DESOLATION ANGELS – Desolation Angels [Special 30th Anniversary Ltd Remastered Edition]

DESOLATION ANGELS - Desolation Angels [Special 30th Anniversary Ltd Remastered Edition] - full

Surely one of the most iconic latercomers (album-releasing-wise anyways) of the NWOBHM scene were DESOLATION ANGELS and their 1986’s self titled LP “Desolation Angels“, a classic and fairly rare cult platter hard to find for years.
This is “Desolation Angels [Special 30th Anniversary Ltd Edition]” release featuring the LP remastered  including a bonus disc with a previously unreleased show captured live in London, 1983.
DESOLATION ANGELS is a perfect example of a band who did almost everything right – a grrreat band name, fantastic cover art, some crushing, true Heavy Metal anthems… and yeah, here comes the ‘But…’, in this case, too late for this style of metal.
So the songwriting is rather diverse in both style and quality, but not to the extent that it feels too sprawling since it’s all churned out with the same raw, devil-may-care attitude.

On the lower steps of the ladder you find your primordial NWOBHM-rockers like “Unsung Hero” and “Death Machine”, dating all the way back to their debut 1981 demo and just maybe those numbers could have been ceremoniously buried in a later reissue-type time-capsule release, as they must have come off a bit dated even back in 1986.

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum we find the mighty, mystic metal monsters in “Evil Possessor” and “Dance Of The Demons”, the former being a traditional galopping metal banger in its most crude (good crude) form, while the latter carries a semi-doomy vibe where comparisons to both Sabbath mournful harmonies as well as Witchfinder General’s crunchy graveyard riffing can be drawn.

There is however more goodness inbetween. The opening 8 minute anthem “Spirit Of The Deep” combines a pounding troglodyte lead riff with more of those classic first half of the ’80s vibe and it never feels drawn out despite its length.
“Valhalla” is yet another archetype NWOBHM number but with larger Saxon-muscles than some of that earlier material, and at the end of the road the energetic riffing in “Angry Rain” rocks’n’Metals us into the ground with a force of the Grim Reaper himself riding a bat-winged horse!

Desolation Angels debut LP is a rather unpolished product, for better or worse. At times the rough edges feel like they belong, but you can’t help wondering what kind of an album we could have had with a little more fine-tuning here & there. However, in its rawness resides its charm.
Unfortunately, in 1986 this sound would neither have made them mainstream – nor underground darlings. Desolation Angels recorded another album 1990 then disbanded, but returned some years ago and keep playing and releasing music.
“Desolation Angels” is pure traditional metal, plenty of endless riffs but highly addictive – “please sir, I want some more!”
Highly Recommended


CD 1 [Desolation Angels 1986 – Remastered]
01 – Spirit Of The Deep
02 – Evil Possessor
03 – Valhalla
04 – Unsung Hero
05 – Death Machine
06 – Wild Gypsy Woman
07 – Dance Of The Demons
08 – Angry Rain

CD 2 [Live at Ruskin Arms, London UK 1983]
01 – Spirit Of The Deep [Live]
02 – Unsung Hero [Live]
03 – Boadicea [Live]
04 – Hounds Of Hell [Live]
05 – No Mercy [Live]
06 – Death Machine [Live]
07 – Satan’s Child [Live]
08 – Angry Rain [Live]
09 – Valhalla [Live]
10 – Doomsday [Live]

Dave Wall – Vocals
Keith Sharp – Guitars
Robin Brancher – Guitars
Joe Larner – Bass
Brett Robertson – Drums



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