FIFTH ANGEL – When Angels Kill (2023) *HQ*
Originally one of the first metal bands to emerge from Seattle in the ’80s, FIFTH ANGEL rose to ranks alongside Queensryche and Metal Church. This mighty band is proud to announce their epic fourth album, ”When Angels Kill”, which will be released on June 16th, 2023 through Nuclear Blast Records.
For FIFTH ANGEL fans, or fans of melodic metal, this album is simply a “must have.” Weaving the lyrics and subject matter of the last trilogy of FIFTH ANGEL albums into a double concept record similar to the likes of Helloween’s “Keeper of the Seven Keys,” Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” or Queensryche’s “Operation Mindcrime,” – ”When Angels Kill” is all killer, and absolutely no filler. Each song has been crafted into a standalone work, and the double vinyl, CD, and digital versions are nearly seventy minutes in length.
A full-blown concept record that will please every fan of classic, melodic yet powerful heavy metal.
FIFTH ANGEL disappeared into thin air for multiple decades since parting ways with their record label. After the turn of the Millennium rumours were circulating of a potential reincarnation, but it took until 2009 for this to become a reality and 2010 was in fact their first ever live performance.
Since then the band have never looked back and are now prepared to unveil their latest effort entitled ”When Angels Kill”. And what they have in store for us this time around?
Intro ”Descent Into Darkness” sets a dramatic, theatrical tone to proceedings leading directly into the crunchy riffing of the titular track When Angels Kill. Powerful vocal melodies don’t take long to firmly seize the spotlight. Superb lead runs get this release off to a flamboyant start.
Resist The Tyrant maintains the skilful instrumentation in vibrant bursts whilst the remainder of the track focuses more on driving home the unfolding conceptual narrative. On Wings Of Steel ups the ante, injecting some pace into the picture. The distinct catchiness is particularly addictive.
We Are Immortal displays a confident, determined swagger, like a call to arms ushering you into the midst of battle – a good old fashioned headbanger. Then Empire Of Hate quickly grabs your attention with its infectious energy. Galloping riff work joins forces with prominent drum beats, providing a sure fire hit built for the stage.
Run To The Black carries that enthusiasm with commanding vocal surges and an alluring soundscape. Seven Angels breaks the fourth wall with a neat spoken introduction before returning to business as usual. An abundance of flair and vigour are unleashed to keep the momentum topped up.
Blinded And Bleeding digs deeper into FIFTH ANGEL‘s grittier nature, utilising darker, more menacing melodies to great effect. Kill The Pain takes a solemn turn as the protagonist experiences a variety of emotions on his journey. This concept appropriately slots into the chosen stylings.
Five Days To Madness lifts the energy levels with its intriguing spirit. The lyrical content is still somewhat immersed in doom but the string of proficient solo segments offers up a significant highlight.
Ashes To Ashes does a great job of depicting the end of existence. The sombre theatrics amplify the emotions displayed by frontman Steven Carlson. The shift in gears pays dividends, showcasing one of the most impressive chapters of this release.
The End Of Everything follows suit with its portrayal of hopelessness. The softer piano-led excerpt adds a poignant moment of despair. Light The Skies gears up for the finale with a heightened tempo on top of a masterful vocal performance and plentiful fretboard weaving – a fitting euphoric conclusion.
FIFTH ANGEL are back in full force. ”When Angels Kill” is packed with thrills, spills and excitement but with a runtime of almost 70 minutes it may begin to test your attention span. Every track has plenty of promise and feels like a necessary part of the process but having four tracks consecutively spanning nearly 25 minutes will be a challenge to the strongest of wills.
Take your time and enjoy this strong piece of work; this is a commendable outing for the Washington-based outfit.
1 Descent Into Darkness
2 When Angels Kill
3 Resist the Tyrant
4 On Wings of Steel
5 We Are Immortal
6 Empire of Hate
7 Run to the Black
8 Seven Angels
9 Blinded and Bleeding
10 Kill the Pain
11 Five Days to Madness
12 Ashes to Ashes
13 The End of Everything
14 Light the Skies
15 Resist The Tyrant (Single Edit) [bonus track]
Steven Carlson – Lead Vocals
Steve Conley – Guitars
Ed Archer – Guitars
Ken Mary – Drums
John Macko – Bass