Mishin, Oleg - Angel 4/5
3. Fly falcon fly
4. Red sorrow
8. My angel
9. Snow has fallen
11. Mama (Hello, it's me)
12. Theater of magic
I usually don't purchase solo CDs, as a lot of time the individual goes in an experimental direction, quite different from the band he or she is a part of. But when I learned the vocalist (Oleg Mishin) of my favorite Russian band Catharsis had released his first solo CD 'Angel', I just had to pick it up. Just like with Catharsis, this debut is a Russian-language CD and the tracklist has been translated.
Because of the high quality of Catharsis, I suspect there is a good amount of Catharsis fans out there, and just like I was, they're probably wondering how 'Angel' compares to the Catharsis CDs, regarding both musical style and quality. Firstly, the CD is similar to Catharsis musically, in that the guitars are crunchy and the appearance of a flute is in existence, much like it is on Catharsis' latest CD 'Wings'. However, 'Angel' doesn't have faster songs like Catharsis' CDs do, and I can safely call the CD heavy metal, as opposed to power metal. It's still extremely catchy, but don't expect as much speed as the amount that Catharsis offers.
Another difference between Catharsis and 'Angel' is that Oleg has incorporated some unique electronic/keyboard parts into some of the songs, but there aren't very many and it's barely worth mentioning. Still, it is an element that's missing on the Catharsis CDs, though Catharsis fans will find familiar melodies throughout the entire CD. So while there are some differences musically, 'Angel' certainly has a recognizable feeling overall.
Now, while Oleg provided an amazing performance on 'Wings', he has topped that with 'Angel'! This guy's got such an emotional and clear voice, and in my opinion, this is definitely his best performance to date. The Russian language has always been so interesting to me anyway, but the way Oleg sings is truly spectacular. In a way, listening to him on 'Angel' reminds me of listening to Bruce Dickinson's best solo CDs ('Accident of birth', etc.), in that both vocalists really shine, but the strong songwriting to back them up makes the overall difference in quality.
Believe it or not, there is not one song on 'Angel' that I don't like, but there are definitely songs that stand out above the rest. These would be the ultra-catchy and upbeat songs, namely track 3 "Fly falcon fly", track 6 "Memory", track 8 "My angel", track 10 "Scar", and the absolutely magnificent closer "Theater of magic". All of these songs are as good as anything found on Catharsis' brilliant 'Wings' and fans of that CD should be plenty happy. Unlike 'Wings', there aren't any pure ballads, but there are a few slow/smooth songs (track 4 "Red sorrow", track 7 "Darling" and track 11 "Mama (Hello, it's me)") that provide a nice song variety.
To sum up, what we get with 'Angel' is a CD that shares similarities with Catharsis, but one that brings in a few differences as well. Personally, I thoroughly enjoy this CD and there are many instances that are as magical as anything on 'Wings'. So if you're a fan of Catharsis and are open to a little bit of change, this should be a more than satisfying CD. That said, for those of you who have yet to get into Russian-language heavy/power metal, this is definitely not the CD to help you dive into the style.
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