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Angeldark - Angelique 4/5

Reviewed: 1-23-09


1. Libera me - Overture for choir and orchestra in E minor
2. Wolf
3. The night song
4. Saint-Germain (The man who killed death) part I
5. Saint-Germain (The man who killed death) part II
6. Rain
7. Wanderer
8. In my dreams
9. Venom X
10. The mastery of pain
11. Follow the chain
12. Seven candle circle
13. Under the cathedral
14. In darkness

Back in 2003 I purchased a debut 'Creseida' from a Spanish power metal band called The Stormrider. It's a CD that I still listen to on occasion, and the thing I like the most about it is that it has a slight dark/gothic edge and while male fronted, contains some female vocals. It's quite catchy, is very memorable, and I've always considered it to be excellent. Well, the last few years I've wondered when we were going to get that band's 2nd CD, until recently, when I learned that The Stormrider was put on hold and the members started a new band, Angeldark.

It's obvious to me why they created a new name/band - because Angeldark and their debut 'Angelique' is not power metal, and is actually quite different. I'd call the CD's style dark gothic/symphonic metal with crunchy/catchy riffs, and it's a bit like some of Sentenced last few CDs, before they called it quits. The vocals are still male (from Santi Fano), but aren't of the power metal type, and while clear (though there are some rough moments), are instead typical of a gothic metal band. Just like with The Stormrider, there are some female vocals (soprano) on occasion, courtesy of Berenice Musa, the vocalist of a gothic metal band called Tears of Martyr, whose full-length debut 'Entrance' is set to be released later in 2009.

'Angelique' mostly stays within the mid-paced area, but there are flashes of speed and it's not boring at all. Especially considering the CD's length is nearly 70 minutes and there are 14 songs, the band's songwriting skills are surely intact, and I must admit that while I was initially disappointed The Stormrider was put on hold, I think I like this CD just as much as 'Creseida', if not more. All of the songs are catchy, some are upbeat (the CD isn't too dark), and I love when Berenice pops up, as she has a lovely voice that adds something special to the already excellent songs. Track 6 "Rain" and track 10 "The mastery of pain" are probably my favorite songs, and even though it's surely because Berenice sings a lot in them, the choruses are terrific.

Sometimes it's good to give CDs that are a bit different from our comfort zone a chance. So even though I usually only stick to gothic/symphonic metal bands that are female fronted, I'm very glad I made the decision to pick this up, as it's been a great surprise, and if you think my vocal and musical descriptions sound interesting, you may want to check this out too.




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