sound." The album also marks the band's return to long-form pieces of music, with two 20 minute-plus songs, and a new, richer sound with the addition of strings. "Watch out for some brilliant performances on the record." Reed says. "Christina Booth's vocals are just astonishing, Tim Robinson delivers a virtuoso performance on drums and Chris Fry has pushed the bar even higher than usual with some amazing lead guitar. I have no doubt that this is, by far, our finest album to date." Magenta was formed in 2001, quickly capturing the attention of progressive rock fans around the world with a sound influenced by the icons of the past. Over the years the band has performed at virtually every major progressive rock festival in the world including gigs at Rosfest, BajaProg, and Nearfest. Year after year, the band has received awards from various progressive rock publications. In 2007, the band won two awards from the esteemed British Classic Rock Society including Best Band and Best Female Singer. The album was mastered by Grammy winning engineer Bob Katz. To further enhance the package, Metamorphosis features startling artwork from the noted graphic design house Killustrations.
    $14.00
  • "This is where everything almost went horribly wrong. Encouraged by a new distribution deal through Epic Records and his recent collaboration with old friend Ozzy Osbourne on his wildly successful No More Tears album, Motörhead's Lemmy set out to pursue commercial success like never before and, as a result, almost managed to toss their impeccable legacy in the dumpster. Sure, Motörhead (arguably the most important underground band in rock history) had flirted with accessibility before, but with 1992's March ör Die, the English legends shed much of their unbridled power and skull-crushing distortion in order to break down the radio barrier once and for all. Needless to say, it didn't work in attracting new fans, and lukewarm material like "Hellraiser" (in a different version than on No More Tears), the piano- and acoustic guitar-laced "I Ain't No Nice Guy" (a duet with the Ozzman featuring Slash), and a straightforward cover of Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever" (it just sounds wrong -- maybe if they'd tripled the beat or something) had longtime fans gritting their teeth in frustration. Elsewhere, tracks like "Stand," "Bad Religion," and "Too Good to Be True" found Lemmy making a serious effort to transform his trademark croak into actual singing, and only a few numbers ("Name in Vain," the title track) bear any vague resemblance to the Motörhead of old. At the end of the day, simply attacking the band's motives may seem rather harsh (and is certainly subject to opinion), but there is no denying that March ör Die ranks among Motörhead's least-celebrated offerings; nor can one ignore Lemmy's swift about-face toward more extreme fare on 1993's excellent Bastards." - Allmusic Guide
    $7.00
  • Remastered reissue of the third IM album, and the first full length to feature Bruce Dickinson. This enhanced CD comes with a multimedia section featuring videos, bios and other stuff.
    $13.00
  • Remastered edition with one bonus track."With Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, and Neal Schon leading Journey once again, and bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith behind them, it would seem that Trial by Fire would contain the same elements that gave them their stardom in the '80s. Disappointingly, though, there is nothing captivating or even the least bit attractive about this unimaginative release. Perry's singing hasn't lost too much of its power, but the faster tunes come off as contrived and messy. Sounding hard and scattered, the smoothness of their trademarked music is nowhere to be found, replaced with brash, beat-up, hollow rock riffs. The ballads fare no better, as the passion that once flourished within the band when it came to slowing things down has long since faded. Just the fact that Journey reunited may lure fans to this album, but it won't be long before the discontentment begins set in." - All Music Guide
    $5.00