Angel Blake

Angel Blake

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When a musician goes from one band to another, the new band might be similar to the old one, or it might favor a totally different sound. John Lydon's Public Image Ltd., for example, didn't sound anything like his former band, the Sex Pistols -- and the rap-metal that Tommy Lee offered with Methods of Mayhem didn't sound a bit like Mötley Crüe. So with Angel Blake -- a project that Sweden-based guitarist Marko Tervonen started putting together after the 2004 breakup of his former band, the Crown -- are we looking at something similar or something different? The answer is something different; very different. The only thing that Angel Blake's self-titled debut album has in common with the Crown's work is the fact that both are relevant to metal, but while the Crown embraced a high-speed death metal/thrash approach, there isn't a trace of Nordic-style death metal to be found on this 2005 recording (released in 2006). Angel Blake is generally a much slower band, and even though there are some thrash-influenced moments, Tervonen's new project (which employs Tony Jelencovich of Transport League/B-Thong fame on lead vocals) isn't nearly as velocity minded as the Crown. This is a highly melodic CD that, although hard rocking, is melancholy and downright moody a good bit of the time. Obvious influences include Danzig, Black Sabbath, the Cult, doom metal, gothic metal and Metallica -- not so much the speed metal Metallica of Ride the Lightning (1984) and Master of Puppets (1986), but the more alt metal Metallica of 1996's Load. In fact, a cover of the brooding "Until It Sleeps" (one of Load's gems) would have been right at home on this disc, but the cover that Angel Blake provides instead is the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" (which lends itself fairly well to an alt metal/heavy metal perspective). Anyone who expects Angel Blake to be a carbon copy of the Crown will be disappointed, but this decent, if less than groundbreaking, effort shows Angel Blake to be a noteworthy group in their own right.

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