Angel Witch - Angel Of Light: Review
NWOBHM icons Angel Witch's fifth studio album Angel Of Light is finally with us. For a band who hit the stage in the 1980s to only be releasing album five in 2019 tells you all you need to know on the surface about Angel Witch's chequered history.
Loved for their legendary self-titled debut album the band has struggled to release anything that doesn't sit in its shadow and the same is said for Angel Of Light. While it's not a million miles away from the older sound there are both high and low points to the record.
Opening track Don't Turn Your Back is catchy, it certainly opens the album well but it doesn't seem to progress anywhere significant. Instead, it finds the middle ground and sticks to it, almost fearful of branching out and taking any risks. It's not a bad song but it feels Angel Witch are capable of more, the following Death From Andromeda also falls victim to this over-cautious approach. Again there is nothing wrong with the sound, there just isn't much meat to it, a fairly forgettable track overall.
Things pick up with We Are Damed with some nice guitar work and drum partnership, a stand out track for sure. The halfway point is marked by The Night Is Calling a semi-ballad, with a few cliches thrown in. Vocally it's impressive and the longest-running track on the album, clocking over seven minutes of run time. It's overall not a bad song, just a song that could have had a bit more weight to it.
If the intention for Angel Of Light was to have a more subdued, maybe stripped-down sound then the arrangement of tracks may make sense but to our knowledge, no such attempt was made or at least made public.
The second half of the record improves somewhat, Condemned energetically threatens to break into a full-blown Heavy Metal feast but toes the line, just about. Either way on this record it's another stand out track. the remainder of the album continues with the same edge but sound a bit too alike if we're to be supercritical.
Title track Angel Of Light closes out the album, it's got the backbone and DNA of a great NWOBHM track, we must admit that much, possibly one of the stronger tracks and deserves a listen alongside the other stand out tracks mentioned above.
All round, Angel Of Light underdelivers, great in some places but mediocre in more, for us there just isn't enough weight and substance on a record from a band that is capable of great things.