Here is a band that never quite got the recognition they should have received. They are still struggling to gain respect, as they are not even included on many of the various prog rock databases. Even though their sound was an excellent mix of hard rock and progressive rock, at least on the first two records.
Spacey synthesizer sounds that could only be found on a progressive rock album from this era begin the album. “The Tower” is a great start to an excellent debut. It sets the standard for the Angel sound they would explore for this and the next album. “Long Time” has a very smart guitar break that changes the direction the song goes. “Sunday Morning” features an awesome synthesizer part that aptly carries the song. “Mariner” begins as a ballad and then picks up halfway through with a powerful piano riff. “On & On” has an anthemic chorus that sticks with you. “Angel (Theme)” establishes an idea they would explore in a more rocking manner on the nest album.
Why did they not gain the respect of their peers or legions of fans that they should have? The progressive keyboards, the rocking guitars, the powerful vocals are all there and give much credibility to the sound of Angel. Perhaps it was the way they looked, with the make up, platform shoes and long hair giving an air of femininity. Perhaps it was the decision to change their sound on the third album to move towards a sound that the successful band Boston had made popular, causing them to lose much of their already established fanbase.
Angel’s first album is well worth exploring if you are a fan of slightly more AOR based progressive rock music. It is not as consistent as their next album, Helluva Band, but still a welcome addition to any classic rock collection.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on January 20th, 2011