Angel Blake - _Angel Blake_
(Metal Blade, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (
Hot on the heels of Johan Lindstrand's well-received One Man Army & the Undead Quartet debut, comes Angel Blake: the new musical brainchild of his former Crown cohort, Marko Tervonen. With only three months between them the comparisons are inevitable, but it soon becomes clear that Angel Blake is miles apart from its creator's underground roots. Eschewing death metal for a more traditional approach in the vein of Corrosion of Conformity and Danzig, traces of The Crown's brutality show up on the odd occasion, but for the most part this band is all about huge riffs, hooks as infectious as a syringe in a crackhouse and bombastic (but never overblown) solos.An unquestionably personal exorcism of an abundance of ideas harboured over the course of a fourteen year stint in The Crown, Tervonen leaves little on the creative cutting room floor. From the acoustic intro of "The Force" to the sitar-led chug of "Lycanthrope" and the surprisingly sombre "The Forsaken", the record flirts with a host of musical styles that would never have been able to play a part in the likes of _Possessed 13_ or _Deathrace King_. Constantly surprising and engaging, this is an album which may not be to everyone's liking, what with Tervonen so resolutely turning his back on a legacy that is held in the highest regard by more than a few fans. For those who can approach this debut with an open mind however, the rewards are bound to be ample.
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