Me and Desolation Angels have a history. I discovered the band thirty years ago when their first self-titled album was released. Desolation Angels were the kind of love or hate band. Everything about their first release was raw. The music, the cover, even the drummer, who was kind of hired but left the recording sessions and was kind of replaced by a drum machine. So says the legend. But no one could dare their love and passion. “Desolation Angels” was an alubm of passion, of true love to NWOBHM. No one there was a virtuoso, not even close. Raw is not the exactly word to explain “Desolation Angels.” I’d rather say nieve. Sometimes even a bit childish. Guitar solos were kind of incomplete. You have the feeling that some notes were missing. Not to mention the total lack of ability to solo in some moments. Sometimes songs felt like the band could not finish, or polish, their musical ideias. “Desolation Angels,” even for 1987, could have been better recorded. It was not. But the songs were simply delicious with great main ideas. As different as the real deal can be. “Desolation Angels” were a band that stand out the crowd.
But things did not go well to Desolation Angels guys even though they tried hard and were the real deal in terms of Metal. No deals with big recording companies, no shows at crowded arenas as some of their peers, only a bunch of die hard fans. If I were to use the term “defenders of the faith” to another band than Judas Priest, Desolation Angels would be the ones. Some will define them, sorry for the term, as a bunch of losers. Well, not so different from you and me. Losers that no matter how hard we try, we can never win.
Well, when I received this “King,” which is their third full-length, I confess I got anxious. Just jumped them out of the line I have for reviews. True. But I have to say I got disappointed the first time I heard “King.” It was a completely different band I was used to. I even thought that Desolation Angels had lost their charm. So, I did what I always do to every band I get to review; I gave them a second chance. It did work fine. It feels better now. I was flat wrong. In essence is the same band. The emotion is still there. Strong tunes led by sharp guitar riffs. “King” is incredibly better played, but it coped not to loose its charm. Some songs like “Another Turn Of The Screw” and “Your Blackened Heart” made me remember the good old times. They have the good old feeling being strong as good coffee, raw, dirty, nieve. And with the delicious fillings that made “Desolation Angels” a staple. Guitar motiffs are still some kind of simple, but effective.
Even though the line-up changed a lot, the old flame is still burning. “King” is not exactly “Desolation Angels” following in terms of music, but it does not get ugly in the picture. No, sir. It is honest, still full of hearts and passion. And honesty is a very difficult thing to find in these days of post everything. Desolation Angels are more than a cult band, they are the cult band.
P.S.: I heard “King” twice to write this review, and I can’t stop. The old feeling is back.
- Another Turn of the Screw
- Devil Sent
- Rotten to the Core
- Your Blackened Heart
- Find Your Life
- Sky of Pain
- My Demon Inside
“King” will be on the streets on February 23rd via Dissonance Productions.
Watch “Your Blackened Heart” official video here: