The difference between hard rock and heavy metal is a lot like the difference between soca and calypso -- they aren't identical, but in some cases, there can be a fine line between the two. Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Metallica are straight-up metal bands, whereas Mötley Crüe, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Kiss are examples of bands that are relevant to both heavy metal and hard rock. So where does Little Angels' 1989 debut, Don't Prey for Me, fit in? Essentially, it is an album of hard rock. It would be a stretch to describe tracks like "Promises" and "Kick Hard" as heavy metal; they certainly aren't heavy in the way that Candlemass and King Diamond are heavy. But if hard rock and pop-metal standards are applied -- hard rock/pop-metal as in Bon Jovi, April Wine, Whitesnake, or Sammy Hagar -- one has to say that this is a pleasant, if derivative, debut. No one will accuse these British rockers of providing the most distinctive album of 1989; none of the material is terribly original. Nonetheless, the tunes are generally likable -- Little Angels were never forward-thinking, but they were good (although not great) at what they did. For whatever reason, this CD fared much better in England than it did in the United States. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that Little Angels were British; it's easier to catch a band's live show if they're in your back yard instead of thousands of miles away. And perhaps Little Angels were promoted more aggressively in England than they were in North America. Although not a masterpiece, Don't Prey for Me is a decent effort that's worth hearing if you're a die-hard fan of '80s hard rock and pop-metal.
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