Fifth Angel – When Angels Kill Review

There is one very peculiar thing about Metal fans that is their prone to love unsung bands especially if they have a long story of not being recognized by their contemporaries. There is a long list of bands that had no recognition in the 1980s and made a triumphal return in the 21st century. Cirith Ungol are one of them. There are many others, however, I won’t bother my children of the night writing this list. Now going to Fifth Angel, our subject of today’s review, I took a look at the Wikipedia to check on the band and I got that the band was formed in 1983. The band’s initial lineup consisted of Ted Pilot (vocals), James Byrd (lead guitar), Ed Archer (rhythm guitar), Ken Mary (drums) and Kenny Kay (bass). This line up went into Steve Lawson Productions studio in late 1983 with Terry Date as producer/engineer and recorded a four song demo that consisted of “Fade to Flames,” “Fifth Angel,” “In the Fallout,” and “Wings of Destiny.” Shrapnel Records signed them in 1985 and financed the recording of five more songs to complete a self titled album, that eventually appeared in 1986. The group was signed a major label deal with Epic Records in 1988 and the debut album was re-released. As the band prepared to record a second album they lost founding guitar player James Byrd. Kendall Bechtel was brought in as his replacement. In 1989, the follow-up record, “Time Will Tell” appeared, but the band had lost its label support, with its members going their separate ways by 1990.

“When Angels Kill” is a product of the 1980s without a shadow of doubt though there are here and there some sonancies of the 1990s. However, from where I’m standing, I guess this is more because of the great production. Well, it’s a Nuclear Blast Records album, isn’t it? The label also released their third album, “The Third Secret,” on October 26, 2018. So, the recording and the production are pristine. All fourteen songs reflect the band’s mature songwriting.

By welcomer track “Descent Into Darkness,” which is really an intro, my dear child of the night might think this is a Prog Power Metal band with huge influences of Angra we’re talking about, but as “When Angels Kill” flows the impression is of something near Queensrÿche from “Operation: Mindcrime” or “Empire” era. Well, both bands are killer influences and a guarantee of great music. However, while the fan is listening to the tracks of the album, Fifth Angel’s personality arises and the music gets even more pleasant. As the album goes, the listening shows that “When Angels Kill” is a mix of the bands I aforementioned with a neat instrumental and a very competent vocalist who makes the songs even more interesting. The album showcases a variety of moods and tempos and cadences. It couldn’t be different as the album is long, very long with near one hour and half of great music. Lirically, I may be wrong, but the album addresses to the TV show Supernatural and its world view.

“When Angels Kill” is a great album. One more to be nominated to best album of the year.

“When Angels Kill” will be released on June 16th via Nuclear Blast Records.

Watch official music video here: