Fallen Angel – Crawling Out Of Hell (2010, Fallen Angel Records)
1. “Crash To Oblivion” … 0:48
2. “Sinner’s Vengeance” … 5:04
3. “March Into Hell” … 1:02
4. “Blood On My Soul” … 3:20
5. “The Grinding Wheels Of War” … 2:00
6. “The Reapers Shall Gather” … 3:19
7. “Arrival” … 1:12
8. “Dark Lord” … 4:35
9. “Darkness” … 4:37
10. “The One Who Walks Alone” … 4:52
11. “The Answer” … 5:56
12. “Respiration Desperation” … 1:09
13. “The Neutral Zone” … 4:41
14. “Life Or Death” … 3:50
15. “On And On” … 4:54
16. “Ashes To Ashes” … 1:01
17. “Leaving It All Behind” … 6:05
18. “Watching” … 3:37
19. “Sad Wings” … 6:15
20. “Grant Me Peace” … 4:00
Steve Seniuk – Lead Vocals
John Cruppe – Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Robb Lotta – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Joe Surace – Bass, Backing Vocals
Frankie Quaggs – Drums, Percussion
Producer: John Cruppe
In terms of visuals if the idea behind KISS was “four Alice Coopers” then Fallen Angel is four King Diamonds. Each member of this group has a freaky look that would lead you to believe this band is going to play some variation of black metal. Luckily, there are no helium vocals, Cookie Monster growls or any Satan-worshiping lyrics that will cause you to roll your eyes. The band’s MySpace page gave me a clue they might not sound like what the look like since that’s where they claim influences ranging from Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Slayer, Rush, Korn and Pink Floyd! The end result of all those influences is an album that delivers power metal more than anything else alongside some elements of trash, prog and NWOBHM.
Years in the making, Crawling Out Of Hell is a concept album (the first in a planned trilogy) based on the novel of the same name that was written by the group’s guitarist/producer John Cruppe. Included in the CD booklet is some pretty cool art work and snippets of the story explaining what is going on. For any album it’s a well put together package but it’s even more impressive given that it is self-released. Also of note is the band’s other guitarist Robb Lotta who has worked with Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna in the past and lead vocalist Steve Seniuk who does an amazing job throughout the album with a number of vocal ranges.
At twenty tracks, this album can be a bit overwhelming but it is really not too bad when you keep in mind that six of these songs are instrumentals that clock in at two minutes or less. Personally, whenever a band releases a concept piece, I’m less concerned with whatever story they’re trying to tell and more focused on the music. Hey, if you can tie if all together and make the pieces fit that’s great but I want good music first and foremost. Not that I have to tell Fallen Angel that. Hey, look, a concept album that doesn’t dull itself and get lost in effects and trying to build atmosphere! Other than the few short instrumental breaks, this album gallops from start to finish with “Dark Lord” being my personal favorite. Seniuk really shines on that song, I think. Another favorite of mine is “The Answer”, which is a very good ballad that reminds me of Queensryche at times.
Overall, Crawling Out Of Hell is a solid debut that has much in common with classic metal bands of the past. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on. Now bring on those sequels!
Highlights: “Sinner’s Vengeance”, “Dark Lord”, “The One Who Walks Alone”, “The Answer”, “Leaving It All Behind”, “Grant Me Peace”